Credo for Change - Class of 2021 | Credo Beauty
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Credo for Change - Class of 2021

Credo for Change - Class of 2021

About Credo for Change

As a founder-led company, we know that growing a business can be a grind. At any stage of growth, diverse entrepreneurs often do not have access to thought partners who can provide valuable business insights. The Credo for Change Mentorship program is here to change that, advance BIPOC-led beauty brands in key functional areas, and prepare them for direct-to-consumer growth or larger distribution in retailers.

Meet this year's cohort:

We received TONS of amazing applications from so many talented brands– it was really tough to only choose 13. We are so excited to introduce these founders and share their inspiring brand stories.

1. Adonis Arcana - Founder Felix Palafox 

Adonis Arcana inspires and empowers men to be their best, authentic selves through simple to use products - creating a healthier view of masculinity along the way.

Felix is the Founder of Adonis Arcana, a Men's Cosmetics brand from Boston, MA. Born and raised in Mexico, He comes to the world of Personal Care with a unique vision and insight. Through makeup and skincare, he is taking up the challenge of breaking down traditional understandings of masculinity: evolving it into a more inclusive and healthy vision for a new age.

Discover Adonis Arcana


2. Aspen Apothecary - Founder Keta Burke-Williams

Founded by two sisters, Aspen Apothecary is on a mission to reimagine the way we interact with fragrance, creating clean, conscious fragrances you can feel good about putting on your body and in your home.

Keta is an Ohio native, a recent Harvard Business graduate, and a self-proclaimed “doer.” She is the cofounder and CEO of Aspen Apothecary, a clean fragrance brand focused on creating cruelty-free moments of calm and amplifying diverse voices. Keta is passionate about climate resiliency, diversifying traditional industries, and mentorship. She spent the early years of her career at KraftHeinz and Carnival Cruise Line, where she learned the importance of business fundamentals, and is excited to put them to use creating products that remind us of the power of scent.

Discover Aspen Apothecary


3. Booni Doon - Founder Pooja Ganesan

Booni Doon promises effective, clean skincare products that are kind to your skin, our oceans, and the Earth. We are on a mission to make zero waste skincare more innovative, accessible, and inclusive.

Inspired by climate change activism, Pooja Ganesan began researching ways to minimize her environmental footprint. What she thought would be simple swaps in her everyday life, became a nightmare when it came to her self-care routine. Her search for sustainable skincare ultimately led her to start booni doon. From ethically sourced ingredients to plastic-free packaging, booni doon is what she had initially sought out: effective, zero waste skincare that marries science with sustainability. The brand launched in 2020 with its award-winning CALM cleansing capsules and aims to prove you do not need to compromise on self-care when choosing to be a more conscious consumer.

Discover Booni Doon


4. Communal - Founder Faustina Agolley

Communal provides clean hair care products for active people with textured hair. Through a sustainable outlook, Communal's mission is to encourage greater connection to each other and the environment so we can enjoy it together for generations to come.

Founder, Faustina Agolley 刘玉 is a queer woman of Ghanaian and Chinese-Malaysian descent and is of the Kusasi tribe in northern Ghana. Born in London and raised in Australia, she grew up in a multigenerational home in the suburbs of Naarm with her Chinese-Malaysian mother taking care of her Afro hair. Faustina is affectionately also known as Fuzzy - a childhood nickname that has stuck with her since.  

When Faustina relocated from Naarm to Bundjalung Country (a coastal region of Australia) she was given a surfboard by her family on her birthday. She took up surfing each morning as a regular self-care practice. Through daily visits to the beach, she became far more aware of two things: the inevitable impact of her lifestyle choices on the environment and, since she was regularly in the ocean, needing a different kind of hair routine to look after her Afro. 
Faustina couldn't find clean and sustainable hair care products for her hair type in the marketplace. So she developed Communal, a brand that reflects her values of kinship, love of the outdoors, and knowledge sharing. Faustina's goal is to design products and outdoor experiences that create new forms of community so we can all enjoy nature together. 

As well as Communal, Faustina has enjoyed a long career as a broadcaster, writer, producer and DJ. She has interviewed artists including Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Foo Fighters, Ice Cube and Lady Gaga. She has written on queer matters and mental health for Netflix Pause, Women of Letters (Penguin), Huffington Post, Sunday Life, Queerstories, and Growing up African in Australia. Faustina was personally picked by the Harpo team and toured Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand as Oprah Winfrey’s resident DJ for her ‘An Evening with Oprah Tour'. 

Discover Communal (Launching in 2022)

5. Cheekbone Beauty - Founder Jennifer Harper

To help every Indigenous youth see and feel their enormous value in the world while creating sustainable colour cosmetics.


An award-winning social entrepreneur, Jenn Harper is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC.  Cheekbone Beauty is a digitally native direct to consumer brand that is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand while using the concept of Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) in the brands ethos and in developing products.  Creating a new segment in the beauty industry - Sustainable Socially Conscious Beauty.  

Jennifer Harper has been making a name for herself in the beauty industry for a number of years but has been gaining popularity quickly after being on the hit CBC show, Dragons Den. Cheekbone Beauty’s mission is to help every Indigenous youth see and feel their enormous value in the world while creating sustainable colour cosmetics.

In addition to Cheekbone’s mission, she strives to educate as many people as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on my family and friends through decades of generational trauma. She speaks regularly to university, college and high school students about social entrepreneurship, empathy and the history of her First Nations family. She has also been invited to speak to various entrepreneur groups including women in business associations, Apple Canada and First Nations organizations.

Discover Cheekbone 


6. Frigg - Founder Kimberly Dillon

Frigg believes in stressless wellness using the power of the Cannabis plant. We believe how you feel impacts how you look and we develop products that tackle concerns that arise due to inflammation while also providing mood-supporting boosters.

Kimberly Dillon is the founder of Frigg, a beauty brand that tackles the impact of stress on the hair, skin and body. The brand leverages cannabis, mushrooms, and adaptogens in all of our vegan formulas, with a mission to work with BIPOC farmers and vendors. She got her start in Cannabis as the original Chief Marketing Officer of Papa & Barkley, a Cannabis startup that she helped scale to a 100M+ valuation. Named a “Brand star” by Adweek for her story-driven approach to branding, she also serves as a mentor and advisor to a number of Cannabis and CBD Brands.

Prior to cannabis, she worked at several Blue Chip companies like Procter & Gamble and Clorox. She has two undergraduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Kimberly lives in Los Angeles, where she sometimes performs standup & storytelling shows in her free time and is working on her 42nd passport stamp.

Discover Frigg


7. Look Good Live Well - Founder Ariane Turner

Our mission is to simplify skincare, remove gender bias, and normalize the use of luxury products within the black and brown community. While we know wellness looks different for everyone, we celebrate, and provide the tools for consistent skincare as a form of self care.

Ari is a 20 year beauty entrepreneur who has dealt with acne my entire career. Either while educating clients on products and ingredients, healthy lifestyle habits, and wellness tips to best manage their skin, covering up texture and discoloration while working on major film/tv projects, or even in her personal life she knows acne VERY well. What shelearned is that treating acne is a two part job; you have to not only address the actual breakout, but also the hyperpigmentation it leaves behind.

She  had a hard time finding a brand that celebrated her melanin and her scars, while at the same time helped her glow through active ingredients and effective products, so she created what the industry was missing. Ari believes you deserve clean formulations that help you get closer to your skincare goals.

You deserve to Look Good and Live Well.

Look Good Live Well


8. M'chel Haircare - Founder Michelle Kim 

Our focus is on delivering quality ingredients, thoughtfully designed packaging, and less harm to the environment. Our ambitious goals to minimize personal impact on the environment led us to create a dry shampoo that is safe on the scalp, hair and earth.

Michelle is the founder of m’Chel Haircare, an AAPI-owned clean hair care company based in San Francisco. Using her 11 years of knowledge in the hair industry, she created the first ever dry shampoo brush applicator that’s designed to protect the scalp and environment from harm.

While working as a hairdresser, Michelle experienced severe side effects from the harmful chemicals that are in hair care products. Her mission to help bring healthier alternatives to aerosol dry shampoo led her to create the eco-friendly Day After Brush dry shampoo.

Michelle was able to successfully launch m’Chel Haircare in the middle of the pandemic last year with the support of her friends, stylists and growing m’Chel Haircare community. One of her biggest highlights of this year was being a winner on QVC & HSN’s The Big Find. Michelle is currently working to bring more exciting and clean hair care solutions next year.

m’Chel Haircare


 9. Mawena - Founder Helena Mendes

Beauty secrets, shared. Inspired by the rituals and traditions that are passed down from generation to generation, woman to woman, Mawena - meaning ‘I am seen as I am’ in West African dialect - is a Black-owned beauty company that prides itself on crafting efficacious {skin care} that melds ancestral knowledge with cutting-edge plant research. Founded by Helena Mendès following an extended trip to Mexico, this luxury range is built around the miraculous bark of mimosa tenuiflora — a natural active ingredient that has been utilised by Mayan women for centuries. The organic, authentic beauty line is uncompromising on quality, performance and integrity; it’s cruelty-free, vegan and committed to giving back to the Mayan community that was its inspiration

Travel broadens the mind, they say. But the path taken by Helena Mendès - a globetrotter through and through - proves to what extent it can also shape the course of destiny. Of course she likes to look after herself, especially having learned all about the benefits of plants from her mother at a tender age. But, in 2013, when the story of Mawena first began, she had little time to spare for such things. Her demanding career as an International Relations negotiator took up all her not inconsiderable energy. As an International Negotiator, Helena Mendès had to be skilled in the art of compromise. But for her 100% natural, organic and slow cosmetic brand, absolutely no concessions could be made with respect to the human values that she rightly sees as being fundamental: honesty, transparency and authenticity. 

Discover Mawena


10. Nopalera - Founder Sandra Lilia Velasquez

Nopalera was founded to elevate and celebrate Latin@ culture. The nopal cactus is an ancient symbol of Mexican culture. It’s also one of the most sustainable, nourishing, and resilient crops in the world. We’ve taken our inspiration–and our name–from this incredible plant. It’s strong, resilient, and beautiful. Just like us.

Sandra was raised by Mexican immigrant parents in California near the US/ Mexico border, and she founded Nopalera to celebrate her culture. Loud and proud. No apologies.

Nopalera is here to fight the Euro-Centric beliefs in this country (and the beauty industry) that perpetuate the belief that products from Western Europe with French or Italian names are worthier of higher price tags than those from south of the border. Mexican products can be high end.



11. Prados - Founder Cece Meadows

Our mission is to create an inclusive and uplifting beauty brand that inspires people through the lens of Indigenous communities throughout Turtle Island.

Cece Meadows, Founder and CEO of Prados Beauty is of Xicana and Indigenous descent. From her Yaqui to Comanche roots, she works diligently to build a beauty brand that is inclusive and highlights the beauty of her culture and people. From a published professional NYFW makeup artist, to a Beauty Brand Owner and Philanthropist, Cece has always given back to Indigenous communities throughout Turtle Island. Starting her dream from a small bedroom in her home and just $150.00, her budding empire has grown 410% in just 2 1/2 years. Cece is slated to become the first Indigenous owned beauty brand to be in a big box store later this year. From her collaborations with fellow Native, Steven Paul Judd, who is of Chocktaw and Kiowa tribes, this powerhouse of Indigenous Beauty, Excellence and Entrepreneurship is a force to be reckoned with.

Discover Prados


12. Tierra & Lava - Founder Lucy Ashman


Tierra & Lava creates natural skincare products with Mayan ingredients for Conscious Consumers. We use green beauty to generate economic impact for small family farms in Guatemala and Belize additionally bringing awareness to unique Central American plants and centuries old Mayan traditions. 

Being born and raised in Belize began Lucy’s lifelong fascination with the amazing plant biodiversity in Central America. After studying and working in Eco-Tourism Lucy had the privilege of visiting rural villages where local people taught her sacred traditional uses and cultural rituals of local plants, leading her to create Tierra & Lava, a natural skincare company today with over 70 natural formulas.

Lucy is committed to all the luxury of amazing skincare products without any of the crap. Preserving Mayan traditions and combining scientific research, she creates new blends from synergistic whole plants. Her products have no fillers, only natural preservatives and she is firmly committed to ethical sourcing. Tiera & Lava is Fair Trade certified partnering with 65 small family farms in 25 different rural communities in Guatemala and Belize. From production, to operations to packaging Lucy is very serious about genuinely green principles for both herself and her business. Lucy and her 3 children are vegans and produce zero garbage in both Lucy’s home and workshop!

Tierra & Lava has recently attracted impact-focused partners including US retailers Earth Hero, Done Good and Beautyologie: Fair Trade + Ethical Beauty.

Tierra & Lava


13. Wholly Gloss - Founder Erica Bigger


The mission of WhollyGloss is to develop eco conscious beauty products for all consumers and makeup artists that provides a glossy angelic finish in a way that is authentic, innovative and creative. Thereby we are helping our customers look and feel their best when wearing our products. We are passionate about our offerings because we ourselves love the feel of having a non-toxic beauty product that gives us that desired angelic look. As a brand we commit to transparency, diversity and inclusion. WhollyGloss plans to create a fund that will cater to underrepresented and less fortunate girls from the age of 13-17 that are interested in beauty, fashion, entertainment and entrepreneurship. WhollyGloss is also a supporter is a supporter of Breast Cancer.

Erica Bigger is the founder of WhollyGloss, a vegan gloss brand she launched in 2018 after she had trouble with finding gloss that was pigmented with color and vegan ... After realizing that not only did she want gloss for her lips but she discovered a white space for eyegloss in the beauty market, in 2020 WhollyGloss is now sold on Walmart MarketPlace in the USA and Canada, Feloh MarketPlace and coming soon Amazon.

Discover WhollyGloss

Congratulations to this year’s founders we can’t wait to learn from you and rise alongside you. Stay tuned for more updates!