EXCLUSIVE: Credo Beauty Snaps Up Follain

Credo Beauty has made its first acquisition.

The clean beauty retailer retailer, an early player in the clean beauty movement, has snapped up a fellow pioneer. Credo has acquired Follain, the Boston, Massachusetts-based retailer founded by Tara Foley in 2013, as well as its eponymous private label beauty brand.

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Follain’s Boston door will be rebranded as a Credo location, and the brand, currently stocked by Anthropologie and Ulta Beauty, among others, will be taken under Credo’s umbrella of brands. That portfolio includes makeup brand Exa Beauty and EleVen by Venus Williams.

“We’ve been running parallel paths on either side of the country,” Foley said of Credo. “As we got things off the ground and grew over the years, we started to evolve in slightly different ways. We first leaned heavily into our skin care line so when we came together, we actually learned that we would be creating a sizeably bigger community of customers by joining forces.”

Credo is steadily on its own growth trajectory following the appointment of new chief executive officer Stuart Millar earlier this year. “We had our Credo Clean Beauty summit in June and that kicked off what felt like a very palpable energy to this next chapter for us and clean beauty. The community has grown and changed so much,” said Annie Jackson, Credo’s founder. “The news of us acquiring Follain just feels like part of all this activity.”

In addition to launching its own brands, Credo partnered with Ulta Beauty in 2020 on Conscious Beauty, which started as an end cap with eight of the former’s brands in 100 Ulta doors. “Pre-pandemic, this was on people’s minds, but now it’s where the market’s moving — and quickly,” Jackson said.

Going bigger on brick-and-mortar is also on the docket, hence Jackson’s plans to keep Follain’s Boston storefront. “We are prepared to grow and scale as far as physical retail,” she said. “Giving brands a platform in neighborhoods across the U.S. is our responsibility of making the world a cleaner, more resilient place.”

Each party is still figuring out the logistics — while both of their brand matrixes overlap significantly, there’s “a very small amount of brands that don’t,” Jackson said, “but we’re always open to those discussions. We’re working through the practicalities of transitioning a business.”

Jackson didn’t rule out future acquisitions, adding “you never know what the future might bring, but this is certainly a very positive one for this community.”

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