Amid the racial reckoning of 2020, many beauty brands pledged to improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. But, two years later, some of these companies have continued to fall short. Sephora, however, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to supporting Black and Brown communities. Its Accelerate Program is one of the prime examples. The incubator program works with BIPOC beauty and wellness entrepreneurs—with previous classes including innovative brands like Topicals, Kulfi Beauty, and 54 Thrones.
For six months, participants will be able to sit in on brand development classes taught by top founders, spanning financial readiness to marketing. This year, members will also gain access to a dedicated advisory team (comprised of founders, investors, and retail leaders) and be able to work with the beauty branding agency School House. And, of course, at the end of the program, the cohort has the chance to launch with Sephora. Ahead, get to know the seven BIPOC-owned brands joining Sephora's 2023 Accelerate Class.
Moodeaux is a fragrance brand that blends scent, skincare, and self-care. Founder Brianna Arps (a former Sephora employee and beauty and lifestyle editor) launched the brand in 2021 after spending three years refining her hero product, Worthy Supercharged Skin Scent.
"When I ideated Moodeaux in 2018, finding and shopping from 'mainstream' Black woman-owned fragrance brands wasn't easy," Arps says. "So, I rolled up my sleeves to create one that was unique and brought about the representation people who look like me deserve. I'm happy, honored, and humbled Sephora has opted to join us for the ride. I'm hopeful about gaining the tactical skills, resources, and connections to help scale Moodeaux into a billion-dollar venture."
Brown Girl Jane
Brown Girl Jane is the brainchild of three dynamic Black women—Malaika Jones, Tai Beauchamp, and Nia Jones. Together, they create innovative plant-based beauty and wellness products (ranging from supplements to skincare).
"Being a member of the 2023 Sephora Accelerate Class is a game-changer for our fast-growing beauty and wellness brand," Jones says. "We’re beyond excited about learning from Sephora’s best-in-class experts who can leverage unique customer data, purchasing trends, and marketing techniques to further grow a brand that lasts and serves."
Range Beauty is bringing a unique POV to beauty—creating makeup for melanin-rich, acne, and eczema-prone skin. Atlanta-based founder Alicia Scott has been steadily building the brand since 2018, securing investments from the likes of Emma Grede and the Fearless Fund.
"There's no better feeling than having my brand accepted into the 2023 Sephora Accelerate Class," Scott shares. "Sephora is one of the few companies that maintained their stance on supporting Black-owned businesses and ensuring we have the best resources available to succeed in the beauty industry. This program will help provide more guidance and structure to what I'm creating within the reactive skin space. Learning from the Sephora C-suite, alumni brands, and other founders in the class will truly be a highlight of my journey with Range."
Glosshood's products are designed to help you tap into your inner child. Case in point: The brand's debut product, Holyyy Gloss Balm Hybrid, is inspired by founder Sienna Brown's childhood affinity for lip gloss.
"As an individual with no background in beauty and just a genuine love for the world of beauty, this experience means the world to me," she tells us. "Besides building friendships with other brand founders, I hope to gain a more robust understanding of retail. I'd also love to dive into the magic behind building a team for a Gen Z/Millennial brand deeply rooted in community. I know there’s an art to it, and I can’t wait to unlock it."
Camille Martin, Ph.D., and Leila Deravi, Ph.D., are on a mission to simplify sustainable skincare, harnessing the power of marine ecosystems. Through Seaspire Skincare, Martin and Deravi are working to reimagine natural ingredients by reducing the impact of pollutants like sunlight and oxidation.
"Joining the Sephora Accelerate Class of 2023 is an invaluable experience that will further catalyze the growth of our brand and actualize the impact of our technology," Martin says. "I’m hoping to learn strategies to optimize omnichannel distribution."
OUI the People
Karen Young believes bodycare products shouldn't focus on "anti-aging" or looking "flawless." Instead, they should make you feel great about the skin you're in. With this in mind, she launched Oui the People in 2014. Over the years, the brand has become known for its high-performance tools (like the Sensitive Skin Razor) and bodycare offerings.
"I’m hoping to gain insight into building a world-class brand at one of the leading retailers, as well as the connection to mentors and founders," Young says. "The Sephora Accelerate Program includes people I've long admired, so I'm thrilled to be in this class of founders changing the face and culture of beauty as we know it."
Of Other Worlds
Simedar Jackson's skincare brand, Of Other Worlds, is clinically-conscious, culturally inclusive, and science-forward. "Being a member of the 2023 Sephora Accelerate Class means Of Other Worlds will keep moving forward," Jackson shares. "As a solo founder with limited resources, building this brand over the past year and a half has been rewarding and precarious. Dedicated support from industry experts and the chance to build connections with other founders opens previously locked doors that directly impact the brand's momentum and viability."