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MUSE Accelerator

We’re on a mission to magnify, uplift, support and empower underrepresented founders of color through in-depth training, tools and brand-building expertise.

That’s a wrap on our 2023 cohort! Applications for the 2024 cohort will open in late spring/early summer of 2024.

Celebrating Our 2023 Cohort

Jot these eight brands down now—you’re going to be seeing big things from them.

Founded by

Devin McGhee Kirkland & Brit Kirkland

See their story

Stress management from the inside out. This adaptogenic-centered brand supports the body’s natural ability to handle stress for healthy skin.

Founded by

Tonya Thompson & Sharie Wilson

See their story

Said to have “magic hair-growing hands,” these sisters created a cruelty-free, vegan, system-based brand that promotes hair growth and retention.

Founded by

Melissa Samuel

See their story

Want the nail styles celebrities have? Same. We love how FinesseYourClaws press-on nails offers luxe, affordable designs so you can easily switch up your style.

Founded by

Octavia Morgan

See their story

Clean, natural fragrances that smell rich and complex? Oh, yes. Each product boasts a signature blend designed for a one-of-a-kind sensory experience.

Founded by

Jessica Pritchett

See their story

Loc-specific formulas—with ingredients you can pronounce. Focusing on innovation and self-love, OOLI values quality, efficacy and sustainability.

Founded by

Olivia Bae & Hyeri Sung

See their story

“Treat yourself” vibes, but on a budget. Perseve’s salon-quality formulas and natural ingredients are luxe, but clean, cruelty-free and accessible.

Founded by

Leigh Joseph / Styawat

See their story
Skwálwen Botanicals

Uniting ancestral traditions with modern beauty rituals, Skwálwen Botanicals encourages a connection to the natural, botanical world.

Founded by

Ana Núñez

See their story
Vida Bars

Your hair deserves the best. Vida Bars celebrates the beauty of textured hair and promotes sustainability with no plastic bottles and no waste.

Meet the 2023 mentors

From the beginning stages to the boardroom, these beauty brand founders know what it takes to help your brand thrive.


Fiona Co Chan

CEO & Founder

Buttah Skin

Dorion Renaud

CEO & Founder

Hero Cosmetics

Ju Rhyu

CEO & Co-Founder

Better Not Younger

Sonsoles Gonzalez

CEO & Founder

good light

David Yi

CEO & Co-Founder


Monique & Melvin Rodriguez

CEO & Co-Founder, COO & Co-Founder


Sarah Cheung

Owner & Co-Founder

Kreyòl Essence

Yve-Car Momperousse & Stéphane Jean-Baptiste

CEO & Co-Founder, COO & Co-Founder

MUSE Accelerator FAQ's

What is the MUSE Accelerator?

The MUSE Accelerator supports eight BIPOC beauty brands as they prepare to launch and thrive in retail. We will educate, inspire and support diverse leaders, founders and entrepreneurs with time, resources and mentorship for retail readiness. In tandem, we’ll nurture a community to help empower each selected participant’s journey.

Who is eligible to apply?

We welcome eligible brands across all beauty categories to apply if they are:

  • BIPOC-owned

  • Early staged with market presence, awareness or have DTC revenue

  • Not currently sold at a major retailer

  • Shelf-ready and have more than one product (one category preferred)

  • Seeking to meaningfully grow and develop

  • Eager to learn from leading industry experts

  • Able and willing to fully commit to the 10-week program

  • At least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and currently residing in the U.S.

To learn more about applicant guidelines, visit

How long does the MUSE Accelerator run?

The program is 10 weeks, from start to completion.

What does the curriculum entail?

The 10-week curriculum, led by Ulta Beauty executives, partners and various industry leaders, focuses on brand development for retail readiness. Topics include:

  • Brand Strategy & Positioning: 360-degree planning that provides tools, support, and resources needed for long-term success.

  • Retail 101: Expert training to successfully launch, grow and thrive in a national, omni-channel retail environment.

  • Product Development: Tips to maximize product development, packaging innovation and production timelines.

  • P&L & Financial Management: A critical course on financial planning and developing an expense roadmap.

What will MUSE Accelerator brands receive?

This 10-week opportunity is anchored in retail readiness and industry expertise. Selected brands will receive $50,000 to support long-term success in addition to time, resources, and mentorship throughout the engaging program.

Will acceptance into the MUSE Accelerator ensure distribution into Ulta Beauty?

Our goal is to ensure participating brands are armed with the necessary tools, funding and resources to successfully launch and thrive in an omni-channel retail environment. Selected brands will have the opportunity to pitch their business to Ulta Beauty merchants at the end of the program, but there is no guarantee any will launch at Ulta Beauty as part of the program.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications for the 2024 cohort will open in late spring/early summer of 2024.

What is the 2022 MUSE Accelerator cohort up to now?

POUND CAKE, an award-winning lipstick brand founded by Camille Bell and Johnny Velasquez, launched at Ulta Beauty in the fall of 2023. The other MUSE Accelerator brands are taking big steps toward their individual goals—stay tuned for more on them soon! Each brand founder will stay connected to Ulta Beauty leaders as they continue learning and thriving in the industry.

See the full list of the MUSE Accelerator 2022 cohort


Have more questions? Contact us

Please contact should you have any questions.