Sephora has announced the participants for its 2022 Accelerate brand incubator program, with a group of 10 BIPOC brand founders. The selected brands cover all categories of the Sephora product universe, including makeup, skincare, haircare, and for the first time ever – fragrance. Sephora’s aim is to increase BIPOC representation in prestige beauty and in their assortment.
“We are committed to ensuring that the brands and products found at Sephora represent all the colors, races, and ethnicities that make up America, effectively building a beauty community to which everyone feels they belong,” said Priya Venkatesh, SVP Merchandising, Skin Care and Hair, Sephora. “To do so, it’s important that brand founders of all backgrounds have the opportunity and resources they need to grow their businesses and thrive. Through the Accelerate program, Sephora is committed to giving founders the long-term mentorship, access to market and scale they need to truly accelerate growth, with the program serving as a springboard for nascent brands to become visible, viable, stable, and financially solvent.”
Now in its seventh year, the Sephora Accelerate program provides a robust curriculum, mentorship, merchandising support, potential funding, and investor connections to all participants, who will have the opportunity to launch at Sephora upon completion of the program.
To start the program, participants will be onboarded into the Sephora ecosystem in preparation for Bootcamp which will start in early April 2022. During the Bootcamp, finalists will complete a week-long series of education and inspiration sessions, with internal and external curriculum focused on setting up brands for long-term success. A graduation phase (late May/Early June 2022) will mark the close of the program, each brand founder will give a formal presentation to senior-level Sephora leaders.
Executives from leading brands including Tatcha, First Aid Beauty, Kosas, Briogeo, Milk Makeup and Tower 28 will lead sessions on topics including Brand Strategy, Financial Modeling, Product Development and Marketing. A “BIPOC Founder Inspirational Series” will feature stories by notable brand founders of color including Julian Addo (Adwoa Beauty), Danessa Myricks (Danessa Myricks Beauty), Sarah Lee and Christine Chang (Glow Recipe), Akash Mehta (Fable & Mane) and Heela Jang (Sol de Janeiro). A group of 2021 Accelerate graduates, including Olamide Olowe (Topicals), Christina Funke Tegbe (54 Thrones) and Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover (EADEM), will also share their Accelerate experiences.
The 2022 Sephora Accelerate Cohort includes:
Basma Hameed and Parisa Durrani, founders of BASMA Beauty, a brand that believes makeup should fit into all lifestyles.
Fara Homidi, founder of Fara Homidi Collection, a clean luxury professionally formulated beauty line which aims to champion “high performance slow beauty,” and featuring sustainably-minded packaging and products - including a refill system - and an inclusive color range.
Selah Lemon, founder of House of Foster a modern fragrance house rejecting the mundane and believing in the promotion of intentional formulation that positively provokes the senses.
Nisha Phatak and Madhu Punjabi, co-founders of Lion Pose, which claims to be the first clean + clinical brand for brown ski.
Rimah Husain, founder of Kempt, a brand that aims to elevate the facial hair removal experience with a skin-first approach. The brand offers effective but gentle hair removal products with clean formulations that feature skincare ingredients.
Sravya Adusumilli, founder of Mango People, a line of multi-functional beauty essentials formulated with organic botanical oils, adaptogenic herbs from Ayurveda, and infused with plant pigments that look and feel incredible on the skin.
Carolina Contreras, founder of Miss Rizos an online platform that was created ten years ago to educate, celebrate, and advocate curly women and girls and is now proposing hair products.
Kiku Chaudhuri, co-founder of haircare brand Shaz & Kiks that offer products inspired by ancient Indian rituals, using ethically sourced Ayurvedic raw ingredients.
Krys Lunardo, founder of Sistine, an inclusive cabinet of clean skincare formulas for the ecocentric eccentric, with clean ingredients extracted from terrestrial and aquatic plant-life.
Scarlett Rocourt, founder of Wonder Curl, a Black-owned, vegan hair care line.
All 2022 participants applied to the program in Fall 2021. Eligible applicants were required to be at least 18 years old, have a North American-incorporated company, and be in the early stages of development (i.e., not yet widely distributed by others). In selecting finalists, Sephora also took into account each brand’s vision, innovation, and current stage of product developments.