Ulta Beauty’s mission to magnify, uplift, and support underrepresented brand founders of color is coming to life with its inaugural MUSE Accelerator, a program that offers eight early-stage BIPOC beauty brands time, resources, mentorship, and the opportunity to learn from established industry leaders for retail readiness.
“These brand founders have worked hard to get to this point, and our program will help them further ignite their potential, fuel growth and reach new heights,” says Monica Arnaudo, Chief Merchandising Officer, Ulta Beauty. “As the leading beauty retailer, we understand the importance of greater inclusivity within beauty and the responsibility we have to create equitable opportunities for BIPOC brands to thrive in our industry. I’m honored we will accompany them on this journey and look forward to seeing them flourish throughout the process.”
The eight selected brands span a variety of beauty categories, including wellness, skin care, hair care, makeup, and fragrance and will each receive $50,000 in financial support to propel development along with resources for long-term success.
- Pound Cake, Camille Bell and Jonathan Velazquez: A Black and Latinx owned cosmetics company that creates products for people of different skin and lip tones, while authentically highlighting beauty-lovers who are BIPOC, fat-identifying, trans, and non-binary.
- Squigs, Nikita Charuza: A “headcare” brand that creates skin care and hair care products for anyone who believes good ingredients and good moods go hand in hand.
- OURSIDE, Keta Burke- Williams: Formerly known as Aspen Apothecary, the personal fragrance brand founded by sisters Katja and Keta, is shifting the conversation in the $47B category with fragrances that amplify you as you are and evoke powerful emotions to bring us together.
- Bonita Fierce Candles, Melissa Gallardo: Candles that represent, celebrate, and elevate the diversity of the multicultural Latina community.
- Sade Baron , Rachel and Folosade Lambo: A mother-daughter duo creating highly effective and concentrated body care products for skin issues such as eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and chronic dry skin.
- YINA , Ervina Wu and Angela Gray: A beauty and wellness company inspired by east Asian medicine and rituals, providing consumers multi-faceted products that go beyond skincare, and address stress and imbalance.
- The Refig , Tanya Perkins: Making bottle-free haircare for curls and beauty solutions that are easy to use, eco-friendly, and actually work.
- Dehiya Beauty , Mia Reddy: A champion of diverse and inclusive beauty with a passion for creating highly effective, plant-based skincare using ethically sourced, highly active, native, and wild botanical ingredients from throughout the Diaspora.