Black Girl Ventures Foundation and Partners JCPenney and Rare Beauty Brands Bring Opportunity and Capital to Black and Brown Women in the Beauty Industry

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PLANO, Texas (Sept. 26, 2023) –  Today,  Black Girl Ventures Foundation (BGV), Rare Beauty Brands (owners of Patchology and Dr. Dana Nails), and JCPenney announced the finalists of the 2023 National Beauty Pitch Competition. The contest, founded in 2020 by BGV and Rare Beauty Brands, invites Black and Brown women-identifying founders in the beauty industry to compete for a grand prize that includes a $10,000 grant, retail distribution, mentorship with key executives at Rare Beauty Brands, additional capital from crowdfunding, and more. This year’s winner will be featured nationwide in JCPenney stores and online.

“We are excited about the 2023 National Beauty Pitch Competition — a remarkable opportunity for Black and Brown woman founders in the beauty industry. This journey promises invaluable resources, mentorship, and funding avenues to accelerate the growth of beauty startups,” said Bee Law, BGV Pitch Program Manager.

“The ability to shine a light on Black and Brown women in the beauty industry in a way that propels their business ventures forward is an honor,” said Lisa Green, Vice President, Merchandise at JCPenney. “We are proud to be able to maximize both our retail and ecommerce reach on behalf of these incredible startups while helping to amplify the conversation around diversity and inclusion.”

The yearly competition is open to qualifying founders across the U.S. who generate revenue under $1 million. The program includes pitch practice, a live pitch competition, and a crowdfunding campaign. In 2023, the competition received 255 applications, with 7 founders being selected as the finalists. Please see below for the finalists’ names and bios.

“At Rare Beauty Brands, we are extremely passionate about the life and world-changing power of entrepreneurship, and we have been extremely inspired by all of the entrepreneurs who have entered this pitch competition over the past three years,” says Rare Beauty Brands CEO Chris Hobson. “It has been incredible to work closely with past winners, and we’re excited about the new crop of founders this year. We’re thrilled to partner with Black Girl Ventures and JCPenney on this mission to lift up underrepresented founders in the beauty industry.”

The next phase of the contest will take place on October 12th with the broadcast of the pitch competition between the 7 finalists in front of a judging panel called Champions that includes Aishetu Fatima Dozie (founder of Bossy Beauty), Daren Curry (VP of Digital Acceleration at Rare Beauty Brands), and Leslie Roberson (founder of Black Beauty Collective). Viewers will be able to “vote” through making financial contributions to each finalist’s crowdfunding campaign. All finalists will receive the money raised, and the founder who has raised the most money will be declared the winner. People can sign up to view the pitch competition here:


Canita Worth, Founder of Nita’s Nails Galore

Location: Gastonia, NC

Nita’s Nails Galore is a nail supply company that offers self-leveling acrylic powders to educate nail technicians on how to properly maintain natural nails with acrylics.

Halima Hubbard, Founder of Bath Notes

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Bath Notes is a Sensory Bath & Body line curated to stimulate the senses of touch, smell, and sound through body care and tech for the ultimate beauty fusion of wellness for the Mind, Body & Soul.

Kaylah A Joseph, Founder of LAID Hair Care

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

LAID Hair Care believes that every style should be a protected style. The brand boasts the only salon-quality multivitamin scalp and hair health system powered by clean ingredients and clean manufacturing.

Keta Burke-Williams, Founder of Ourside

Location: New York, NY

Ourside crafts award-winning luxury fragrances for free spirits, dreamers, and outsiders. They rewild your spirit one conscious small-batch scent at a time.

Orion Brown, Founder of BlackTravelBox

Location: Denver, CO

BlackTravelBox is a visionary brand created to meet the specific needs of the $129 billion Black travel market. Their mission is to provide clean and effective hair and skincare essentials, ensuring every traveler looks and feels their best on their journey.

Rachel Zeigler, Founder of Naked Chemistry Skincare

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Naked Chemistry Skincare is a conscious skincare company started by a licensed cosmetologist who was looking for vegan and effective skincare to prevent, heal, and alleviate ingrown hairs.

Whitney McElwain, Founder of Daybird

Location: Austin, TX

Daybird is an anti-beauty brand creating clean functional makeup for a one step routine, giving you back your time and mental space to do what matters most with your morning. Our hero product is a makeup, skincare and suncare hybrid: two clinically active skincare serums, moisturizer, mineral SPF 50 and sheer tint in one multitasking product that works with every wear.


Criteria for the entrants in the 2023 National Beauty Pitch Competition includes:

Company must be at least 51 percent owned by someone who identifies as a Black or Brown Woman

Business must be past the ideation phase with fully developed product or service, with customers or ready for customers

Early stage, but generating revenue (no minimum required)

Located in the United States and operate in the beauty and/or personal care industry, including but not limited to skincare, hair care, color cosmetics, nail care, fragrance, bath and body care, tools and accessories, or wellness.

For more information, go to

About Black Girl Ventures

Black Girl Ventures Foundation (BGV) is a 501(c) non-profit organization that focuses on Black and Brown women-identifying founders. BGV started with a rent-styled pitch competition and has grown to include communities at and a Facebook group. BGVs mission is to provide Black and Brown women-identifying founders with access to community, capital, ad capacity building. To find more, or to donate go to

About Rare Beauty Brands

Rare Beauty Brands’ mission is to develop and scale unique brands with a truly positive impact, that inspire and empower. In a word, rare. Rare Beauty Brands (RBB) is the parent company of skincare-meets-selfcare brand Patchology and dermatologist-developed nail health and treatment brand Dr. Dana Nails. RBB works within the Amplify BGV Program as a partner to provide more visibility, supplier diversity opportunities, corporate mentorship, and funding for founders. For more information, visit

About JCPenney

JCPenney is the shopping destination for America’s diverse, working families. With inclusivity at its core, the Company’s product assortment meets customers’ everyday needs and helps them commemorate every special occasion with style, quality and value. JCPenney offers a broad portfolio of fashion, apparel, home, beauty and jewelry from national and private brands and provides personal services including salon, portrait and optical. The Company and its 50,000 associates worldwide serve customers where, when and how they want to shop – from to more than 650 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

In 2022, JCPenney celebrated 120 years as an iconic American brand by continuing its legacy of connecting with customers through shopping and community engagement. Please visit JCPenney’s Newsroom to learn more and follow JCPenney on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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