Richelieu Dennis, founder and chief executive officer of Sundial Brands, was named to Fast Company’s Most Creative People list.
Dennis was honored in the fashion and beauty category, along with other industry leaders such as Michelle Phan, Beautycounter’s Gregg Renfrew and Sarah Jessica Parker. Outside of fashion and beauty, the list of 170 men and women included Cher, Serena Williams, John Legend, Adam Neumann of WeWork and Apple’s Tim Cook.
This past year, Dennis and Sundial kicked off a compelling campaign, #breakthewalls, to put the spotlight on the challenges women of color face when shopping the aisles in mass market stores. Through social media efforts, retailers reacted by removing walls separating beauty products considered for ethnic women to bring the products into mainstream presentations reflecting how consumers want to shop. The theory seems to be working with recent IRI data showing Shea Moisture brands consistently clocking in gains exceeding 40 percent.
Dennis helped found the company by tapping his family heritage and cultural experiences with a vision to serve sometimes overlooked consumers through efficacious products made with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients. By focusing on the unmet skin care and hair care needs of a diverse range of consumers, Dennis has led Sundial from selling its products on the streets of New York City to placement in major chains. This year the company launched an exclusive at Sephora called Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, a four-collection, 25 stockkeeping unit collection.
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Introduced in 2009, Fast Company’s list features leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways.