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Ulta launches collaborative collection with Essence

Published
today Sep 20, 2019
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Cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty and communications company Essence celebrated the culmination of a year-long collaborative mentoring program for young African-American women with the release of the Essence x Ulta Beauty Girls United collection on Thursday.


The collection was produced in collaboration with the program's six participants - Photo: Ulta Beauty

 
Developed alongside the program’s participants, the collection features an eyeshadow palette, four high-shine lip glosses, two highlighter sticks, and a make-up bag.
 
Ulta and Essence began their partnership in fall 2018, launching a mentoring initiative giving six young African-American women, aged 16 to 19, the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the beauty industry.

As well as co-creating the cosmetics collection, program participants received career counsel from leaders at Ulta and Essence, and took part in development activities.
 
The initiative also resulted in the creation of “Essence Girls United: Beautiful Possibilities,” a six-part web series about the six young women’s experiences in the beauty industry during the program.
 
“Essence is incredibly proud of each of these young women who not only have delivered an outstanding product, but were also able to have this amazing experience,” explained MoAna Luu, Essence’s chief content and creative officer, in a release. “We are so tremendously grateful for Ulta Beauty’s partnership and support for our Girls United initiative to empower young women and to bring this spectacular campaign to life.”
 
Essence Communications is a New York-based media, technology and commerce company that seeks to inspire black women around the globe with storytelling and immersive content presented through a multi-platform approach that includes publishing, online media and events.
 
“We’re excited to continue this partnership with Essence and have the chance to both impact and learn from our next class of future leaders,” added Karla Davis, senior director of marketing at Ulta Beauty.
 
Ulta Beauty and Essence will launch the second round of the program, “Beautiful Possibilities 2.0,” in fall of this year.
 
The Essence x Ulta Beauty Girls United collection is available now in Ulta Beauty stores, as well as on the retailer’s e-commerce site.
 
On Thursday, Ulta also announced that Stitch Fix COO Mike Smith is joining its board as an independent director.

The executive brings more than 27 years of experience in financial services, technology and retail to his new role, including a nine-year stint at Walmart, where he also served as COO.
 
Smith holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of California, Berkley’s Haas School. His appointment is effective September 18, 2019.
 
“We are delighted to welcome Mike Smith to Ulta Beauty’s Board of Directors,” commented Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon in a separate release. “Mike’s deep retail experience and strong understanding of data analytics and logistics through a customer-centric lens will be of great value to Ulta Beauty as we continue execute our strategies to drive long-term shareholder value.”

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