That's a beautiful wrap on our Credo for Change Mentorship Program, class of 2020 and we couldn't be more proud of our first 13 graduates. Read on to discover what they've been up to for the past 6 months and learn more about these clean beauty founders you need to know.
About Credo for Change
As entrepreneurs, we recognize that building a company is hard, really hard. Many times access to talent, industry contacts, strategic thought partners or fundraising is not equitable. Through our Credo for Change mentorship program, Credo's intent is to help to facilitate aspiring BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) founders or new companies in functional areas that may help prepare their brand for larger distribution in retailers or online.
Class of 2020 - The Highlights
Here's what happened since August:
- Nine intensive workshops with experts on how to grow a clean beauty brand: retail, clean formulation, sustainable packaging, fundraising, branding, marketing, PR, digital, education and more
- One-on-one monthly time with Credo executives and industry experts for on-going strategic support
- Introductions and connections with fellow entrepreneurs, beauty experts, funders and Credo team
Get to know the 13 brands who made up our first class of Credo for Change mentorship program and their inspiring founders. Look out, these innovative new brands will surely be taking the clean beauty world by storm:
1. Stroller Gang – Founder, Brittany Jones
Our mission is “beyond a belly cream”. We are dedicated to providing safe, effective and beautiful products that support the evolution of a woman through motherhood and honors who she was before motherhood.
Brittany Jones is the Founder of Strollergang, a line of beauty products inspired by her experience with skincare while pregnant and nursing. Since imagining the brand in 2018, Brittany has developed two products that safely tackle the biggest skincare concerns for her and her community and give mothers peace of mind with simple, transparent ingredients. Prior to creating Strollergang, Brittany spent eight years in brand management and digital marketing for global media and entertainment market leaders. Most recently, she held the title of Senior Brand Manager at Live Nation Entertainment; Sponsorship. Brittany holds a Bachelor Arts from Ohio State University. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Walter, and their two sons, Landon and Channing.
2. Shatasha – Founder, Sasha Wordlaw
My goal with Shatasha Beauty is to normalize SPF use in hair care, especially for the black and brown communities. Beginning with a multi-tasking hydrating, SPF-infused scalp, hair and body cream that can be applied from ‘fro to toe. Clean, non-toxic and cruelty-free.
Shatasha's story begins in 2008 after being devastated by a bald spot. Discovering it was alopecia, a side-effect of lupus with no known cure was tough enough, but as an esthetician and makeup artist, this was a big blow. Her physician advised to protect the hair and scalp with sun protection - a challenge with super curly hair that resulted in feeling crunchy and tangled, which led to more hair loss. In addition, they were full of chemicals that had to be washed out daily…more hair loss. After much emotional and financial trauma, she took her beauty industry know-how and began making her own hair products – natural, hydrating, protective – all infused with CBD and SPF. Her self-named company, Shatasha represents embracing your true self and declaring to the universe “I am enough.”
Discover Shatasha Beauty
3. Refigure – Founder, Tanya Perkins
Rejecting the standard way of making hair and beauty products is where Refigure (formerly Unconform) was born. Traditional and even many “natural” products are loaded with chemicals, but our plant-based products are as close to nature as possible leaving skin and hair healthy and free of toxins and chemicals.
Founder and Chief, Tanya Perkins believes that what we put in and on our body plays a huge role in our health. So, she put conformity aside and began a clean beauty journey making her own hair and skincare, ignoring common but harmful ingredients, and focusing only on things that were good for both the body and the environment. She began sharing her products with family and friends and now, through Refigure, with you.
In addition to this exciting venture, Perkins is currently COO of a Tembo Health, a telemedicine startup and helps college students start socially-minded ventures with The Resolution Project.
4. Doubledown Cosmetics – Founders, Marvin & Kristen Speller
Our mission is to provide clean beauty globally by creating good-for-you skincare & cosmetics with the highest quality ingredients for all skin tones while serving our Domestic Violence Community.
Husband and wife founded Doubledown Cosmetics in 2017 in Los Angeles, CA – a Non-GMO, Organic, 100%, Gluten Free & Cruelty Free Skincare & Cosmetic Brand.
Black-owned and operated, offering vegan products as well supporting a “something clean and good for every consumer” philosophy.
In addition, Marvin & Kristen, founded the Domestic Violence Glam UP Program in 2011 and have partnered with local community organizations to provide not only makeovers, but education on health & wellness, which they believe begins from the inside. This is beauty that looks good and feels good with charitable donations going to Domestic Violence, Homeless & Addiction Communities of Los Angeles, CA & Las Vegas, NV.
Discover Doubledown Cosmetics
5. LAMIK Beauty – Founder, Kim Roxie
LAMIK is an acronym that stands for Love And Makeup In Kindness. Their mission is to transform the beauty industry inside and out and provide clean beauty products for the Women who Run the World.
Founder & CEO, Kim Roxie was destined to create a clean beauty brand that keeps multicultural women top of mind. After opening her own brick and mortar makeup shop at age 21, she became the youngest African-American woman to have her products carried in a major department store, Macy’s. In 2018, Roxie launched LAMIK 2.0, an E-commerce beauty tech-enabled company and in 2020 and has become an inspiring community leader with the city of Houston even naming June 23rd Kim Roxie Day! Honored as one of Houston Business Journal’s 40 under 40, American Business Journal’s Most Influential Young Executives and one of the 30 Black Stars by Face2Face Africa. LAMIK has been featured in Essence, Allure, Cosmopolitan, and Martha Stewart.com.
Discover Lamik Beauty
6. Strange Bird – Founder, Tina Chow Rudolf
“My goal was to create more than a skincare routine, but to create daily rituals that make self-care truly powerful and transformative. Our products blend Chinese beauty traditions with flower and gem essences, which I like to call high vibrational alchemy.” A percentage of sales go towards helping support women’s mental health.
Founder Tina Chow Rudolf is a working mother who understands how busy life can get and how our own self-care gets put on the back burner. As a 1st generation Chinese American, Chow grew up watching her mother and grandmother taking care of each other’s skin as a way to commune and she created Strange Bird because she wanted to share that culture with the world. “I’ve met (and been) the woman who was too busy for self-care so I deeply understand how hard it is to find time for ourselves. My skincare practice always served as a meditation and a ritual I could quietly go to—to reflect and celebrate my own beauty through self-attention. I value these moments and I’d like to give them to the world."
Discover Strange Bird
7. Organic Bath Co – Founder, Gianne Doherty and Jay Weeks
Organic Bath Co. believes in self-care made simple: Mindful moments, peaceful thoughts and nurturing your skin from the outside in. What you put on your body is as important as what you put in it—so we’ve created an award-winning bath and body line using only organic and natural ingredients that are safe, effective and easy to use.
In 2014, partners in life (and love) Gianne Doherty and Jay Weeks founded Organic Bath Co. based on the need to do something cleaner after Gianne had a serious reaction to her favorite conventional beauty products. Enter a romantic gesture by Jay that changed the course of their lives when he formulated a decadent body butter infused with shea butter from Ghana, Argan Oil from Morocco and Almond and Jojoba Oils, that was perfectly safe for Gianne’s newly sensitive skin. Today, that same formula is now their very best-seller, Drenched, and is the base for all our body butters. They have since become passionate advocates for health, wellness and skincare accessible to all…men, women and people of color with nature’s most beneficial and pampering ingredients.
Discover Organic Bath Co.
8. Common Heir – Founders, Angela Ubias (left) and Cary Lin (right)
Common Heir stands for high impact clean beauty that’s low impact on the environment. We push for positive change by creating the world’s best plastic-free skincare, without compromising on performance or values.
Angela Ubias & Cary Lin, Co-Founders of Common Heir were inspired. Inspired to get rid of plastic in beauty after stumbling upon a pile of plastic lotion bottles washed up on a favorite beach in Santa Monica. They became obsessed with the challenge to make the words sustainability, performance, and luxury, synonymous through thoughtful design, innovation, and technology.
After watching her grandmother doing her beauty rituals each Sunday, Angela fell in love with all things skincare and has since worked over 7 years in clean beauty manufacturing, product development, and formulation, and has helped build iconic brands that are likely on your top shelf.
Cary and Angela’s aspirations with Common Heir is to build a trusted brand you can feel good about from performance and innovation to sustainability, ingredients and all things in between.
Discover Common Heir
9. Gloryscent – Founder, Rafaela Gonzalez
Gloryscent is a pro-melanin natural skin care brand created to facilitate the journey to healthy radiant skin and suncare for all colors through protection from environmental aggressors to help hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, all too common in women of color.
When Rafaela Gonzalez was 19 years old, she began a journey of self-discovery, love and acceptance and started making small batches of DIY products for herself. While studying for her bachelor’s degree and learning about natural skincare formulating with Formula Botanica, she began selling sun protection products at local craft shows. In 2019, the brand was officially re-branded and launched with the help of friends and family. “I take great pride in having the courage to make moves towards my dreams and to help people of color. I am driven by principles of faith, preparation and determination.”
10. 54 Thrones – Founder, Christina Tegbe
Our mission is to create intimate skincare experiences through traditional African beauty rituals.
Christina Tegbe grew up experiencing the true and sacred beauty of Africa, learning the beauty ropes from her Nigerian aunts who would indulge her with tubs of shea butter among other beauty secrets. She was moved to do something clean, beautiful and in her mind, necessary. In 2016, 54 Thrones was created; the name that represents Africa’s 54 countries. “I travel frequently to different African countries to collaborate with women-run cooperatives who craft the amazing clean, botanical ingredients that make up 54 Thrones products backed by women who’ve cared for their skin with these natural ingredients for generations.
Discover 54 Thrones
11. Beija- Flor Naturals – Founder, Stevonne Ratliff
Passionate about creating natural, clean hair and skincare to tame her kinky, coily hair and combat hyperpigmentation, Beija-Flor Naturals was born and inspired by botanical ingredients infused with result-driven Brazilian ingredients.
Started in her very own kitchen sink, founder Stevonne Ratliff, responding to a lack of quality, hair and skincare to tame her kinky, coily hair and combat hyperpigmentation, created the first American Beauty line to include fair trade.
Infused with ingredients she found on apothecary shelves near her home in Rio de Janeiro such as acai, the line quickly became a cult favorite among beauty influencers and in 2013, Ratliff opened her first brick and mortar location.
As a retail shop owner for 8+ years, Beija-Flor Naturals began to focus on demystifying the transition to clean beauty by offering simple yet luxurious, multi-use products that make for a joyful natural beauty transition.
Discover Beija-Flor Naturals
12. Laws of Nature Cosmetics – Founder, Jasmine Rose
Laws of Nature Cosmetics is passionately focused on providing Black women with “good for the skin” foundations that reflect their diverse shades, with undertones containing clean, safer ingredients suitable for all skin types and conditions.
After learning that her mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, Jasmine Rose, an aspiring college art student and award-winning designer decided to shift focus. Through research, various sources revealed a strong link between certain chemicals such as parabens, mercury, lead, and talc in cosmetics that potentially cause Breast Cancer. In 2008, Jasmine started to examine her beauty and dietary habits while shifting to a natural lifestyle. During this transition, she had difficulty finding a safer, natural foundation suitable for her own skin tone and sensitive, acne-prone skin type.
Building upon her background as a visual artist, Jasmine started experimenting with DIY cosmetic formulations and after years of testing different formulas, she found something that worked for her. Based on her experience, she figured other Black women shared the same struggle finding a clean foundation that addressed their skin concerns (i.e., hyperpigmentation, acne, and eczema) and matched their shade and undertones.
A labor of love, in 2015, she launched her own brand with its flagship product, The Foxy Finish™ Mineral Creme Foundation, in 6 shades. Today, the brand offers 16 shades in multiple finishes, including creme foundation, stick foundation, creme-to-powder, loose mineral powder, loose setting powder, concealer, corrector, and a contour palette.
Discover Laws of Nature Cosmetics
13. Undefined Beauty – Founder, Dorian Morris
At the intersection of wellness and adaptogens (like CBD), is where Undefined Beauty finds its clean, conscious, inclusive plant magic. They believe in clean beauty for all with performance-driven products, sustainably and consciously sourced and nothing over $50.
A true champion of inclusive, accessible beauty and wellness, Dorian Morris is a beauty junkie with deep expertise across categories from cosmetics to haircare to skincare to food. She is the Founder/CEO of Undefined Inc. a clean, conscious, inclusive lifestyle brand focused the democratizing beauty and destigmatizing plant magic. She is also the Chief Architect of Undefined Collective, focused on conscious capitalism and elevating female-founded, minority-owned, LGBTQ+ and CBD brands. Dorian lives to educate and empower woman + men everywhere to explore, embrace and celebrate their own unique beauty through unique ingredient stories while also giving back to the community: purposeful beauty unleashed. With a diverse leadership background including Covergirl and Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture, a performance driven haircare brand found only at Sephora. The devotion is palpable.
Discover Undefined Beauty
That's a beautiful wrap. Thanks for letting us guide you, learn from you and rise alongside you. Lucky them. Lucky us.
And remember…this amazing and exciting new program will be ongoing, so please, reach out to us in the spring and throw your hat in the clean beauty ring. We can’t wait to continue to guide, nurture and keep this BIPOC mentorship movement growing. We’re all just getting started.
Our Speakers & Industry Mentors:
- Allbirds: Laila Tarraf, Head of People & Employee Experience
- Bartlett Brands: Rebecca Bartlett, Founder & Creative Director
- BraveOne Digital Marketing: Luke Snelling & Priya Lanani
- Brentwood Associates: Katherine Mossman, Industry Partner
- Brown Beauty Co-Op: Kimberly Smith, Co-Founder
- CircleUp: Aditi Dash, Partner
- ClearForMe: Sabrina Noorani, Founder
- Creme Collective: Leilah Mundt, Founder
- EleVen by Venus Williams: Venus Williams, Founder and CEO
- Goldman Sachs: Janki Lalani Gandi, Managing Director
- Katey Denno: Celebrity Clean Beauty MUA
- Linda Romary: Amazon Expert
- MAAV: Iram Blajchman, President
- NextWorld Evergreen: Christina Yu, VP
- NextWorld Evergreen: Tiffany Obenchain, Partner
- Oyl + Water: Rachel Roberts Mattox, Founder
- PPC Packaging: Brandon Frank, President
- Sideman & Bancroft: Alisa Won, Partner
- Summit Partners: Melanie Whelan, Managing Director
- Tucker Ellis LLP: Faustina Lee, IP Attorney
- Ulta: Muffy Clince, Director Emerging Brands