Launched in December 2020 as an online beauty platform — offering Black- and brown-owned brands — the business was founded by Nyakio Grieco (creator of Nyakio Beauty and Relevant: Your Skin Seen) and Patrick Herning (of size-inclusive fashion site and brand 11 Honoré). The two met through mutual friends in early 2019.
“When we co-created Thirteen Lune in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic and, you know, a racial reckoning, I knew that we were creating something that was needed and that it was just such an opportunity to align my passion and my purpose by being more inclusive and telling this global story of how it’s important that we allow everyone to have an equitable future within this industry,” Grieco said. “And we started with a platform. We always knew we would be omnichannel. We knew retail would be back.”
Having a flagship location, “it’s really giving us an opportunity in a bigger way,” Grieco continued.
The value of physical retail comes down to connection, she went on. “Why we’re seeing so many people return to an in-store experience is that we all miss the ability to connect face to face, experience one another, learn from one another.”
She wants the aesthetic of the store to “represent inclusivity and diversity from every standpoint, whether it be people that we’re working with, contractors who are designing the store. But what was also really important to me is that it’s not just another beauty store. That it’s actually a place for people to gather in community.”
Larchmont Village has been her own community since 2008, when she moved to the neighborhood. She can walk to the store, she said.
At the same time as the business is rolling out the stand-alone store, it continues to open units with JCPenney, which previously had a partnership with Sephora.
“We’re hyper focused and so excited for the 600 store rollout, which will happen by April,” Grieco said.
“Thirteen Lune’s flagship is a testament to the importance of supporting the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs and builds upon our mission,” Michelle Wlazlo, JCPenney’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. “We’re honored to provide BIPOC beauty founders the opportunity to expand the reach of their brands at scale through our national footprint and are happy to see Thirteen Lune continue our shared commitment to changing the face of beauty.”
Raising $3 million in 2021, early investors of Thirteen Lune include Gwyneth Paltrow, Sean Combs, Naomi Watts, Gregg Renfrew of Beautycounter, Tracey Cunningham of Mèche salon, former U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant, venture capitalist Patrick Finnegan and Sydney Holland of Urban and The Mystic.