Sephora, Ulta commit to more BIPOC-owned beauty brands as Black History month continues

Sephora will introduce eight BIPOC-owned brands via its Accelerate incubator program

Makeup retailers are devoting more shelf space to Black-owned businesses and products, featuring more inclusive makeup for all skin tones.

Sephora is doubling down on its efforts to offer more diverse beauty products in stores with a commitment to allocate at least 15% of its retail space for products from BIPOC-owned brands. It’s the latest move by a big-box beauty retailer to amplify inclusivity.

Sephora is connecting BIPOC-owned brands with venture capitalists and investment firms to scale and grow their brands and sell them in stores. (Sephora). 

Sephora on Tuesday said it would rework its incubator program, meant to help launch more female-run beauty businesses by connecting them with venture capitalists and investment firms, to feature all BIPOC-owned brands, and revealed a powerhouse lineup of beauty-brand founders that will be taking place in the incubator.

Among them are: 54 Thrones founder Christina Funke Tegbe, an African beauty brand that offers face and body products with botanicals sourced from Africa; Alisia Michelle Ford, founder and CEO of Glory, which sources women and minority-owned skincare brands focused on treatments for melanin-rich skin; Nia Wellman, founder of Imania Beauty, hair products designed for texture tresses; and Priyanka Ganjoo, founder of Kulfi Beauty with products made for South Asian skin tones and undertones (though its products are made for everyone), among others.

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The founders have already started Sephora’s incubator program and receive mentoring from industry experts like skincare company Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai founder’s Vicky Tsai and a slew of other prominent entrepreneurs. At the end of the program, all brands will be sold on Sephora shelves.

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“The goal of this program has been to provide meaningful, ongoing support for growing brands, and that is exactly what we’re aiming to deliver to our 2021 Accelerate cohort. Each of the eight founders is inspiring in their own right, and we believe wholeheartedly in their potential at Sephora we are so excited to help shape their futures and to ultimately introduce these brands to our clients,” Artemis Patrick, Sephora’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Merchandising Officer said in a statement.

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The news comes as makeup retail competitor Ulta also announced new efforts on diversity and inclusion. The chain tapped beauty entrepreneur and actress Tracee Ellis Ross as its diversity and inclusion adviser. She’ll use her expertise to help foster and feature more diverse brands to be sold at Ulta.