Founder to Founder: Tara Foley and Tata Harper
Founder to Founder is a series in which our founder and CEO Tara Foley sits down with leading founders in the clean beauty industry to talk about their brands and how they got to where they are today.
As a pioneer of the clean beauty industry, Tata Harper is beloved for her line of pure and performance-based products, all made on her 1,200-acre farm in Vermont. Earlier this year, Tara Foley joined Tata at the farm to learn more about how she got her start in the beauty industry, what clean beauty means to her, and why having a production facility at her farm is so important.
When Tata founded her company, she didn’t have extensive knowledge of the beauty industry—and in the end, that worked in her favor. “To say that I had some resistance is a complete understatement,” she told Tara. However, Tata approached her business with the “absolute motivation to create the products that did not exist.”
“I was really raw and ignorant,” she continued. “At the time, I thought that was something that was working against me. … I feel that having that ignorance was really key for me as an entrepreneur, because then I was able to see everything with fresh eyes and just really have the patience to develop the brand.”
Today, her brand is committed to the highest standards in clean beauty, making products that are completely non-artificial, synthetic-free, and non-toxic. Five herbs that are grown on the farm are used in many Tata Harper products, along with ingredients from 68 different countries.
“Everything gets compiled here and then we basically cook the formulas here,” Tata said of her farm, which serves as the brand’s production facility. “We fill them, we package them, and then they go out into the world.”
Having production at the farm allows Tata to maintain the highest standards and produce the freshest products. “By the time that we make it and it gets to your stores, it’s been just two to three months instead of eight to nine, and that makes a huge difference,” she told Tara.
During our visit to Vermont, Tara and Tata were also joined by Cara Bondi, Vice President, Research & Development and Global Regulatory Affairs at Tata Harper Skincare.
Cara highlighted that the brand is very different from many other beauty brands because of the time they spend evaluating what ingredients to use in their products. After all, there are no shortcuts when you’re invested in creating high-performance products with real ingredients. “We make it really hard on ourselves,” Cara said. “The list of things we don’t use is [really] long, and those are the things that everyone uses. We have to figure out a different way to do it, so our standards are very high standards and drive innovation, which is why when we come out with products they have that ‘wow’ factor.”
Tata added that making sure her products are clean and effective is a huge priority. “I don’t cater to the minimalist, to the woman that wants to keep it simple,” she said. “I cater to the woman that’s a maximalist—that really, more is more for her.” Tara’s been a fan of Tata’s “more-is-more” product-line for years.
Thank you, Tata, for hosting us at your farm! We appreciate everything you do for the clean beauty community.
October 22, 2018