Clean, natural beauty has been steadily gaining a large following over the years especially as many consumers pay more attention to what goes in and on their bodies. Following buzzy openings in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, one stop shop clean beauty destination, Credo, founded by the late Shashi Batra, who was part of the original team that launched Sephora in the US, is getting ready to open their first location in Chicago. The first Chicago Credo location will be in Bucktown (1659 N. Damen Ave.) in the former Steven Alan space.
Credo’s Chicago store will be stocked full of a plethora of clean, organic makeup, skincare, bath&body products including Antonym, W3LL, Oilixia, Tata Harper, Vapour as well as a spa for services such as mini facials, waxing and makeup applications.
With this being Credo’s first Chicago store, I chatted briefly with Credo’s Chief Operating Officer Annie Jackson. She is a beauty industry vet with more than 20 years of experience as a merchant, entrepreneur and marketer in cosmetics working for major brands such as Estee Lauder, Sephora and Benefit.
SociaLifeChicago: What do you hope Chicago consumers come to love about the store and the natural beauty brands it carries?
Annie Jackson: The explosive growth in clean beauty has brought this tidal wave of indie brands and innovation, and we feel really honored to showcase their products. The catalyst for customers is the fun of exploring 100+ brands created by entrepreneurs and makers who are passionate about the beauty category but are conscientious and informed about the potentially harmful ingredients that exist in most conventional products. We hope Credo and the brands we carry tap into the belief of Chicagoans that, there is a better way to look beautiful with both style and substance. Our vision of what beauty is: looking good and feeling good.
SLC: Natural beauty has seen a rise in consumer demands over the last few years, do you see this trend increasing dramatically and how do you continue to innovate and provide new things to consumers?
AJ: We see -undoubtedly -that conscientious consumption while buying great products without sacrificing the experience and the emotion is a greater movement across many categories. It started with the natural food markets, where now it is a standard to find food that is natural and delicious.
The brands Credo carries are founded by Makers that are creating their brands with two fundamentals: authenticity & transparency. They have a holistic vision for what they have created with a focus both on the inside (formulation: ingredients and efficacy) and the outside (experience: packaging, texture and scent). If you create a brand based on these beliefs – this is a movement, not a trend. A way of living your life – like exercising and healthy eating. So our job as merchants is to be continually looking for interesting brands formulating beautiful products that do what they say they will do and have super clean formulas. Labs are aware of the growth in this category and are working hard to create modern formulas and interesting ingredient stories.
SLC: Who designed the Chicago store and why did you pick that neighborhood?
AJ: Victoire Batra designs all of our stores. She has an exceptional talent of creating modern and bright spaces, that also feel welcoming; hopefully our stores make you smile when you walk inside. Victoire always chooses elements inherent to each store that celebrates the heritage of the space, and the vibe of that neighborhood. In our Chicago store we have this incredible art-deco ceiling that is original to the space. Being in Bucktown is a dream come true, we think it is progressive, innovative and inclusive as a community. There is such a strong community spirit here and it feels like Chicagoans are ready for new ideas in a real organic and authentic way. Having the privilege of serving these communities that are both health savvy and yet uncompromising about beauty is where we see alignment.
SLC: For someone to natural beauty movement looking to your store for guidance, how can they navigate Credo without being overwhelmed?
AJ: One of our unique features in the stores and online are Clean Swaps. A customer can either share with our staff the products she is using or even bring in her entire makeup bag and we can recommend a healthy alternative to it. We also offer mini facials and makeup application using all of our brands so a customer can really discuss their skin concerns and get recommendations that way. Our staff are licensed estheticians and makeup artists, so these are people that really savvy about skin and skin physiology and love to do makeup. Education is a cornerstone of what we do – so whether you are visiting Credo with your friends looking for a lip gloss or you have skin concerns you want to address 1-on-1, our staff are ready and waiting to talk to you.
SLC: Do you plan to expand more in Chicago?
AJ: So far our experience in Chicago has been wonderful. We are really looking at every community that has the critical mass to support this conscientious demand.
Credo is hosting a launch party on Thursday July 20 starting at 5pm, you can rsvp to: MACKENZIE@CREDOBEAUTY.COM