A team of 14 L’Oréal alumni formed The Ready Set, the industry's first reported global think tank, for multicultural entrepreneurs and brands.
Further reading: L'Oreal H1 and Q2 2020 Show Resilience
Former executives and global business consultants of L’Oréal are on a mission to change the beauty industry by "redirecting it to become more cross-cultural and differentiated at every level."
Corey Huggins founded The Ready Set to share the best "think tank" practices and strategies for starting, growing and scaling within the beauty industry.
The think tank, Ready to Beauty, will start with a series of initiatives including:
- Readiness is the New Green: An economic and social reform survey—an economic data collection for beauty focused on the Black and Latinx markets.
- The Future of Multicultural Beauty: A webinar addressing the nuances of the multicultural beauty market, its growth patterns and the strategies needed to make meaningful consumer connections uncomplicated.
Members of the organization include:
- Corey Huggins, founder, global CEO & managing director
- Dulce Almario, director of global marketing cosmo international fragrances
- Marcia Cole, founder & CEO, Ivy Digital
- Jawauna Greene, marketing management consultant
- Michael James, founder, Frederick Benjamin Grooming
- Maureen Murunga, head of marketing L’Oréal East Africa
- Ylorie Anderson-Taylor, strategic executive & board member Ready to Beauty
- Tanya Choi, president Breathing Beauty
- Stephanie Flor, travelista-in-chief Around the World Beauty
- Violet Jackson, director of education, Dermalogica
- Kenecia Lashae, travel influencer & creator
- Dr. Brooke Carlson, professor cosmetics & fragrance marketing management, Fashion Institute of Technology
- Clarisa Wilson, proprietor, Brentwood Beauty Atelier
- Jim Morrison, CEO, Availabio
Global Cosmetic Industry reached out to Huggins to learn more about the initiative.
What are your top goals for this initiative?
Huggins: We want to provide an access road for beauty. Breaking into the industry can be hard, particularly if you are multicultural, because it is a very insular business. Therefore, I don't want any qualified person of color, whether it be an entrepreneur, brand owner or a future company executive, to have to walk the same unpaved road I did when I first entered the Industry. Consequently, I started Ready to Beauty to meet those specific obstacles faced when trying to enter the business and, thereby, pave a pathway for success.
Additionally, Ready to Beauty wants to challenge the very manner in which the ‘business of beauty’ is conducted within the Industry. We want to upend conventions and introduce better ways of thinking about, defining and activating beauty all while redistributing the economics that drive it for multicultural entrepreneurs and brands.
Last, we want to expand beauty. Literally make it more representative, diverse and inclusive cross culturally. That is why we say we are ... "multicultural and internationally diverse, too" in the name of Black and Brown. All its members (not advisers) are people of color.
What are the leading challenges facing multicultural beauty founders/brands?
Huggins: Once having entered the industry, the main challenges facing entrepreneurs and brands are lack of opportunities by way of distribution and capital. This is why we launched our capital growth fund, Ready to Invest, for a first-of-its kind of fund specifically focused on multicultural beauty brand development. The goals of the Capital Growth Fund are:
- To identify niche & emerging brands of color with founders of Black, Latinx, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Native American/Indigenous descent (i.e.: Black and Brown) that represent a highly unique value proposition in the beauty marketplace.
- To invest strategically, at various levels of support, in effort to significantly move selected brands forward while simultaneously creating a first-ever luxury multicultural roll-up.
- This multi-million dollar, multi-expert endeavor will address the three major pain points facing multicultural entrepreneurs and brands relating to distribution and capital today:
- Purchase order financing
- Acquiring distribution
- Direct equity investment
Where do you hope to see the multicultural beauty sector go in the next few years?
Huggins: First and foremost, I want to see the segment get its due respect. Without respect, things cannot be equitable.
From the above, I hope to see the same level—and quality, too—of opportunities for marketing, sales, promotion, education and investments come to qualified and deserving entrepreneurs and brands of color as their general market counterparts.
And at the end of the day, I hope that today’s beauty dreams become tomorrow's beauty brand legacies in efforts to create generational wealth for Black and Brown people.