This story first appeared in the March 9, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The program is part of the company’s Sephora Stands initiative aimed at helping female-founded start-ups in beauty, a group that typically does not have the same access to funding and connections as their male entrepreneurial counterparts. It’s also a way for Sephora to help cultivate the next generation of beauty businesses.
Each participant is either a founder or cofounder of a business that creates a cosmetic product, or a company that creates technology or provides services relevant to the beauty industry. Participants also have to have a strong effect on someone or something, a key point of the Sephora Stands initiative.
The eight participants are: Candace Mitchell, Myavana, a data-driven social platform that offers personalized hair analysis; Caroline Grove, Stylerz, which helps users discover beauty salons, spas and barbers in Mexico and book appointments from a smartphone or PC; Danielle Cohen-Shohet, Glossgenius, a digital personal assistant for independent beauticians; Karissa Bodner, Thrive Causemetics, a vegan, luxury cosmetics firm that donates one product for every one purchased to a woman going through cancer treatment; Leila Janah, Laxmi, a luxury skin-care brand that provides work for women around the world to help end global poverty; Lisa Mattam, Sahajan, an ayurvedic-inspired, organic skin-care line; Naa-Sakle Akuete, Eu’Genia Shea, a maker of shea-based products that features a transparent supply chain to empower women and their families in Ghana, and Suzanne LeRoux, One Love Organics, an ECOCERT licensed manufacturer for natural and organic cosmetics in the U.S.
The program will begin with a Sephora Accelerate boot camp at the retailer’s U.S. headquarters in San Francisco beginning on April 24 for one week. A demo day is set for Aug. 29. The program is designed to develop, teach and refine the skill set needed to run and build a business, Sephora said. Participants will also receive mentorship from beauty industry executives.
The women will receive two all-expense paid trips for program events, and as fellows receive a $2,500 grant. They may also be eligible for additional loans, Sephora said.
Earlier this year, Corrie Conrad, Sephora’s head of social impact, told WWD: “The goal of Sephora Accelerate is, by 2020, to support more than 50 women-led beauty businesses with social impact through boot camps, mentorship, and small loans.” Sephora has not disclosed any amount in connection with possible funding.