Thirteen Lune — the online beauty platform offering Black and brown-owned brands — has raised $1 million.
“Through this capital that we raised, $1 million with our friends and family, and as we kick off our seed round, this is directed to the development and growth and scale of the site,” said Patrick Herning, who cofounded the company with Nyakio Grieco. “For as much as it’s about Thirteen Lune growing, it’s about the greater ecosystem of Black and brown and ultimately ally-founded brands that will flip the script on what inclusive beauty retail means.”
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Early investors are known names who include Gwyneth Paltrow, Sean Combs, Naomi Watts, Gregg Renfrew of the Beautycounter, Tracey Cunningham of Mèche salon, former U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant and venture capitalist Patrick Finnegan.
“So many businesses and initiatives geared toward Black and brown founders are optically driven and don’t address the fundamental problem of helping these talented entrepreneurs build equitable businesses,” said Paltrow, actress and founder of Goop, in an exclusive statement to WWD. “Thirteen Lune’s mission is different: It puts the power in the hands of Black and brown consumers and founders to create generational wealth for business owners.”
Entertainer and entrepreneur Combs echoed similar thoughts in a statement: “I believe in the Thirteen Lune mission to build generational wealth for Black and brown business owners. Nyakio and Patrick have the vision and grit to build a world-class platform, and I’m excited to be an investor and adviser.”
“Yes, these are obviously bold-faced names, but more importantly they are seasoned entrepreneurs and operators, many of whom have specific experience in the beauty space,” Herning said. “Whether you’re an A-list actor or a Grammy-winning performer, everyone around the table is picking up the phone and making things happen. This is not a vanity project for anybody. This is an opportunity for these investors and advisers to roll up their sleeves, dig in and really help build this alongside us.”
Herning, who created size-inclusive fashion site and brand 11 Honoré, and Grieco, founder of Nyakio Beauty, met through mutual friends in early 2019. There was “an instant connection,” said Grieco, and the two decided to collaborate on a project. The idea for Thirteen Lune came to fruition amid the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
“Summer hit, and the answer was right in front of us,” Grieco added.
“We obviously experienced at this last pinnacle moment of Black Lives Matter a shift within the industry, and I’ve always felt that the fashion industry and beauty industry have a real huge opportunity and responsibility to be catalysts for change when it comes to inclusivity and unity,” she continued. “This change, this opportunity to raise $1 million in such a short period of time is a first for me as a Black woman but also, I feel that this business specifically has been so needed for so long.”
The company, which has been growing its team — a mix of experienced advisers as consultants and Gen Z industry newcomers — officially launched in December, creating a “unique, inclusive, disruptive, important vehicle” for the brands and their founders, Herning said.
“What I really share with a lot of these founders, our Black and brown founders, we have for our entire lives been buying products from people who are not Black or brown but the expectation, the assumption that they will work on our skin and hair with no questions asked,” Grieco added. “We deserve the same opportunity to reach people of all colors.”