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29 Apr

Thirteen Lune Founder Nyakio Grieco’s Vision for Borderless Beauty

Don’t even try putting Nyakio Grieco in a box.

From founding her first eponymous skincare line back in 2002 (subsequently acquired by Unilever) to introducing inclusive beauty retailer Thirteen Lune in 2020 to her latest effort, a multicategory beauty brand called Relevant; Your Skin Seen, the entrepreneur is consistently finding latest avenues to uplift consumers — and brand founders — of color. Here, the 2023 CEW Female Founder Honoree speaks on edifying an industry through community, inclusivity and, every now and then, betting on passion and heart over conventional business value.

What has your trajectory been like in beauty? 

Nyakio Grieco: I’ve been within the industry for 22 years, and for me, slow and regular has won the race; finding a solution to align your passion together with your purpose is the key sauce. I’ve all the time said I actually have an actual trigger to the word “failure,” because we should always welcome it; the entire key learnings and challenges during my early days, after I suffered from imposter syndrome that harmed my ability to take heed to my gut and even grow and scale, have led me to where I’m now.

Which steps are you taking inside your organization to be sure that women’s voices are being heard? 

N.G.: Diversity and inclusion are at the guts of my entire journey, and inside [Thirteen Lune]. Not only are we deeply committed to amplifying Black and brown founders who create products for all, but as a lady and more specifically, a lady of color, I deeply prioritize honoring women who need to take up space on this industry.

What’s one thing about founding and constructing a female-led business that no person tells you?

N.G.: I’m a robust believer that girls will heal the world. There’s magic within the indisputable fact that not only are we hard employees and deeply committed to helping others see their dreams realized, but we frequently operate from a spot of mission-first. One among the things that I used to be truly blessed with on this journey with Thirteen Lune is collaboration in a way I actually have never experienced before; whether or not it’s inside our team, with brand founders or our partner JCPenney — the magic lies in lifting one another up.

What’s your assessment of the wonder industry, and the way has your vision for the role you’ll be able to play in that realm evolved over time?

N.G.: I discover as an everlasting optimist; while it’s disheartening seeing a few of these statistics in regards to the challenges of funding for ladies and folks of color, having been around for 22 years, I see the progress. Sometimes as women, we get caught up in attempting to break down an old paradigm, but I think that my purpose is to indicate others that we’re not here to interrupt those down — we’re here to create a latest paradigm. We’re here to make use of our voices and our brains to indicate the following generation what this beauty industry may be. That’s what allows me to operate in such joy daily, even through the challenges of constructing and scaling a business.

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