On May 30th, Glossier shared a message in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. The brand's statement of solidarity was shared alongside a pledge to donate $1 million in support of the Black community — $500 thousand to go towards organizations including Black Lives Matter, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, and an additional $500 thousand in the form of grants to Black-owned beauty brands. After receiving and reviewing nearly 10,000 applications, the brand is now ready to introduce its 16 grant recipients.
"These 16 businesses—ranging from a superfood-based beauty and wellness company to a soon-to-launch men’s hair care brand—blew us away with their vision, ingenuity, and passion for changing the beauty industry for the better," Kim Johnson, Senior Community Manager at Glossier, shared in a press release, noting that the brand will continue to amplify the stories of these growing, "industry-shifting" companies in the coming months.
As was laid out at the opening of applications, each grant amount was determined by the stage of business a brand was in, with Glossier offering $10K for pre-launch businesses set to launch within the next 12 months, $30K for early-stage businesses that are working to grow a customer base, and $50K for growth-stage businesses, looking to scale operations.
Since the opening of applications in June, Johnson led a diverse, cross-functional internal panel that reviewed each and every application. In the end, Glossier selected five growth-stage business including Golde, AbsoluteJOI, Melanj Hair, Alodia Hair Care, and Hanahana Beauty.
"As a social impact brand I've been applying for grants since I launched in 2017," Abena Boamah-Acheampong, founder of Hanahana Beauty, shared with NYLON. "I probably had no business applying for some but it was all for practice. This Glossier grant felt like it fit for what Hanahana needed."
Like other brands in this stage, Hanahana intends to use the grant money to sustainably and intentionally scale its operations throughout the United States and Ghana; until now, all of the brand's production has been made internally by hand. "This grant isn't just about money, its opportunity and access," she adds. "To know that so many people read my application and thought that we deserved 50K, I just feel so much gratitude."
Accepted early-stage businesses — the fullest category of the three — include brands Brown Girl Jane, epi.logic, Flaunt Body, kanti, Luna Magic, Redoux, and THE MOST. Lastly, the brands representing the grant initiatives pre-launch businesses include DEON LIBRA, Eadem, Pound Cake, and Wavy Blue. In the latter stage, brands selected were able to make a convincing stance on what they plan to bring to an already crowded market.
"Not only have we been a vocally pro-Black, pro-fat, and pro-queer brand prior to the beauty industry's recent rebranding, but we are also the first company to create non-nude lipsticks designed for specific skin and lip tones," Camille Bell, Pound Cake co-founder, tells NYLON over email. "The way Pound Cake approaches color cosmetics is unique to the industry and we're confident it will change the way others produce and purchase products in the future. As Black [and] brown founders, we feel this grant has evened the playing field for us a little."
The announcement of recipients comes shortly after Glossier broke its silence on the claims of poor work environment — particularly for Black and brown folks — made by former retail employees. In addition to an open apology to those affected, the brand's public statement on Aug. 17, made note of commitments to make Glossier a more "inclusive, growth-oriented, and anti-racist employee experience for our retail team." In a statement shared with NYLON ahead of the Black-owned business grant recipients, founder and CEO Emily Weiss shared similar sentiments.
"As an industry that's so closely tied to personal identity and the way we see ourselves and others, the beauty world has a profound responsibility to help advance racial equity and representation," Weiss shared with NYLON over email. "Supporting this incredible group of founders is an honor, and just one way that we're committed to driving positive change, both within Glossier and beyond."
Ahead, check out just a few of the Glossier Black-owned beauty business grant recipients — and what products will help you get familiar in no time.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Nylon’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
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