Richelieu Dennis’s Essence Ventures Has Acquired BeautyCon Media, Inc.; Will Take Over BeautyCon Festival

By Raquel "Rocky" Harris, Contributor
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 06: Richelieu Dennis and New Voices Pitch Competition Winners on stage at 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 06, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE) Getty Images for ESSENCE

An affiliate of Essence Ventures has acquired the famous beauty and fashion company BeautyCon Media, Inc. and its annual festival BeautyCon.

In 2011, Marina Curry and Jonathon Buford co-founded BeautyCon, an international huddle space for content creators, celebrities, fans and influencers to come together and celebrate their shared love of fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Now, Essence Ventures - which has a portfolio including ESSENCE Communications, Inc., Afropunk, and Naturally Curly, among other brands - has announced it has acquired the assets BeautyCon Media, Inc. 

Yes, this means Essence Ventures will be producing and facilitating the popular BeautyCon festival. 

"BeautyCon is an incredible brand founded by Marina Curry, a Black woman and pioneer who brought greater diversity to the beauty and media industries," said Richelieu Dennis, founder and chair of Essence Ventures, in a press release sent to For(bes) the Culture. "We also thank Moj Mahdara, BeautyCon's former CEO, for her hard work and dedication to scale the company and build a diverse and inclusive community around beauty and fashion. We wish her the best in all of her future endeavors. As we continue our mission to bring heightened inclusivity to the space and transform the face of media ownership, the decision to continue with BeautyCon Media was an easy one."

During an interview with For(bes) the Culture, Dennis explained what an Essence Ventures BeautyCon will look like and how it will be a more open forum for business owners to grow their brands and companies.

"BeautyCon has real impact," said Dennis. What they've built over the years has been a place where we've taken what used to be exclusive, and we're now going to make it inclusive. We're going to see ourselves show up in ways that we haven't shown up and in ways that we should show up. We're going to see brands take the stage and the claim. We're going to see creators get an opportunity to shine and show their work and be appreciated for it, and be compensated for it, and get an opportunity to build businesses around it."

Dennis continued: "We're going to see a localized approach that enables the young woman in St. Louis to experience her beauty in her way as well. New York and L.A. are not the only places that beauty exists. They are not the only places that define beauty. And what we endeavor to do is to make sure that every woman, no matter what ethnicity, no matter what background, no matter socio, no matter what race she comes from, gets to experience her beauty. And that she gets to do that on a local level and on a global level. We're really excited about being able to add those dimensions to something that was already extraordinary."

Dennis revealed that the festival is set to go back live sometime next year.

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