Meet Annie Jackson | Co-Founder and COO at Credo Beauty
You have had quite an illustrious career in the beauty industry, from Estee Lauder to Sephora, and now Co-Founder and COO of Credo Beauty. Can you tell us about how you landed as head of the premier clean beauty retailer in existence?
I have been in beauty my whole career – as a retailer and on the brand side. Shashi Batra (our late founder of Credo) was my boss when we were both at Sephora. Shashi was a true visionary and saw this tidal wave coming long before anyone else. Since we had a long work history together – he bounced the concept of Credo off of me and when I did my research on the space it was clear he was on to something. As soon as we started to look for brands to see if we could even fill a store to meet our high clean standard – we instantly saw the tidal wave of indie brands that needed a platform to showcase their products that aligned with their values.
What has been a huge catalyst for Credo has been the second generation of entrepreneurs and creators who are passionate about beauty but are conscious and informed about the harmful ingredients that exist in most conventional products. The brands we work with are different from the first generation of natural/organic/green brand visionaries because they focus on beauty and efficacy as a critical part of their brands – in design, packaging, texture, and scent. Starting Credo with Shashi will forever be one of the most humbling and meaningful moments of my life – we miss him every day. But the fact he left us with this incredible legacy called Credo to continue to build is awesome. Just like him!
Lipstick Angels are beyond thrilled and grateful to have had the amazing good fortune of partnering with Credo Beauty and being able to provide services to cancer patients with so many incredible non-toxic brands. What is it about the Lipstick A mission that inspires you?
Shashi originally found Renata and Lipstick Angels…when he told me about her and her mission, his face literally lit up. Lipstick Angels were the missing component of what we envisioned Credo to be as far as giving back to an organization we truly felt was doing good and noble work. I remember our first time meeting together for lunch, it was truly one of our happiest Credo moments – and a really meaningful partnership for Credo.
We felt there was such a strong alignment between us because our missions are very similar. We are a resource to people that want to connect to the intellectual side of personal care: ingredients and how good or bad they are for human health. And the emotional side: how looking good can make you feel good.
You and your team created the Clean Beauty Council! Can you explain how it is designed to educate and inform the public? What inspired you to create this platform?
Since Credo's mission is to change the way people think about the products they use every day. We started by identifying ingredients found in so many conventional beauty products known to be harmful to human health and/or our environment.
What we have learned is that the dirty ingredients are just the beginning. To effect real change, we have to work together on some complex issues. So, we formed Credo’s Clean Beauty Council which is a group of beauty industry experts who have been propelling the industry forward. Our council is made up of seasoned veterans of the clean beauty movement with decades of experience between them.
A Ph.D. skin pharmacologist, a makeup artist focused on natural, holistic beauty, a founder of the organic certification movement, an aromatherapist and teacher, a public health advocate, and market-mover - these are the current Council members we're fortunate to work with.
"We felt there was such strong alignment between [Credo Beauty and Lipstick Angels] because our missions are very similar. We are a resource to people that want to connect to the intellectual side of personal care: ingredients and how good or bad they are for human health. And the emotional side: how looking good can make you feel good."
How would you define “self-care?” Can we have a peek into your self-care routine and a few of your beauty favorites?
Creating time for yourself and investing in your mental and physical health in any way is self-care. For me, it is putting my phone away for an entire Sunday. I hate that thing! And it feels incredible to give me permission to not communicate with anyone all day and just connect with my kids in a real way. Not the distracted, half-listening, trying to answer work emails and kid questions simultaneously kind of way.
The other self-care luxury I love to give myself is to try and squeeze in a power yoga class before work at least twice a week. It kicks my ass! And more importantly, it takes the daily challenges we face each day to build a business back down to earth and I can handle them in stride vs it making my head want to explode.
Some of my beauty favorites are:
- Ilia Limitless Mascara
- Osea Ocean Cleanser
- Jillian Dempsey Eye Liner,
- Trilogy Ultra-Hydrating Cream
- Kjaer Weis The Beautiful Oil
- Kypris Antioxidant Dew
- CV Skinlabs Body Lotion….I could go on & on!
You are a true visionary as one of the pioneers of clean beauty. What do you think consumers can expect in the next 10 years from this industry and what part do you hope Credo Beauty plays in it?
Consumer demand for transparency and better ingredients is growing fast. There is a wealth of information out there today that empowers people to know what they are consuming. The existence of similar parallels in other consumer categories in the industry where sustainability, ethical sourcing, environmental impact, and health are already key factors in consumer d - food is one obvious example. The overall shift to conscientious consumption and a healthy lifestyle is innate to millennials.
Conventional brands won’t be able to rely on fancy marketing and synthetic b.s. ingredients for long. There is a big risk for those who assume this movement is a niche. It is more of a risk for conventional brands and retailers who don’t adapt. They have more to lose than disrupters and start-ups. The conventional brands and companies that are open-minded and accept this change is coming and make changes to meet consumer demand will rise to the top, and others who are complacent will likely suffer the consequence of a significant loss of market share because by not adapting to a better way. Consumers are speaking out in a really loud voice, they should listen.
I hope when we see what Credo’s part in this movement is 10 years from now, that we were able to effect real change in regulation. I hope that the brands we have partnered with that are working hard to formulate products that are good for humans and our planet are able to scale in a way that makes them accessible to everyone and not called or considered a “niche.”