This year’s participants are: Glory Skincare, 54 Thrones, Kulfi Beauty, Eadem, Ries, Imania Beauty, Hyper Skin and Topicals.
“Last year, we made a commitment to dedicate 15 percent of Sephora shelf space to Black-owned brands, and we quickly realized the role that our Accelerate program could play in not only helping us to reach that goal, but to set these brands up for long-term success and growth,” Artemis Patrick, executive vice president and global chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. “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 for our 2021 Accelerate cohort. Each of the eight participating founders is inspiring in their own right and we believe wholeheartedly in their potential at Sephora.”
The brands will go through a six-month digital program that culminates with a pitch day. There, brand founders are meant to present their brands to industry experts, investors and senior-level Sephora leaders. Vitruvi, Aloevida, the 7 Virtues, Skylar and many other brands have gone through the program.
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The Sephora Accelerate program is meant to guide young brands as they build their businesses and to help foster networking connections. For the 2021 Accelerate program, Nancy Twine, founder of Briogeo, Vicky Tsai, founder of Tatcha, Janet Gurwitch of Advent International and Alissa Williams of VMG will act as advisers. Their aim is to share brand building and financial best practices with the brands, according to a Sephora spokesperson.
The program has also signed on Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies and the 15 Percent Pledge; Julian Addo, chief executive officer and founder of Adwoa; Maeva Heim, founder of Bread Beauty Supply; Mazdack Rassi, cofounder of Milk; Amy Liu, CEO and founder of Tower 28, and others, as brand partners. Sephora said they will be “a support system,” for the emerging brands.
Sephora has aimed to heighten diversity and inclusivity initiatives in recent years, and launched an inclusivity program called “We Belong to Something Beautiful” in 2019. It came after singer SZA tweeted that an employee working in the Sephora Calabasas, Calif., store “called security to make sure I wasn’t stealing.”
Since then, Sephora employees have gone through a “long-term inclusion learning program,” and the company signed on to Aurora James’ 15 Percent Pledge. Recently, Sephora released the results of a study it commissioned in 2019 on racial bias in retail that underscored unfair treatment both shoppers and retail workers have faced based on their race or complexion.
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