Name: Tara Foley of Follain
Location: 53 Dartmouth Street, South End; Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 350 square feet
Years at location: Opened in July 2013
Follain — Gaelic for "healthy, wholesome, and sound" — is just that. After realizing just how toxic beauty products were, Tara Foley began researching skin nutrition, ingredients, and chemicals. In 2013, she opened Follain in Boston's South End, where she shares her healthy skincare, hair, and makeup picks with natural beauty lovers from all over.
Tara's been busy: In the last year, Follain has expanded to a second location in Wellesley, a seasonal shop in Nantucket, and popups in DC. With natural beauty in such high demand, it's a credit to Tara's vision that her small flagship still maintains that calming feeling.
Though it wasn't always so spa-like. Before photos (at the end of the photo gallery) show a drab retail space devoid of personality. But with the help of friends and family, Tara DIYed the tiny shop into the natural oasis you see today.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Clean, calm, and rustic.
Inspiration: Spas and luxurious bathrooms.
Favorite Element: Our double basin farmhouse sink, where customers can experience products and refill soaps.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping scratches off our marble countertop (aka “education station”) where customers bring their cosmetic and travel bags to learn about the safety of their ingredients.
What Friends Say: Friends and customers comment that the store is calming and smells amazing.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our uneven tile work...part of outfitting a store with friends – not professionals. We learned our lesson!
Proudest DIY: Our uneven tile work.
Biggest Indulgence: That marble countertop (education station). Due to its purpose, it was important for this countertop to be beautiful and inviting…for our extremely tight budget it was a big splurge!
Best Advice: We love to salvage and collect as much furniture as possible from local secondhand sources like the Brimfield show and even Craigslist!
Dream Sources: Paris’ Marches aux Puces de St Ouen and Roundtop Texas show are both on our bucket list.
Resources of Note:
- Paint is Behr Quietude – which I picked for the name just as much as the color
- Double basin sink + stands — Brimfield Antique Show + New England Demolition
- Glass top pipe bottom makeup table – DIY using an Apartment Therapy guide!
- Whitewashed floating shelves – DIY
- Wooden display pedestals – DIY
- Small artifacts like watering cans, planters, and vases – Brimfield Antique Show, Rhode Island Antiques Mall, and Portland Salvage
- Follain logo sign – Etsy seller
- iPhone gramophone – Etsy seller
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