Data chart showing growth between February 2022 and February 2023 in the following categories; Number of founders and percentage of founders who are women, total amount of sales, number of retail

BrainTrust Founders Studio 2023 Economic Advancement Report: Year One Growth

How Black Beauty Entrepreneurs Are Driving Revenue, Leading Growth and Taking Shelf Space across 23,000 Retail “Doors”

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, February 28, 2023 / — After decades as the beauty industry’s most valuable customers, Black women are emerging as its next gen leaders, creating products bought across America, according to the 2023 Economic Advancement Report by BrainTrust Founders Studio.

The founders of BrainTrust Founders Studio, the largest membership-based platform dedicated to Black founders of beauty and wellness companies, announced today that in the past year membership has quadrupled and collectively sold $100 million in products at national retailers and online. On the last day of Black History Month and the eve of Women’s History month, the company released its first 2023 Economic Advancement Report, a survey tracking key measures on 116 companies led by Black founders, 92% of which are Black women.

“As entrepreneurs turned investors, we saw this moment emerging, which is why one year ago we joined forces to build this ecosystem for winning by Black founders,” said Founder/CEO Kendra Bracken-Ferguson and Co-founder/CIO Lisa Stone in a joint statement. “What we didn’t anticipate was the rate at which the BrainTrust Founders Studio would grow. Today our members collectively report selling $100 million in beauty and wellness products across top retailers and online.”

BrainTrust Founders Studio 2023 Economic Advancement Report: Growth In One Year
February 2023: Key Measures
Founders: 116 (92% women)
Sales: $100,054,541
Retail “doors”: 23,640
Products sold: 4,048
Social media followers* : 6,091,513
Full-time jobs created** : 116
Venture-backed: 30
Venture capital raised***: $43,937,524

Source: BrainTrust Founders Studio 2023 Economic Advancement Survey
* Source: CreatorIQ
** Does not include part-time employees, contractors, consultants, vendors, agencies or other contributors
*** Venture capital concentrated in 9 companies that have raised $40,227,524

BrainTrust Founders Studio in February 2022 included 26 founders who reported annual revenues of $26.6MM from 250 products sold via 8,843 retail outlets plus direct-to-consumer (DTC) or online sales. One year later, in February 2023, our membership has expanded to 116 founders who reported 2022 revenues of $100.05MM from 4,048 products sold via 23,640 retail outlets plus online sales–including but not limited to CVS, JCPenney, Sephora, Target, Ulta, Walgreens and Walmart.

“These data also confirm that Black founders are creating beauty and wellness products bought by everyone across America,” added Bracken-Ferguson and Stone in their joint statement. “Most of the brands in the Founders Studio report significant racial diversity among their customers. While we cannot reveal confidential data on individual companies, CreatorIQ has third-party verified the collective social media following of BrainTrust Founders Studio members, which we can confirm is reflective of the customer base buying from our founders.”

Of 116 BrainTrust Founders Studio members 6,091,513 followers across social media platforms, including primarily, in alphabetical order, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter: the collective follower base verified by CreatorIQ includes people who identify as Black (40.96%), White (30.45%), Asian (21.42%), and Hispanic (7.17%).

Bracken-Ferguson and Stone met as pioneers in the creator economy, where each led platforms used by businesses and brands to invest millions of dollars in marketing and advertising, often in new digital platforms with unknown voices. The co-founders noted that the current recessionary climate may accelerate industry inclusivity, as consumers turn away from durable goods and expensive purchases but continue to shower, care for their skin and seek to look and feel good, even on a budget. In an opinion editorial, the pair quoted Karla Martin, managing director and global luxury, retail and ecommerce lead for Deloitte, who stated that retailers and corporate acquirers are actively searching for solutions to consumer demand with products that are vegan, clean, and also racially and ethnically inclusive.

“My clients are buying what they cannot build fast enough for today’s consumer. The notion of beauty has expanded more in the last 10 years than the previous 40, including size, age, race, ethnicity and gender. And those new segments of consumers, and in particular younger consumers, want to feel more connected to the brands they use and want brands with clear purpose. I have two daughters, our kids read labels and they read the news.”

For the full 2023 Economic Advancement Report published by BrainTrust Founders Studio, please visit
For more information please contact

Jenny Lauck
BrainTrust Founders Studio
+1 707-326-0750
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