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Thirteen Lune Launches With Focus on Black, Brown-Founded Beauty Brands

"I thought to myself, there has never been a platform that leads with Black and brown founders, brands who make products for everyone," said Nyakio Grieco.

A new beauty e-commerce destination focused on Black and brown-founded beauty brands — Thirteen Lune — launches today.

The business is the latest brainchild of Nyakio Grieco, the founder of Nyakio Beauty, and Patrick Herning, founder and chief executive officer of size-inclusive e-commerce operation 11 Honoré.

Thirteen Lune focuses on brands with Black and brown founders, as well as “ally brands” that make products for people of all skin tones, Grieco said.

Grieco founded Nyakio Beauty, which is now part of Unilever-owned Sundial, about 20 years ago. This year, after the police killing of George Floyd, she saw her brand mentioned in the outpouring of stories listing Black-founded beauty brands, she said.

“As a Black beauty founder I feel that it really took from my 20s, and then into my 30s, and now my 40s, for me to fully realize just how challenging being a Black beauty founder has been, and that many some of the things I looked at in my past as failures truly have nothing to do with anything but the fact that I’m Black and I’m a female,” Grieco said.

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Showing up on the lists of Black-founded beauty brands “was a beautiful moment,” Grieco said — but she realized to shop the brands on those lists, people were being directed to about 50 web sites, not just one e-commerce location.

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“I thought to myself, there has never been a platform that leads with Black and brown founders, brands who make products for everyone,” she said.

Thirteen Lune
The Thirteen Lune web site. Courtesy of Thirteen Lune.

So she started Thirteen Lune, which curates brands primarily from Black and brown founders with products that work for everyone. Products will be selected specifically with Black and brown shoppers in mind, but Grieco said she anticipates allies shopping at Thirteen Lune, as well. There’s also a storytelling component to the site, which Grieco hopes will help set brands up for broader success. 

With her own brand, it took 18 years to launch into her “dream” retailer — Target — she said. But she wants Thirteen Lune to help brands get there quicker. “Just by giving them the opportunity to really be seen and heard will help propel that,” Grieco said.

“Big picture, I know that by helping to amplify these businesses to success, and these Black and brown founders to success, that they will then go back into their communities and help to build generational wealth,” Grieco said. “That will help us to level the playing field.”

This year, Grieco saw several beauty industry friends realize that they’d left out Black and brown customers in their marketing materials. Some weren’t interested in being performative, or in simply hiring different models for their campaigns. Those conversations led Grieco to realize that she wanted to consider launching “ally brands,” she said.

She told brands, “I want you to send me a box of products that you believe would work on melanin-rich skin, textured hair, and I’m going to try them all.

“I was like, ‘if I put this body butter on, and at the end of the day my skin is not dry or ashy, I know that this is formulated for me,” Grieco said. Products on Thirteen Lune are nontoxic, she added.

The e-commerce retailer launches Wednesday with products from Afro Pick, Beija Flor Naturals, Buttah Skin, Charlotte Mensah, Dehiya Beauty, Gilded Body, HyperSkin, Joanna Vargas, Lauren Napier Beauty, Liha Beauty, Marie Hunter Beauty, Skot Beaute and The Established. New brands will be added over the course of time, Grieco said.

For more from WWD.com, see: 

Racism at Retail: Beauty Segment Needs to Revamp, and Fast 

Despite COVID-19, Beauty M&A Is Booming

Money Inc: Insights From the Next Generation of Female Beauty Investors