Ulta chooses 8 BIPOC-led brands for MUSE acceleration program


Ultimate beauty launched his 10 weeks MUSE Accelerator program on September 12, 2022 as part of the retailer’s initiative to drive greater acceptance, diversity, equity and inclusion in the beauty industry by 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 color founders, and set these brands up for success. In addition, each brand will receive $50,000 in financial support to help accelerate the company’s growth and continue to evolve.

The eight MUSE brands, chosen from the wellness, skincare, haircare, makeup and fragrance segments, are:

  • pound cakea cosmetics company for various skin and lip tones, by Camille Bell and Jonathan Velazquez;
  • Squigsa premium ingredient-based skin and hair care brand by Nikita Charuza;
  • OUR SIDEa perfume brand formerly known as Aspen Apothecary, by Katja and Keta Burke-Williams;
  • Bonita Fierce Candlescreated by Melissa Gallardo to celebrate diversity;
  • Sade-Barona body care line created by mother-daughter founders Rachel and Folosade Lambo to relieve skin conditions;
  • YINAa beauty and wellness brand inspired by Asian medicine and rituals, by Ervina Wu and Angela Gray;
  • The Refig, a bottleless hair care company for eco-friendly curls and beauty solutions, by Tanya Perkins; and
  • Dehiya Beauty by Mia Reddy, featuring plant-based, ethically sourced skincare.

“I am very proud to welcome our first cohort of MUSE Accelerator to Ulta Beauty,” said Monica Arnaudo, Director of Merchandising at Ulta Beauty, in a statement. “These brand founders have worked hard to get here, and our program will help them unlock more of their potential, fuel their growth and reach new heights. [We] understand the importance of greater inclusiveness in beauty and the responsibility we have to create equitable opportunities for BIPOC brands to thrive in our industry.

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