Ulta Beauty is launching their inaugural Muse Accelerator Program, a course dedicated to supporting early-stage BIPOC beauty brands. Launching in September, the 10-week program will provide time, resources, and mentorship to prepare eight BIPOC-owned brands for retail readiness and the opportunity to learn from industry leaders.
“Muse Accelerator is another way we’re bringing to life our commitment to diversifying our unparalleled assortment so all guests can see themselves reflected at Ulta Beauty,” says Monica Arnaudo, Chief Merchandising Officer, Ulta Beauty. “We believe it is our responsibility to take tangible steps to create foundational industry change. As a destination where brands can learn, thrive, and successfully reach unchartered heights, this program helps us further nurture emerging BIPOC brands and create meaningful impact for the communities we serve, our industry and the world.”
The Muse Accelerator supports Ulta Beauty’s ongoing efforts to amplify underrepresented voices while curating a diverse assortment. The selected brand applicants will have unique opportunities to learn from subject matter experts across various topics such as merchandising, supply chain, legal, and marketing, as well as brand founders and industry leaders’ engagement during fireside chats and panels. The curriculum was created in partnership with Venture Noire, a non-profit organization that specializes in accelerator programs dedicated to Black and minority entrepreneurs.
The 10-week curriculum features virtual and in-person sessions focused on brand development including Brand Strategy & Positioning, an immersive, 360-degree planning session that provides tools, support, and resources needed for long-term success; Retail 101, expert training on how to successfully launch, grow, and thrive in a national, omni-channel retail environment;
Supply Chain & Logistics, a critical course on planning for and navigating distribution channels to ensure optimal customer experiences; and Demo Week & Celebration, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch the brands to potential investors and merchants.
Muse accelerator mentors include diverse industry leaders Shontay Lundy, founder of Black Girl Sunscreen; Ron Robinson, founder and CEO of BeautyStat; Desirée Rogers, CEO of BLK/OPL, and Julissa Prado, founder and CEO of Rizos Curls.
“Having built and launched a brand from concept to aisle, I understand the critical importance of mentors as guides along the way – especially as a minority navigating new territories,” said Shontay Lundy, founder and CEO, Black Girl Sunscreen. “I was fortunate to have had such support and honored to have the opportunity to pay it forward through Ulta Beauty’s MUSE Accelerator.”
Additionally, the selected brand applicants will also receive $50,000 in financial support to propel their business forward for long-term success.
Ulta Beauty is now accepting applications for the 2022 MUSE Accelerator cohort, with selections to be announced September 2022. Eligible early-stage BIPOC brands are encouraged to apply today by visiting ulta.com/muse-accelerator for guidelines and to learn more about the program. The deadline to submit is June 30th at 11:59 p.m. CT.