For Follain founder Tara Foley, beauty is more than skin deep. The clean-beauty maven was first inspired to join the industry in 2009, when she realized the products she was using didn’t align with the ideals she was following for her fitness and nutritional health. After starting a blog to research natural beauty companies and earning her master’s degree at Babson—where her concept won a national retail business plan competition—Foley launched Follain in 2013.

The South End and Beacon Hill storefronts boast luxurious lotions and potions from the likes of Tata Harper, French Girl Organics and others that meet Foley’s strict standards. Although Follain now has additional locations in Seattle, Bethesda and Nantucket, Boston remains the hub for Follain’s operations because of the company’s ties to the local science community. “We’re surfacing the important missions of these Boston-based organizations that are so dedicated to help, which is really important to me and to Follain,” Foley says.

In addition to serving on the board of the Natural and Organic Health and Beauty Alliance, Foley is set to open locations in New York and Dallas—with plans to have 10 storefronts by 2019—and also growing the e-commerce branch. But even as Follain expands digitally, Foley wants to stay closely tied to her stores’ surrounding communities. “Brick-and-mortar retail locations are an incredibly important, soulful part of the experience,” Foley says. “[They are] really great for learning about our customers and building community and doing everything we do best.”

What have you learned from a setback in your career?

“We are growing incredibly quickly right now, and so it is just figuring out how to find the best team members that are really committed to the mission of our business, but are also experts in the things that they need to be experts in for us to grow. It is a challenge because there aren’t too many bigger e-commerce businesses in Boston, so I feel like we are always recruiting and hunting for great talent, figuring out the different flavors of team members we need to bring in and how to grow the team.”


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