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Retail Brand Accelerator: Meet the Inaugural Cohort!

SEED SPOT’s first-ever Retail Brand Accelerator program cohort is made possible by funding from Walmart through the Center for Racial Equity. These entrepreneurs are ready to take the retail world by storm with their mission-focused products during this business training program, designed especially for mature brands ready to expand.

This 10-week virtual accelerator is more than just a program—it’s a launchpad for emerging and diverse founders to achieve mass retail success. From July 8 to September 13, 2024, these game-changers will level up their skills, refine their brands, and prepare to make waves in the retail space.

But what exactly are we cooking up in this accelerator? Let’s break down the Retail Brand Accelerator:

  • Partnerships That Pack a Punch: These founders are not just opening doors; they’re kicking them wide open! They’ll meet retail buyers and distributors, building key partnerships that could lead to new purchase orders and retail placements. They’ll hone their sales pitches until they shine brighter than their products on the shelf!
  • Insider Knowledge for Outsized Success: The SEED SPOT program team is pulling back the curtain on the inner workings of mass retail sales and supply. The cohort will level up their business skills to match their product expertise, refine their business models, and get ready to dazzle at buyer meetings and trade shows.
  • Scaling Up to Show Up: Growth isn’t just a goal; it’s a game plan. The SEED SPOT accelerator is helping founders structure their growth goals into achievable strategic plans. They’ll complete the Supplier Readiness Checklist used by major retailers, ensuring they’re not just ready for the big leagues—they’re set to be star players.
  • Recognition That Opens Doors: The program is not just helping the founders grow; it’s also helping them glow up! They’ll actively pursue national small business certifications recognized by major retailers and secure placement on the product discovery platforms that buyers actually use.

Now, let’s meet the stars of the show!

Ashunta Inc
Founder: Ashunta Sheriff-Kendricks
Bringing the glow to Chicago! Ashunta Sheriff Beauty is breaking barriers in the beauty industry with inclusive, high-quality makeup for all skin tones. Vegan, cruelty-free, and clean beauty? Now that’s a look we can get behind!

Caire Beauty (TFHE Inc)
Founder: Lorrie King
Caring for aging skin from Long Beach! Caire Beauty is tackling hormone-related skin changes with innovative skincare solutions. Beauty that ages like fine wine? We’re in!

The Crease Beast
Founder: Matt Jones
Stomping out creases from Roeland Park! The Crease Beast is keeping sneakers fresh with innovative accessories. Sneakerheads, rejoice!

Hello Health Nutrition LLC
Founder: Pamela Wirth
Say hello to wellness! This Scottsdale-based venture aims to empower people to live their healthiest, happiest lives through all-natural probiotics and supplements. Health as a human right? The Retail Brand Accelerator is totally on board!

Herb & Root
Founder: Julia Kahlig-Garuba
Breathing new life into fragrance from Austin! Herb & Root is rekindling our connection with nature through affordable, high-quality fragrant products. Self-care never smelled so good!

iba Plant Powered Energy Drink
Founder: Flavia Greenwood
Energizing Miami naturally! iba is bringing the vibrant energy of Brazil to the energy drink market with clean, plant-based options. Jitters-free joy in a can? Count us in!

Intriguing Hair
Founder: Nikia Londy
Weaving magic in Boston! Intriguing Hair is addressing diverse hair needs with luxury wigs and extensions. Hair that tells a story? We’re all ears!

Machisma Beauty
Founder: Shadie Ellington
Beautifying Miami with inclusivity! Machisma Beauty is addressing the unique needs of women of color with products like the “Thick B*tch Stick.” Beauty that celebrates diversity? We’re here for it!

Orijin Bees, LLC
Founder: Melissa Brew-Butler
Buzzing with inclusivity from Havertown! This children’s toy brand normalizes inclusion during playtime, with designs centering on Black and Brown children. Play on, little changemakers!

Private Packs (Essential Exposure Inc)
Founder: Suzanne Sinatra
Bringing comfort to Brooklyn! Private Packs is tackling feminine care with modern pain relief solutions. Wellness where it matters most? That’s what we call innovation!

Founder: Anna Cobb
Energizing Laurel with plant power! Rejuvenation is shaking up the energy drink market with healthy, plant-based alternatives. Clean energy without the crash? Sign us up here at the Retail Brand Accelerator!

Founder: Mateen Pouyafar
Seeding health from Old Westbury! SEEDLY Foods is revolutionizing snacking with low-sugar, high-protein, seed-based treats. Nutrition never tasted so good!

Sip & Share Wines
Founder: Nicole Kearney
Pouring out inclusivity from Indianapolis! This family-operated boutique winery connects underrepresented wine enthusiasts to a sense of belonging. Cheers to diversity!

Soapen Inc.
Founder: Amanat Anand
Cleaning up the hygiene game in New York! Soapen offers educational hygiene products for millennial parents who want quality without breaking the bank. Plus, they’re extending their reach to underserved communities. Soap with a soul? We’re loving it!

Southeastern Roastery
Founder: Candy Schibli
Brewing up change in Arlington! This roastery serves more than just coffee—it’s dishing out conscious impact, supporting regenerative agriculture, and promoting sustainability. Now that’s a cup of joe we can get behind!

Sweet Fields LLC
Founder: Chanel Fields
Rolling out sweetness from Baltimore! Sweet Fields is baking up a storm with vegan-friendly, gourmet cinnamon rolls. Inclusive indulgence? Yes, please!

Founder: Daniel Dubbaneh
Spicing up Rockville with Middle Eastern flavors! Z&Z is bringing the best of Arab-American cuisine to food lovers everywhere. Delicious and diverse? That’s our kind of menu!

These Retail Brand Accelerator participants aren’t just bringing products to market; they’re introducing fresh, diverse perspectives, innovative solutions, and a whole lot of passion to the retail world. From health and wellness to beauty and food, they’re set to shake up the status quo and be a diverse force of mission-focused products that will leap from small to retail business.

Are you a brand looking to grow your retail presence? The next Retail Brand Accelerator is coming up this fall from October 7 to December 13, 2024. Apply by August 18, 2024 for priority consideration or by the final application deadline on September 15, 2024.

Stay tuned for more updates as we follow this inaugural cohort through the Retail Brand Accelerator. Trust us, you won’t want to miss what these brands do next. They’re not just growing a business; they’re building a more inclusive and equitable economy, and that’s a future we can all get excited about!

Lauren McDanell

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