Credo Beauty is going to college.
For its fourth annual Credo for Change accelerator program, the retailer has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology for the first time to offer students enrolled in the cosmetics and fragrance marketing program career mentorship and networking access.
“When we started Credo for Change, we were very focused on where the industry was underrepresented from a brand founder perspective,” said program manager Shibisha Johnson. “Now, as we start to think about not just who is on the shelf, but who is in the office, this [partnership] was the natural next place to go with this work.”
The 13-week program will kick off July 7, offering 12 Black, Indigenous, people of color students access to speaker sessions, internship seats and one-on-one mentoring.
“The aspect of the program that resonated with me the most is that it isn’t just focused on helping students build a brand — we want students to understand there are these other opportunities for their talents,” said Nicole Finigan Ndzibah, executive director of the Social Justice Center at FIT.
Johnson added: “We know that people want to choose their own destiny, so we want to give them the leadership skills to do that and reduce the amount of loneliness that comes from having to figure it out by yourself.”
This year’s cohort will hear from a variety of merchants, marketing experts and “behind-the-scenes movers and shakers,” Johnson said.
“This cohort, in my humble opinion, will reflect what is possible in beauty,” she said. “When I stumbled upon beauty, I did a lot of fumbling around in the dark. My hope is that the people who are coming in to the industry now feel like there is solid footing underneath them, and that they are welcome here.”
Credo for Change was established in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, and has supported more than 200 brand founders. While this year’s speaker lineup has yet to be shared, previous speakers included Tower 28’s Amy Liu; 510Media cofounder and creative director Mashama Thompson, and “Shark Tank” alum Sandra Velasquez, who founded the bath and body care brand Nopalera.
Student applications for this year’s program will be open until June 20.