Ulta Beauty has announced the start of its Muse Accelerator cohort of 2023, which will have eight early-stage BIPOC beauty brands embarking on a 10-week journey that will consist of a curriculum, mentorship and funding to aid in growth and preparation for retail distribution.
“We’re excited to welcome our 2023 Muse Accelerator participants to the Ulta Beauty family,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer, Ulta Beauty. “As retail leaders and brand builders, we have a responsibility to create space and opportunities for all brands, particularly those who have been underrepresented to thrive in our industry and nurture an inclusive assortment that reflects the beautifully diverse community we serve. This year’s participants are a shining example of the bright future of beauty, and we can’t wait for the world to meet them.”
Devin McGhee Kirkland and Brit Kirkland, DEON LIBRA: An elevated adaptogenic stress care brand that formulates products to support the body’s natural ability to handle stress and activate lasting healthy skin;
Jessica Pritchett, OOLI: A plant-based, unisex hair care system formulated for Locs that is leaping bunny certified, sustainably developed, and made right in the USA;
Sharie Wilson and Tonya Thompson, DreamGirls: A 5-step Healthy Hair Care System to help Black women grow their natural hair, retain length, and achieve long-term hair health;
Ana Nuñez, Vida Bars: An inclusive sustainable hair brand offering solid haircare products formulated for various texture types;
Octavia Morgan, Octavia Morgan Los Angeles: A unisex clean fine fragrance and beauty company offering parfums, beauty products, and home fragrances with unique signature blends designed for a one-of-a-kind sensory experience;
Leigh Joseph, Skwalwen Botanicals: Provides clean, effective, luxury plant-based skincare inspired by ancestral knowledge and sustainable relationships with plants;
Olivia Bae and Hyeri Sung, PERSEVE: An expert-formulated premium haircare brand offering prestige products at an affordable price; and
Melissa Samuel, FinesseYourClaws: Provides luxury press on nails in on-trend, cutting-edge designs for the everyday consumer at a fraction of the price you would pay in a salon.
The 10-week curriculum will address the stages of retail preparedness and will help participants launch and grow their brands in any retail setting, the company said.
In addition, Ulta Beauty experts across the company along with industry leaders at Meta, TikTok, Métier Creative, and True Beauty Ventures, among other facilitators, will provide mentorship and insight to participants.
Mentors for 2023 include brand founders Monique and Melvin Rodriguez of Mielle; David Yi of Good Light; Fiona Co Chan of Youthforia; Sonsoles Gonzalez of Better Not Younger; Ju Rhyu of Hero Cosmetics; Dorion Renaud of Buttah Skin; Yve-Car Momperousse and Stéphane Jean-Baptiste of Kreyòl Essence; and Sarah Cheung of Sacheu Beauty.