Glossier announces initiative for Black-owned beauty businesses

In an effort to change how the world sees beauty, Glossier is starting with tackling the beauty industry itself. 

How you may ask? The cult beauty brand has today announced its grant initiative, in support of Black-owned beauty businesses.

"When Glossier launched in 2014, we were fortunate to be one of the rare female-founded businesses to successfully raise venture capital; that year, only 3.1 per cent of venture dollars raised by US-based companies went to women," said Glossier founder and CEO, Emily Weiss.

"We are also keenly aware that a Black woman with the very same vision likely would not have received the same support. Black consumers wield an enormous amount of purchasing power, yet Black women have received only .0006 percent of the $424.7 billion raised in venture capital since 2009."

On May 30, Glossier committed to putting $1 million to work: $500K in donations to organisations fighting racial injustice, and another $500K in the form of grants to Black-owned beauty businesses. 

"Starting today, the application process for those grants is open - Black beauty entrepreneurs based in the U.S. can apply for grants of $10K, $30K and $50K, depending on the stage of their business," explained Weiss.

"Businesses that are selected will also have the opportunity to connect with relevant team members at Glossier for 1:1 advisory support and monthly calls with domain experts (think supply chain, packaging, content strategy, etc). We’ll also use our channels to introduce these founders, their stories, and their businesses to our community."

The grants will focus on companies that sell physical beauty products: cosmetics, skincare; products or tools for face, body and hair. And while Glossier recognise that this is only one facet of the beauty world, it believe it’s where it can have the most impact, especially when it comes to sharing what the company has learned. 

Applications will be evaluated by a cross-functional internal panel consisting of colleagues from Into The Gloss, creative, finance and community, led by longtime community manager, Kim Johnson. Submissions will be evaluated based on message, brand and business plan criteria.

"I also want to acknowledge and own that when it comes to changing the beauty industry, we have meaningful work to do within Glossier," added Weiss.

Glossier was one of the brands who stepped up to the #PullUpOrShutUp challenge, which is fighting for diversity in the industry. The company shared that it has 250 corporate employees, and 9 per cent identify as Black. As for VPs and higher, it has no Black employees in leadership positions.

"Creating an inclusive beauty industry starts with taking a hard look at where Glossier falls short and actively working towards building an organisation that better reflects the customers we serve and the world we want to see. We plan to start holding ourselves accountable publicly by sharing our progress on an annual basis."

"Today belongs to the leaders of the future. We are humbled to play a small role in supporting those leaders’ missions, visions and successes, and can’t wait to amplify their stories," concluded Weiss.