Image Source: Sephora
If you’re always on the hunt for the best up-and-coming beauty brands, there’s no better place to look than Sephora’s 2023 Accelerate program. Originally founded in 2016 as a way to help emerging companies in the early stages of development, the program went through a revamp in 2021 when Sephora decided to focus on brand founders of color. This year, Sephora received over 600 applicants vying for a spot in the coveted program, and before landing on seven brands — all with BIPOC founders within the makeup, skin care, or fragrance categories.
The 2023 cohort features Simedar Jackson, founder of Of Other Worlds, Brianna Arps, founder of Moodeaux, Camille Martin, founder of Seaspire Skincare, Karen Young, founder of Oui the People, Malaika Jones, Nia Jones, and Tai Beauchamp, founders of Brown Girl Jane, Sienna Brown, founder of Glosshood, and Alicia Scott, founder of Range Beauty.
“The aim is to ensure that the brands and products found at Sephora offer something unique or necessary to clients and represent all the colors, races, and ethnicities that make up America, making every customer feel that they truly belong,” a representative for Sephora tells POPSUGAR.
This year’s group participated in a six-month program that the Sephora rep says provides a bespoke approach to each founder, which is ultimately what they believe allows for the highest rate of success. Founders go through media training, learn about product development, and are typically partnered with a mentor who guides them through the ins and outs of the beauty industry. The biggest win, though, is the fact that each founder’s brand will launch at Sephora when everything is said and done.
Why the Sephora Accelerate Program Matters
When it comes to why programs like Sephora’s Accelerate matter, there’s, of course, the obvious and most important: giving BIPOC founders the access and opportunity they deserve. For the participants, the reasons are endless. “I’m building something — we’re all building something — that’s worthwhile, and Sephora has done an amazing job of affirming us, guiding us, and leading us to success,” Arps tells POPSUGAR. “Not in just launching at Sephora, but growing global, multimillion-dollar brands. That’s education and insight you can’t quite get everywhere as freely as Sephora is willing to give it.”
For Jackson, Sephora Accelerate was like a boot camp for beauty founders, with access to knowledge that she found invaluable. “It’s been particularly helpful for me because I’m not only a first-time founder, but a solo founder, and we’ve been prelaunch while being in this program, and there were so many things that I didn’t know,” Jackson says. “My background is in editorial and marketing and skin science, and there was so much to learn about operations, and supply and demand, and inventory, and analytics. It was very helpful to understand where my weak points are as a founder, where my strong points are, and it also helped us sharpen up as a brand overall.”
Brands You Should Keep an Eye Out For
Without further adieu, here are the seven beauty brands you have to know about before they’re everywhere.
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