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Thirteen Lune’s Nyakio Grieco Is Committed to Inclusive Beauty

Nyakio Grieco believes that everyone deserves the best. The beauty entrepreneur behind Thirteen Lune and Relevant: Your Skin Seen is known for championing clean, inclusive beauty that suits all skin types, tones, and needs.

Nyakio’s career started over 20 years ago and has since become one of beauty’s most closely-followed success stories. It all began with her award-winning brand nyakio™, inspired by her Kenyan heritage and family beauty secrets. The brand launched in 2002 and became the foundation for a lifetime of work dedicated to making beauty a more inclusive, diverse landscape.

In 2020, Nyakio co-founded Thirteen Lune, ane-commerce platform that uplifts BIPOC founded beauty brands. Thirteen Lune has since partnered with national retailers like JC Penney to bring inclusive beauty to  over 600 stores nationwide.

After establishing Thirteen Lune, Nyakio was inspired to launch Relevant: Your Skin Seen in honor of inclusivity. The clean, ultra-inclusive line prioritizes tech-led formulas that perform for every skin tone and type.

Nyakio’s unprecedented contributions to beauty have earned her numerous recognitions including the CEW 2023 Female Founder Award, the Beauty Matter 2023 Future50 Award, and a spot on the Inc. Magazine 2023 Female Founders 200 list.

Key Insights from Nancy’s Conversation with Nyakio

In an interview on the Makers Mindset podcast, Nyakio shares the wisdom she’s gathered from her entrepreneurial journey. Here are some key takeaways from the conversation:

1. The Power of “No”

Nyakio emphasizes that knowing your worth is everything, especially when you feel tempted to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity. Choosing wisely when making crucial decisions, like selecting investors, will help you avoid short changing yourself in the long run. 

Instead of taking every opportunity that comes your way, lean into the power of saying ‘no.’ Your willingness to decline will make a bold statement about your worth and your values. Trust the process, especially when fundraising. Make strategic choices instead of convenient ones so that you can realize long-term goals rather than short-term gains.

“When you undervalue your services or products just to stay relevant, you’re not only shortchanging yourself but you’re also setting a precedent that can be hard to break.”

2. Avoid the “Investor Hamster Wheel”

Being selective when choosing investors is a must. Fundraising presents a unique set of challenges that make careful, detail-oriented planning non-negotiable. Nyakio advises against getting caught up in the “investor hamster wheel”: constantly chasing after the next round of funding. Instead, she recommends strategically using funds and building a supportive cap table.

“Look for investors who are not only invested in the success of the business but also deeply invested in the success of your vision.”

Ultimately, your investors should be financially and personally invested in your business. Make sure you choose partners who show you that they’re committed to your unique vision and goals.

3. Look Beyond the Resume to Build a Strong Team

“Hiring someone with the right background but misaligned values can actually set your company back.”

When hiring your team, look beyond resumes to try and understand the candidate’s values. Consider what makes someone unique, beyond job experience. What kind of values are demonstrated in your conversations? What kind of goals do they have outside of work? Asking these questions early on is key to determine how aligned your team will be with your core values.

This is especially important if you’re hiring for a remote team, where effective collaboration relies on trust. Nyakio says that while new skills are teachable, it’s difficult to change belief systems. Successful hiring managers identify what makes someone who they are rather than focusing solely on who they are on paper.

Nyakios’ journey and insights offer a wealth of knowledge for aspiring entrepreneurs. Her dedication to inclusive beauty and strategic business decisions continue to inspire and pave the way for future founders.

Nyakio’s dedication to inclusive beauty is fueled by incredible strategy and a deep understanding of culture. She believes that quality doesn’t mean exclusivity. Thirteen Lune and Relevant prove that everyone deserves representation, especially in the products they buy.

What did you take away from Nyakio’s episode of Makers Mindset? Tune in to the full episode and share your thoughts in the comments section below.