Sephora's latest step towards diversifying its stores, shelves, and team is all about uplifting BIPOC brand founders. This year, Sephora's Accelerate Incubator program features only founders of color. The 2021 cohort includes eight different brands that will receive months of intensive support and mentorship for all aspects of their businesses and, at the end of the program in May, will launch at Sephora.
"The goal of this program has long been to provide meaningful, ongoing support for growing brands, and that is exactly what we're aiming to deliver to our 2021 Accelerate cohort," Artemis Patrick, Sephora's executive vice president, said in a press release shared with Elite Daily. To achieve this, the virtual boot camp will cover everything from product development to investment strategy and so much more. Sephora also tapped renowned brand founders Vicky Tsai of Tatcha and Nancy Twine of Briogeo.
The eight brands in the Incubator Program each have such a unique approach to beauty that has already gotten them passionate consumer bases of their own. 54 Thrones is a skincare line focused on using natural ingredients to create efficacious products inspired by African beauty rituals. With a focus on POC, Eadem makes products that work better for skin with more melanin. Similarly, Glory Skincare also focuses on head-to-toe beauty that can personalized for your exact needs. After living with hormonal acne, Desiree Verdejo founded Hyper Skin to address a slew of different skin issues, like dark spots, discoloration, and more. As someone who is constantly trying out different ways to nourish overly-bleached hair, I can't wait to see how haircare brand Imania Beauty evolves this program. Its commitment to simple yet nourishing scalp products is everything my damaged hair could want.
Priyanka Ganjoo noticed an extreme lack of South Asian representation in the beauty industry, so she founded Kulfi Beauty. Her brand develops makeup for South Asian skin tones and is dedicated to supporting mental health in her community. One of the brands I may be the most excited for is ries. Ries creates biodegradable, reusable travel containers, which are a must for everyone. And, last but not least is Topicals. The brand infuses fun and aesthetic into effective skincare with its super cute products.
Each retailer challenges existing beauty standards while bringing something entirely new to the table, and it'll be refreshing to see how these brands evolve even more with mentorship and support. For now, I'll be counting down the days 'til the end of May when these brands launch at Sephora.