Follain is spreading its clean beauty philosophy across the country.
The beauty retailer, which operates out of two Boston locations and a seasonal shop in Nantucket, Mass., is opening three new locations in Seattle, Dallas and Bethesda, Md., this year. The new stores are part of Follain’s retail growth plan of opening 10 stores by the end of 2019.
“Customers in-store and online are such strong advocates of Follain and clean beauty, so we wanted to replicate the in-store experience this year with more stores across the country,” said Tara Foley, founder and chief executive officer of Follain. “My vision has always been to make clean beauty ubiquitous. We know that clean beauty needs education and expertise and I think Follain can bring that to more people.”
The stores will have the same look and feel as the Boston locations, with white tiles and a large basin sink for product testing. They will also include digital monitors and an open plan for optimal customer service and educational content. Follain currently carries 75 brands across its bricks-and-mortar stores and online, with the physical stores featuring a curated assortment that divides products by category instead of by brand.
In 2016, Follain embarked on a digital-first strategy with an e-commerce site dedicated to featuring educational content on clean beauty, founders’ stories and easy-to-use resources, like a quiz and an instant chat feature, that help customers answer questions and find specific products.
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Now Follain is taking these resources a step further with the introduction of its Advisory Board, a group of experts that will be featured in the web site’s blog posts and will be available to help customers starting today. This group has been behind-the-scenes consulting and advising Follain, and now Foley wants to make them available to her customers to bring more transparency to her business and the clean beauty category.
“We feel so passionate about clean beauty and we’ve been yelling from the mountaintops since 2013 about its benefits and realized that a lot of people are like ‘prove it,’” she said. “We’d love to have more information backing up why clean beauty matters and bring more transparency to all of it, so the Advisory Board lends more expert credibility.”
The board includes individuals across ingredient sourcing and supply chains, green chemistry and dermatology. Current members are Gay Timmons, president of Oh, Oh Organic Inc.; Dr. Amy Cannon, who holds a Ph.D in green chemistry, and dermatologist Dr. Erika Klemperer. Foley is looking to adding more members as needed.
“It comes down to the level of education and expertise and how we’re customer-first and personal,” said Foley on Follain’s point of difference. “That manifests itself in the store set up to be customer centric and it manifests itself through the online quiz and chat. We’re trying to make clean beauty as easy as possible and we’re trying to flip beauty on its head in terms of ingredients and experience.”
Industry sources project Follain will experience 200 percent growth in 2018.