Tina Knowles Gives Beyoncé a Cécred Performance Review

 Tina Knowles in front of a plain backdrop.
Tina Knowles in front of a plain backdrop.
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If a company is only as good as the people who run it, new haircare line Cécred is already gold star institution after a month in business. Vice chairwoman Tina Knowles would know. She reports directly to the founder and chairwoman: her daughter, Beyoncé.

In conversation with Marie Claire editor-in-chief Nikki Ogunnaike at the Power Play summit in Los Angeles, Ms. Tina opened up about working with Beyoncé on their latest beauty venture. She described the 32-time Grammy winner as the sort of coworker or boss anyone would be lucky to have—for reasons having nothing to do with their obvious family ties. At Cécred, Beyoncé sets exacting standards that pushes the team to "perfect" their formulas, and she's extremely hands-on.

Tina Knowles onstage with Nikki Ogunnaike at Power Play to discuss Cecred
Tina Knowles onstage with Nikki Ogunnaike at Power Play to discuss Cecred

While the brand only left stealth mode in February, Knowles and Knowles-Carter spent six years developing the collection's eight cleansing and conditioning formulas. Cécred's clarifying shampoo and scalp scrub, a product duo inspired by the singer's struggles with eczema and psoriasis, took twelve tries to perfect. Beyoncé tested each one, Knowles said.

"We have sent this product back more than anybody," she elaborated. "She [Beyoncé] just kept saying, 'It could be better.'"

Precise feedback wasn't limited to the one scrub. Knowles said that the Texas Hold 'Em singer would constantly ask for updates on exactly which butters or oils were included in each iteration of each formula, test them herself, and request further tweaks.

"For me, sometimes it's frustrating," Knowles said, "because we would work so hard on the product and it would be amazing and we would have amazing results and she would say, 'I'm sorry, it doesn't have enough slip in it.'"

Going back to the lab on Beyoncé's request paid off in the long run. Beauty editors across the internet gave Cécred glowing reviews at its launch. (Marie Claire beauty director Deena Campbell described the line as "refreshing" in her review.)

Nikki Ogunnaike and Tina Knowles pose at Power Play
Nikki Ogunnaike and Tina Knowles pose at Power Play

Beyoncé didn't learn to demand exactly what she wanted at work by herself; she got her C-suite tendencies from observing her mom. Before breaking into the music industry, the eventual singer and mogul swept the floors at Headlines, her mother's Houston, Texas, hair salon. As a hairstylist, Knowles was already concocting mixtures to treat and restore dyed Black hair—a combination other labels considered "impossible" to make. If no one else would do it, Knowles would make it herself.

The drive to succeed in haircare (and everywhere else) all these years later is intertwined in the pair's DNA. "We both have very strong personalities," Knowles said. The two get into their share of disagreements, she added. "It's a little battle of wills. But overall, we get along very, very well. We have the same vision."

Even when tension arises, Knowles is Beyoncé's most supportive coworker. "I learn from her every day because she's just so methodical and she's so intentional about everything she does and so careful—she just strives," Knowles said.

"We're both obviously pretty ambitious. Not just for the sake of being ambitious, but because we want things to be the best." Spoken like a true boss about an equally impressive leader.