Ulta Beauty Announces 2023 MUSE Accelerator Cohort
Eight early-stage BIPOC beauty brands will embark on a 10-week journey to prepare for retail readiness
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ulta Beauty, the nation’s largest beauty retailer, today announced its MUSE Accelerator cohort of 2023. Beginning this week, eight-early stage BIPOC beauty brands spanning body care, fragrance, skincare, nail, and hair categories will embark on an engaging 10-week journey featuring a robust curriculum, mentorship and funding to fuel growth and prepare for retail distribution.
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Ulta Beauty MUSE Accelerator 2023 Cohort (Photo: Business Wire)
The MUSE Accelerator is one of many ways Ulta Beauty ensures its unique assortment is inclusive, truly representing All Things Beauty for all beauty enthusiasts. After a successful inaugural year, the MUSE Accelerator returns to Magnify, Uplift, Support and Empower a new cohort of founders, bringing them the opportunity to further build their beauty brand and learn from and engage with industry experts. In addition, these founders will have access to resources to learn how to propel growth and help establish a foundation for long-term success. Fostering a community of passionate, BIPOC founders who will share in this experience, is another important element helping to ensure participants can thrive in the evolving beauty space, while building a foundation and support network anchored in inclusivity that can help drive equitable and sustainable change.
“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.”
Meet the 2023 MUSE Accelerator Cohort:
- 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.
- 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.
Ulta Beauty introduced the MUSE Accelerator in 2022 underscoring its continued commitment to amplify underrepresented voices while curating and nurturing a diverse and inclusive assortment. Now, in its second year, the program aims to continue to build upon its success through an inspiring 10-week curriculum comprised of virtual and in-person sessions that address every stage of retail preparedness, empowering participants to launch and learn to thrive in any retail setting. Highlights include:
- Retail 101: Expert training on successfully launching, growing, and thriving in a national, omni-channel retail environment.
- Brand Strategy & Positioning: An immersive, 360-degree planning session that provides tools, support, and resources needed for long-term success.
- 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.
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, a critical element to nurturing the brands’ development and long-term success. MUSE Accelerator 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.
The MUSE Accelerator will kick off September 2023, and will conclude in November 2023. To learn more, visit www.ulta.com/company/dei/muse/muse-accelerator.
About Ulta Beauty
At Ulta Beauty, the possibilities are beautiful. Ulta Beauty is the largest U.S. beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products and salon services. In 1990, the Company reinvented the beauty retail experience by offering a new way to shop for beauty – bringing together All Things Beauty, All in One Place®. Today, Ulta Beauty operates more than 1,350 retail stores across 50 states and also distributes its products through its website, which includes a collection of tips, tutorials, and social content. For more information, visit https://www.ulta.com.
Ulta Beauty Media Contact:
Director, Public Relations
Source: Ulta Beauty
Released September 12, 2023