Sephora, TikTok Launch Program To Support Beauty Startup Founders

Sephora wants to rev beauty’s start-up engines, using a new partnership with TikTok and Digitas. The Sephora x TikTok Incubator Program aims to pair beauty brands from Accelerate, an incubator that focuses on founders of color, with TikTok creators.

It will use educational training modules to help these founders gain the social-media swagger they’ll need to make it beyond beauty brand babyhood.

TikTok teachers will include big names from #beautytok -- including Amy Chang, Nyma Tang and Rocio Lopez-Jimenez -- helping participants improve their brand narratives.

“Our partnership with Sephora and Digitas aims to educate brands on the importance of a DEI-first approach to creator partnerships,” says Soniya Monga, who heads TikTok’s U.S. agency partnerships, in the announcement.

"Together, we are building a framework that celebrates diversity and intersectionality, ensuring that every brand can accelerate their growth and success on TikTok through inclusive and impactful storytelling.”



The LVMH-owned retailer launched Sephora Accelerate in 2016, intending to build a community of innovative, inspirational brand founders in the prestige beauty business. The six-month curriculum includes mentorship, grants, merchandising support, investor connections, and the coveted ability to launch at Sephora North America.

In other Sephora news, Kohl’s is announcing the locations of 250 new Sephora at Kohl’s in its ongoing rollout of the partnership. That means the expansion is meeting initial expectations -- good news given its recent struggles.

Sephora at Kohl’s, which commands 2,500 square feet inside remodeled stores, will eventually include all 1,100-plus Kohl’s locations and is ultimately expected to generate $2 billion in annual sales by 2025.

The shops mimic the look and feel of freestanding Sephora, staffed by Sephora-trained advisors who can make recommendations.

Kohl’s, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, says eight million people made a beauty purchase at Sephora at Kohl’s last year. In the fourth quarter, when the chain posted a 7% decline in sales, total beauty sales increased by 90%.

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