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After selling her skin-care brand Nyakio Beauty to Unilever in 2017, Nyakio Grieco set her sights on beauty retail with the launch of Thirteen Lune in 2020. As multiple beauty retailers were pledging to offer at least 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands, she came up with a “90/10” model for Thirteen Lune: 90% of brands are BIPOC-owned, with 10% owned by those who demonstrate allyship.
With $1 million in funding from celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Sean Combs and a $3 million seed round led by Fearless Fund, Thirteen Lune is in the process of taking over all of JCPenney’s former Sephora locations. It also stocks Grieco’s new skin-care venture, Relevant, which was launched in 2022.
Physical retail is a big part of Grieco’s vision for Thirteen Lune, which will be launching its first standalone physical store early this year in Los Angeles. In this week’s episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, Grieco shared her success story from the inspiration of her first brand launched in 2002 to her current beauty ventures. Below are a few highlights from the discussion.
The brand selection process:
“I do truly believe that people buy into people before they buy into products. The beauty industry has a lot of product right now. It’s very saturated. And I think the brands that win in the long run are brands that have a level of authenticity, passion and commitment from the founder at the forefront. And of course, they have to deliver on product.”
Finding the customer in the post-iOS change era:
“In some ways, we were lucky because we were born post the iOS update. So while everybody was flailing, trying to figure out where their customer acquisition had gone wrong, we were just trying to find a new customer and not so stressed about fighting the algorithms.”
The importance of physical stores:
“From day one, even though we were locked down — no stores were open, as we launched in December 2020 — we knew with 100% certainty that this was going to be a fully omnichannel business. We did not expect to get a call 90 days after we launched from JCPenney. But yes, we had always known that we wanted this to be fully omni and and also global.”