Ulta Beauty Expands Commitment to DCI Initiatives in the Beauty Industry


Ulta Beauty

announced its MUSE 100 initiative which is a celebration of 100 beautifully inspiring black voices. In February, the MUSE platform was introduced to Magnify, Uplift, Support and Empower Black voices in beauty and the recent announcement reinforces its commitment to amplify black voices in retail. MUSE 100 rewards key industry change makers, including brand founders, activists, writers and makeup artists. A full list of the MUSE 100 is available on the Ulta Beauty website.

Dave Kimbell, CEO of Ulta Beauty, said in an interview: “I really love celebrating the 100 inspiring and compelling influencers and change makers who are changing the world around us. Kimbell explained how their stories allow others to learn from people who really make a difference in society as a whole. Ulta Beauty invests in these brands and provides them with a platform to amplify their voices.

Categories of excellence in the beauty industry

Ulta Beauty, with its DCI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Council and industry partners, has identified 10 categories of recognition for black businesses and leaders. According to the press release, the categories include:

Makeup wizards: Those who make the world a better place – makeup artists and innovators

Hair Elevators: Stylists and influencers are changing the hair game one strand, braid or twist at a time

Style designers: Icons and trendsetters in the fashion space

Well manufacturers: Executives and Founders Celebrating the Beauty of Wellness and Mental Health

History changers: Those who tell the stories of black beauty

Cultural creators: Influencers, content creators and curators are the engines of culture today and tomorrow

Luminous leaders: Change agents and entrepreneurs lead and light the way

Executive Excellence: Beauty bosses, movers and shakers making an impact in the industry

Intrepid Founders: Those who change the face of beauty and storm the rays

The Next Gen Muses: Emerging Young Black Leaders Shake Our World

Tomi Talabi, founder of the Black Beauty Club, is recognized in the Executive Excellence category. Talabi was born in Africa and has always believed that beauty is not about products but about community. She founded her business to create a community and ecosystem around beauty. The Black Beauty Club is on Clubhouse, a voice-based social network where people come together to talk, listen and learn in real time. The Black Beauty Club allows all members of the social network to participate in conversations about black beauty and to listen to others by creating an engaging community. Talabi said: “To bring about change, we all need allies regardless of gender or race; change doesn’t come from screaming loud, change happens when we scream together.

Talabi was surprised to receive MUSE 100 recognition because she believes her role is to help others amplify their voices. She commented, “I work behind the scenes to promote others and provide people with networking and connection opportunities. However, when I saw the list of muses, I was humbled to be part of such a large group of black leaders, change makers and founders. Talabi explained how in 2017 Fenty really paved the way for expanding assortments for people of color, but believes many companies have failed to truly drive the long-term change. As of 2019, however, there are more commitments and actions underway in the beauty space to expand access and opportunities for black-owned beauty brands. Talabi said, “Longer term commitments are being made by companies to advance DCI initiatives like the work Ultra Beauty has done this year. ”

The future of beauty should encompass a more integrated display of products in a store and not have products separated by BIPOC-owned brands (black, native, people of color). Talabi said, “Brands and products owned by BIPOC should be in product assortments because they deserve to be there. They should not be there solely on the merit of being a brand belonging to BIPOC.

MUSE 100 selection process

The MUSE 100s were selected based on their ability to advance DCI initiatives through their leadership, product development and ability to drive change. A panel of industry experts and Ulta Beauty’s own DCI board have selected MUSE 100 recipients to receive a $ 10,000 grant to accelerate their continued impact and influence, totaling over $ 1 million in engagement. Ultra Beauty dollars. These funds are in addition to the $ 25 million DCI commitments made by the company in February of this year.

When asked which of these programs or commitments are contributing the most to DCI’s growth in the beauty industry, Kimbell said, “No single initiative is enough, which is why we approached this process as a multi-faceted process and invested time, money and resources to accelerate the roles of black-owned brands. He explained how making the voice of black-owned brands heard better reflects the world around us and makes Ultra Beauty a more connected business. The goal is to make Ultra Beauty a great place to shop and work for everyone. An impressive 47% of the Ulta Beauty workforce identify as people of color.

Ulta Beauty DCI Advisor Tracee Ellis Ross, Cosmopolitan Beauty Director Julee Wilson, Melanin Haircare Entrepreneur and Co-Founder Whitney White, and Celebrity Stylist Mecca James Williams helped select the 100 honored muses. . “I am excited and constantly encouraged by Ultra Beauty’s continued commitments,” said Tracee Ellis Ross, DE&I Advisor at Ulta Beauty and CEO and Founder of PATTERN Beauty. “The MUSE 100 demonstrates a significant evolution of Ulta Beauty’s mission to raise black voices. By shining a light on these inspiring change agents, we empower black communities and continue the important work of fostering fundamental change. “

Shontay Lundy, Founder of Black Girl Sunscreen, is recognized in the Fearless Founder category and said: “The experience of being selected as one of the 100 Muses has been amazing, it confirms that I am doing something right and that I’m making a difference. ” The inspiration for her brand has centered on women of color who want to spend time outdoors and in the sun while being protected. Lundy discussed the slow pace of progress over the past decade and the fact that black consumers historically had no assortment options in the store. Lundy said, “Black beauty brands don’t receive validation until a major retailer offers the products.” Customers are disadvantaged because they have no visibility on the excellence of the products marketed. Lundy also explained that not all beauty brands have the same access and the same opportunities to be successful. Black Girl Sunscreen is an all-female, all-black company and proves that it can create greatness, said Lundy: “We want the world to know that we promote diversity and to be recognized as an innovator and a pioneer in this space is very rewarding. “

Ulta Beauty helps amplify black voices

In addition to being featured on the Ulta Beauty MUSE 100 website, the award winners’ stories will be shared on Ulta Beauty’s social media and amplified by the company’s media partnerships to inspire others. Kimbell explained how the MUSE 100 and other DCI initiatives are long-term commitments for Ulta Beauty: “These initiatives are an ongoing journey and not a final destination; our goal is to reflect our values ​​and continue to amplify the underrepresented and ultimately lead industry change. Kimbell explained how there is still work to be done and Ulta Beauty wants to lead those efforts within the company, its partners and the industry as a whole.

One of the ways the company will measure the success of its DCI initiatives is by following through on its commitment to double the number of black-owned brands in its assortment by the end of 2021. Ulta Beauty plans to invest more than $ 4 million in marketing support for black-owned brands. brands to fuel brand awareness. The company is committed to devoting 15% of its purchasing power to brands owned by blacks. Another measure is to monitor employee in-store training to see that it provides a service that reflects the values ​​of the company. Kimbell said that Ulta Beauty is committed to hiring a more diverse workforce, including having a more diverse board of directors.

Ulta Beauty operates more than 1,250 retail stores in 50 states and also distributes products through its website. Last November, Ulta Beauty announced a partnership with Target comprising Ulta Beauty shop-in-shop stores within 100 Target.

stores that were launched last August.


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