We created thirteen lune to highlight brands and founders who, for far too long, have been neglected in terms of capital and retail partnerships. 

Co-Founder Nyakio Grieco
Nyakio Grieco, photographed by Beau Nelson

I have invested 20 years of my life into building a beauty business and learned an immeasurable amount more than gross margins and shipping protocols. It has truly been the lessons learned off the page and outside of an office that shaped my perspective on the beauty industry and beyond.

I love being a beauty entrepreneur and these experiences have driven to me to address an urgency in the industry. Being in the beauty trenches as a woman of color has been profoundly challenging, disappointing, and ultimately life-affirming. But it did not need to be so difficult and at times demoralizing. As well, I continue to see such incredible talent not recognized at the level it needs to be. As I thought about what would have helped me and others move forward, my mission became clear—create a community to help Black beauty founders realize success more quickly, with amplified support and on a bigger stage.

Photo Credit: Grieco age 3 1/2
Grieco, age 3 1/2

thirteen lune is that opportunity—elevating Black founders and addressing the much bigger issue of alleviating systemic racism by building generational wealth in our community.  We have long been purchasers of products created by owners who are not Black. Our support positively impacted their bottom line. But this support did not swing back to build our communities and entrepreneurs. We deserve to have a voice and this same opportunity.

Our worth and contributions need to be valued. Traditionally, the marketplace speaking to Black brands has not given us the space as a collective to discuss the fact that most of us make products for everyone. Making personal care that works for us does not mean that it is created only for us. We are our test market and make products that enhance our natural beauty, but we must also be granted the opportunity to create for people of all skin colors. Our unique knowledge, heritage and innovation have value for all. 

We created thirteen lune to highlight brands and founders who, for far too long, have been neglected in terms of capital and retail partnerships.

I cherish the many wins and support I have received along the way, yet there has been an undercurrent of oppression that has not always been so obvious. I looked at so much of this oppression as personal failure but then realized that these challenges had to do with being a woman—a Black woman. Throughout my 20 years in the industry coupled with our current, heightened call for social justice, it is time for change. We as an industry can be doing so much more to make that happen.

Thankfully, there has been a swell of support and allyship by people in our industry who are not Black and committed to doing better. thirteen lune fosters this allyship in an authentic way and with a platform in which non-Black-owned brands can find us, speak with us and we can all come together in a way that shows true partnership and community.

We can come together.

Beauty is one size fits all. Beauty is joy. We are living in a time of rebirth when life seems perpetually tumultuous and hate has been given a stage. I believe the only way to healing is through unity—listening to and seeing each other while celebrating, respecting and lifting up one another.  Working in tandem, there is so much we can do to redefine an industry that makes room for everyone while celebrating diversity and inclusion.
Nyakio Grieco
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