Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Tara Foley: Pick up my son. He’s my alarm clock almost every day, and the morning is when we get time together. Spending time with Henry each morning helps me start my day with a smile and I’m a strong believer that those smiles give me fortitude to attack anything and everything that comes my way.
TG: What gives you energy?
TF: Time in-store with our customers always gives me a serious energy jolt. It’s a great reminder of why we do what we do. I learn so much from each and every exchange with my customers.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
TF: Comfortable shoes! I like to move quickly and always take the stairs… another great way to get an energy boost throughout the day.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
TF: The book No More Dirty Looks was one of my catalysts for entering clean beauty so many years ago. More recently The Hard Thing About Hard Things was super impactful for me.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
TF: Sadly, yes. I’ve had some great stretches of plugging it in across the room or even in another room, but somehow it always makes its way back to my nightstand for late night notes to myself. Running, meditating, and bedtime are when I have some of my best ideas.
TG: How do you deal with email?
TF: I do my best to prioritize it at least twice a day, but this is a constant battle.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
TF: Deal with email.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
TF: Define burned out? Between growing a team, fundraising and raising a toddler I get close more than I’d like–but the worst of it comes before big events like our new site launch earlier this year or a new store opening. Usually before the best things, and I’m generally good about taking a short break after those pushes.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
TF: Earlier today we received a note from a customer who had a subpar experience–and it made its way back to me. While this was only one person, and it happens very rarely, it still gives me pause. We worked on a great response to that customer but also planned for additional training to help ensure no one would ever have a similar experience.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
TF: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss
Back in 2009, Tara was on a completely different career path, 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 do 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.