2020 is the fifth year of the Sephora Accelerate initiative to support and advance entrepreneur-led beauty startups.
“Our goal with the Sephora Accelerate program was to not only help 50+ high-potential, women-led businesses get their big break, but to also create a lasting and sustainable community for all those involved to benefit from long after their participation in the program,” says Corrie Conrad, Vice President of Sephora Stands, in this week’s media release about the 2020 Sephora Accelerate cohort. (Sephora Stands is the beauty retailer’s umbrella term for diversity and inclusion, social impact, and sustainability initiatives.)
“We are proud,” she says, “of what this program has accomplished in five short years, from helping dozens of individual businesses thrive, to creating personal and professional connections and education for all.”
And Conrad notes that “the program is ever-expanding, and with brands from Germany and Singapore on board for the first time this year, we look forward to building an even richer and more diverse experience now and into the future.”
What it’s all about and who’s in the 2020 cohort
Sephora Accelerate is a six-month program that includes a week of education and interaction with Sephora corporate insiders and brand founders, mentoring from company leaders and industry experts, grants, and the opportunity to pitch at the Sephora Accelerate Demo Day, where successful pitches can garner investment and/or partnership.
Here (taken verbatim from the company’s media release) are the 13 women-led beauty businesses joining Sephora Accelerate in 2020:
- Angela Caglia, Founder, Angela Caglia Skincare (U.S.)
Angela Caglia Skincare is a natural product line that empowers the consumer to create facial self-care rituals at home. Dedicated to developing supercharged formulas to match even the most sensitive skin, each product contains organic and natural ingredients to protect skin from inflammation and over sensitization.
- Kailey Bradt, Founder, OWA Haircare (U.S.)
OWA Haircare is a first-of-a-kind water-activated clean beauty product. Its waterless, concentrated formulas are not only good for the planet, but also good for you and your hair, too.
- Ada Juristovski, Co-Founder, Nala Care (Canada)
Nala is a skincare company driven by a personal loss for the founders. All products are free from carcinogens, aluminum, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol and cruelty.
- Helena Mendes, Founder, Mawena (France)
Mawena is a vegan, cruelty-free, organic skincare line created through the prisms of green beauty for all, engagement and inclusivity. The brand has a 100% Mayan Women’s cooperative in Mexico and donates a percentage of proceeds for each product sold.
- Zaffrin O’Sullivan, Co-Founder, Five Dot Botanics (UK)
Five Dot Botanics is a gender-neutral minimal ingredient skincare brand using only five ingredients in each product.
- Jennifer Baum, Founder, Gitti (Germany)
Gitti is a natural-based, vegan nail color brand, with a mission to revolutionize the nail polish industry with better products for consumers and for the sustainability of the planet.
- Renate Lozano, Founder, Own Authentic Cosmetics (Mexico)
Own Authentic Cosmetics is a clean cosmetic brand designed to change the customer’s experience with customizable products. Clients can customize their OWN collections, creating their own kind of beauty.
- Fernanda Kawazoe, Co-Founder, SOBREBARBA (Brazil)
SOBREBARBA, the first beard care company in Brazil, offers grooming products derived from natural sources. They encourage recycling and to, “always act responsibly,” with a percentage of their profits donated to reforestation projects in the Amazon forest.
- Jasmine Kang, Founder, Skinlycious (Singapore)
Skinlycious aspires to be the one-stop skincare solution for acne, acne-prone and oily skin. With distinctive active ingredients that cater to different groups of acne-battlers, the products are backed by scientific and clinical research.
- Aileen Wei, Co-Founder, Zero Waste Beauty (China)
Zero Waste Beauty is a vegan personal care line with sustainability at its core. Its bath, body and perfume products are oil and powder based, formulated with plant-based ingredients, and packaged in biodegradable and recycled materials to adhere to its zero waste principles.
- Keira Rumble, Founder, Habitual Beauty (Australia)
Habitual Beauty is a line of beauty food, nutraceutical and wellness products. Backed by science and making use of high-quality ingredients, the brand aids to seamlessly fit into women’s routines to slow down the visible signs of aging.
- Kymberlee Hill, Co-Founder, Curl IQ (U.S.)
Curl IQ turns photos of textured hair into personalized product recommendations, offering consumers with textured hair an easy and personalized shopping experience, and helping brands drive customer interaction and conversation.
- Dawn Myers, Founder, THE MOST (U.S.)
THE MOST Mint, an all-in-one styling tool, streamlines the process of detangling and applying product to highly textured hair, making the process faster, easier, and more convenient.
Deanna Utroske specializes in news coverage of the current indie beauty movement; and incubator and accelerator programs like Sephora's intersect directly with this innovative segment of the industry.
As Editor of the website CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily articles about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.