Ulta Beauty launched its 10-week MUSE Accelerator program on Sept. 12, 2022 as part of the retailer’s initiative to drive greater acceptance, diversity, equity and inclusion in the beauty industry through supporting emerging brands. The program will provide time, resources, one-on-one mentorship and educational opportunities from industry leaders to help build eight beauty companies, led by founders of color, and prepare these brands for success. Additionally, each brand will receive $50,000 in financial support to help accelerate business growth and continue to scale.
The eight MUSE brands, chosen from the wellness, skincare, haircare, makeup and fragrance segments, are:
- Pound Cake, a cosmetics company for diverse skin and lip tones, by Camille Bell and Jonathan Velazquez;
- Squigs, a skincare and haircare brand made from quality ingredients, by Nikita Charuza;
- OURSIDE, a fragrance brand formerly known as Aspen Apothecary, by Katja and Keta Burke-Williams;
- Bonita Fierce Candles, created by Melissa Gallardo to celebrate diversity;
- Sade Baron, a body care line created by mother-daughter founders Rachel and Folosade Lambo to alleviate skin conditions;
- YINA, a beauty and wellness brand inspired by Asian medicine and rituals, by Ervina Wu and Angela Gray;
- The Refig, a bottle-free haircare company for curls and eco-friendly beauty solutions, by Tanya Perkins; and
- Dehiya Beauty by Mia Reddy, offering plant-based, ethically sourced skincare.
“I’m so proud to welcome our first MUSE Accelerator cohort to Ulta Beauty,” said Monica Arnaudo, Chief Merchandising Officer at Ulta Beauty in a statement. “These brand founders have worked hard to get to this point, and our program will help them further ignite their potential, fuel growth and reach new heights. [We] understand the importance of greater inclusivity within beauty and the responsibility we have to create equitable opportunities for BIPOC brands to thrive in our industry.”