Credo Beauty is a brand new online green beauty store featuring an exceptional collection of beauty and skincare products from artisan brands. Through a beautiful and carefully curated storefront, Credo’s aim is to change the way consumers perceive ingredients, products and health. In addition to it’s new online space, Credo Beauty will also be opening up a brick & mortar store in San Francisco that will feature both retail and spa elements in April 2015. I love the clean, bright aspect of Credo Beauty’s online store, the great variety of brands, and the transparency provided for every brand and product offered. These “Maker Videos” really personalize the shopping experience by helping you get to know brand founders and missions better.
Shashi Batra is Credo Beauty’s president and founder as well as a veteran in the beauty and fashion industry, notably as a founding member of the Sephora USA team. Shashi created Credo with a strict standard for products— all products offered at Credo must be free of harmful toxins in the form of artificial preservatives and synthetic fragrance, they must be effective in formulation, and they must be attractive in design and packaging.
I had the chance to speak with Shashi about his experience, the story behind Credo Beauty, and what we can look forward to with this new beauty endeavor:
Tell us a bit about your background and experience in beauty:
I have worked and grown up in the beauty space since I came out of college. My background has been a mixture of experience as a beauty merchant/retailer and in brand management. One of the most exciting projects I have worked on was starting and building Sephora USA.
What inspired the idea behind Credo Beauty? What inspired the name for the store?
In 1998 when we started Sephora, we saw this tidal wave of indy brands that needed a platform to showcase their products. The catalyst for Credo has been a parallel to that, a second generation of entrepreneurs and makers who are passionate about the beauty category but are conscientious and informed about the harmful ingredients that exist in most conventional products. You have featured many of them on Plein Vanity. We have found almost a hundred of them who have great product and a true raison d’etre for what they do and where they source their ingredients. They are different from the first generation of natural brand visionaries because they focus on beauty and efficacy as a critical part of their brands – in design, packaging, texture and scent. We call this the naturals 2.0 movement and our goal is to give them a national platform that is as authentic and transparent as they are.
Our name is reflective of the belief that there is a better way to look beautiful with both style and substance. It’s a belief in a holistic vision for what beauty is: looking good and feeling good.
What sets Credo Beauty apart from other green beauty stores?
Our holistic approach. The total experience: the store design, the service (on floor and off the floor treatments), telling the brand stories and the connection to community. We will soon be announcing our giving project. We are working on a partnership with an organization that is directly relevant and core to our mission and what we curate. We expect this to be more than a superficial alliance that is simply talked about during one designated month of the year. This partnership will be integral to our brand and one that we give exposure to daily as part of a holistic approach of what we stand for. We are really excited about the potential contribution we can make as a collective group with our partner brands.
How do you select and source the brands found in the store? Are there specific guidelines or procedures?
Our criteria for selecting brands begins with two fundamentals: authenticity and transparency. We then look for makers that have a holistic vision for what they have created with a focus both on the inside (formulation: ingredients and efficacy) and outside (experience: packaging, texture, scent…). We especially like the artisanal approach to quality, style and originality that we are finding. Because beauty is so intimate and emotional, these touch points are critical. For our customers we believe that price should not be a barrier to purchase so we carry brands that have $8 lip balms to other that have $200 anti-aging treatments.
What are your personal favorite or most recommended brands or products from the store?
I am especially excited about the natural make-up category. Unlike any other part of the the personal care category, make-up is instantly transformational and the need for beautiful colors with safe ingredients is so critical. Most teenage girls use lip and eye color from an early age and we as a community are doing a much better job giving them safe formulas that are competitive with conventional make-up brands. Some of my favorite brands in this space are RMS, Kjaer Weis and Lily Lolo. However we still have a long way to go in providing the fun factor in this space with key items like natural palettes and effective mascara.
What do you believe is the goal for Credo Beauty? What would you like consumers to take away from this new store?
The goal is to be an effective platform to give this movement even more momentum. To become a destination that gives people the belief that there are healthy alternatives that are just as effective. We want to do for beauty what organic and farm-to-table natural food markets have done for the food category.
Do you think you have witnessed green beauty evolve among the industry?
Statistically speaking the category has been growing faster than the overall beauty industry for almost a decade, so we know that consumers are become more informed everyday about what they consume. Thus far it has been the Natural Food Market channel (NFM) that has driven the bulk of the increase. However the NFM customer experience from curation to merchandising to in-store service has been a barrier to convert the core beauty customers.
Are there any other exciting plans for Credo Beauty?
Yes we have many new projects on the horizon that involve strategic partnerships and brand alliances but for the moment we will stay focused on our website and store opening. We look forward to sharing those with you soon.
For green beauty lovers and newbies alike, you can find all the great natural and organic brands you love, as well as amazing new discoveries at Credo Beauty. I admire Shashi’s vision and motivation for Credo to be the impetus for spreading the word about healthier, beautiful, effective skincare and beauty products. Watch out world, Credo Beauty is already making waves.
~Credo Beauty was kind enough to send me a gorgeous package of some of their favorite products offered in the store. Everything from the intricate packaging design, to the intriguing selection of brands have me admiring this new green beauty destination. I’m excited for what the future holds for Credo Beauty. (Please, create a brick & mortar store in NYC!)