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Talking Top Tens: Tara Foley

CEO and Founder of Follain


Back in 2009, Tara was on a completely different career path (law!), working long hours, and trying to stay healthy. It occurred to her that she focused on fitness and healthy eating—but not what she put on her face and body. So she started asking questions and launched a blog focused on finding clean options. The response showed her how many of us wanted to understand what we’re putting on ourselves and where to find effective, luxurious nontoxic options. When the concept won a national retail business plan competition during her MBA program at Babson, she knew she was onto something! After years of hands-in-the-dirt learning both on a lavender farm in France and with a private label beauty company, she founded Follain in 2013 because she believed and still does that no one should have to sacrifice health for beauty. With degrees in public policy and business, Tara’s vision, passion, and activism fuel Follain’s growth, and its mission of improving the health and lives of others. You can learn more about Tara and Follain by following her @tcofoley and @shopfollain

And more with Tara Foley…

What do you love most about your work:

Helping women boost their confidence and their health by offering them the best of the best in nontoxic beauty! If I could still be in our stores working with women to do this daily, I would be!

Skincare product you can’t live without:

Tough question for a skincare addict, but right now it’s the Hannes Dotir mineral mist. It decreases redness and inflammation from stress, and I’m convinced it’s helping my serums and moisturizers work harder. 

Your last great read and why you enjoyed it:

Shoe Dog! Nike founder Phil Knight’s memoir was genuine and inspiring... and a very fast read! I love how real he was about the ups and downs of starting a business, and I laughed out loud more than a few times. 

At 9am each day, you are:

Super productive. I’m at the office and usually in my first meeting. I’ve had a chance to spend time with my baby son Henry, eat a healthy breakfast, and respond to emails; I’m fresh and ready to attack the day. 

You decompress each day by:

Sharing a meal or moment with my husband, where we both commit to never talking about work! 

The skill or sport you’re dying to learn:

I’m dying to do a headstand! I’ve worked on this with yoga instructors and given it a serious effort, but still somehow can’t crack the headstand code. I know how great it is for circulation and balance, and can’t wait to nail it one day.

Your last takeout order:

I’m a Sweetgreen addict, and currently in love with their OMG omega salad. Thank goodness they have a loyalty program—I’m there wayyy too often! 

If you weren’t the CEO of Follian, you’d be a:

If I wasn’t the CEO of a nontoxic beauty retailer, I’d probably be working in policy to lobby for chemical reform.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received:

A cozy weekend in the woods filled with hikes, spa treatments, and delicious food!

What’s the most exciting thing in your life right now:

The growth of our team and business at Follain! Things are moving so fast and changing daily. I’m learning more—and faster!—than I ever have. Seeing the impact we’re making is the best part.