The Real Female Entrepreneur

TRFE 211 // Taking a Business from Blog to National Retailer with Tara Foley

Season 5Lauren FrontieraComment


“Pulling the trigger to actually go for it was the hardest part in the whole process.”


with Tara Foley



Back in 2009, Tara Foley was writing a blog focused on finding and sharing clean beauty alternatives. Today, with multiple retail locations popping up across the country and an ecommerce site, she’s the founder, leader, and visionary of Follain, a healthy beauty retail alternative, where she aims to create a clean and green Sephora. In our conversation, Tara walks me through every step of the process from foregoing law school to spending four months working on a lavender farm and France.

We talk about…

  • Taking a business idea from blog to national retailer

  • Balancing education and a retail as Follain educates consumers on clean beauty

  • How she strategically built and tested a foundation for Follain before launching

  • The role mentors have played in her journey

  • Her piece of advice for anyone just starting out

  • What she learned from her first pilot store

  • Testing different business models early on to learn and grow

  • The challenges of leading + managing a team of experts with knowledge that surpasses yours




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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 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.

Tara Foley launched Follain in July 2013, as the healthy beauty retail alternative, and a catalyst for cleaning up the U.S. beauty industry. Before Follain, Tara researched safe and sustainable skincare, apprenticing on an organic lavender farm in France, and with a private label skin care company in Maine. 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.


Episode 197