Tara Foley is the founder of Follain - a natural beauty retailer carrying only safe and effective products. While Follain carries many of our nontoxic favorites, we especially love their commitment to health. Their list of restricted ingredients on the website is eye-opening and easily navigable.
Prior to starting her company, Tara was working long hours and trying to stay healthy. However, while she was focusing on fitness and healthy eating, it occurred to her that she needed to question what she was putting on her face and body so she launched a blog focusing on finding clean beauty options and to help educate others about what we're putting on our skin and where to find effective, luxurious, nontoxic options. Tara's concept won a national retail business plan competition while completing her MBA program at Babson and then she spent years working on a lavender farm in France and with a private label beauty company before founding Follain in 2013.
Follain is growing online and with their store locations in Boston, Nantucket, Seattle, Bethesda, and soon to be in Dallas! We visited their shop in Nantucket during our Americana shoot this summer - stay tuned for the makeup look in next week's blog post!
1. Why do you love what you do?
Because I know how much important it is! I know how much impact we have on women--on their health and self-confidence--by serving them up beauty products that are not only effective and powerful, but are better for their health, and respectful of their own unique beauty. The big, conventional beauty industry has played into female insecurities for so long, and then in turn sold them super toxic products and ingredients. We’re on a mission to disrupt that old school mentality when it comes to beauty--providing only healthy, nourishing products that support the best version of you! And that makes me so happy.
2. How did you get to where you are now?
The best advice I ever received was to find the intersection of your genuine passion—and a genuine need. Sussing out an area that marries your talents with a real niche is key. Passion can carry you through a lot, inspiring you to push through many obstacles and keep going. And integrity is just as important as passion. Even as it grows, the clean beauty movement is a true community where people know each other by name. It’s important in everything you do to think about what you want to be known for—both in terms of the work and in terms of the kind of person you are to work with.
3. Who are three of your style muses?
I wear mostly a uniform of black and sneakers every day, but I love how these three women are making such statements with their style, and look up to them for it:
Arianna Huffington - she’s on a kick promoting the “repeating” of outfits to normalize this in the current world of social media. Love how sustainable and practical that is; plus love how she always looks so polished!
Maye Musk - she’s reframing our ideas of what style and fashion “should” look at different ages, and making me so excited for all that is to come in my hopefully much more fashionable future!
Nell Diamond - because I love to see a super smart businesswoman “go for it” with such feminine, fanciful and fun fashion.
4. What is your next travel destination?
Dallas in October for Follain’s newest store opening!
5. What is currently on your bedside table?
I always have a few books in rotation, generally balancing fun/light reads with more industry-focused ones. Currently I’m reading:
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
Letters to my Daughter - Maya Angelou
Plant Powered Beauty - Amy Galper
6. Tell us something that people may not know about you!
I love camping trips to super remote locations that I have to hike out to. Probably inspired by my frequent hiking and camping trips in my 20’s, and my 30 days in the woods for an Outward Bound trip during high school.