Today I’m excited to have a quick Q and A with Annie Jackson, who is Vice President of in charge of Merchandising at Credo Beauty. Credo is this amazing store based out of San Fransisco that specializes in natural beauty products – brands like Tata Harper, GOOP, Herbivore Botanicals, and so, so many more. They have a strict policy in place of only selling products that meet their guidelines for being “clean” – no allergens, weird chemicals, fake fragrances, and all of that other junk that is so ubiquitous in beauty products today. Annie was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about her experiences in the beauty world and what career advice she has for others …I hope you guys enjoy it!
Q: Can you tell us about your role at Credo and how your previous experience led you to this point?
A: I lucked out with an incredible opportunity to work at Estee Lauder when I was only 19. They are an incredible organization, and they offered me a great career path and just a good solid business foundation. I was there about 7 years and had worked my way up to a marketing position based in NY when a recruiter called about a new concept called Sephora. Back then, Sephora too was a start up. I was incredibly excited about the store opening plans they had, and they are based in SF which is home for me. So I jumped at the opportunity. Shashi (our Credo founder) was also my boss at Sephora and I learned a lot from him and we also just understood each other really well from day one. When Shashi showed me his idea for what he envisioned Credo to be – it was not just words on a page to me. It instantly resonated with me and was really very inspiring that we could create a place for all these brands and the creative entrepreneurs behind them that are making safe and beautiful products accessible to people.
My role at Credo…..is varied! I am “formally” the head of merchandising, but we are a small team accomplishing a lot of different initiatives. So we truly band together on anything and everything. Aside from running the business and working with our brand partners on marketing and merchandising – we are in the stores, working on events, looking for new brands….I love the pace of our business. Every day is different, and so are the opportunities.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: Our office is based in an idyllic little neighborhood called Pacific Heights, across the street from our flagship location on Fillmore St. We are in a townhome, above an incredible artisanal french bakery that is loved by locals and tourists alike called La Boulangerie. Working above a bakery is lovely….and treacherous all at the same time. We can open our windows and smell fresh coffee, warm bread, butter and sugar all day long – it is intoxicating and dangerous! I feel like butter is my new middle name these days. 🙂
When I am in SF, I spend a lot of time in our SF store – it is such a great way to listen to our customers and get really organic feedback. We are always testing different ideas in SF because we are so close. I also spend a lot of time with our brands and brainstorming ideas together. We are partners in this together, all with the same mission. So it’s really collaborative and open minded, and our brand partners have such different backgrounds – the ideas are endless.
Q: How is working at Credo different from working at other beauty companies?
A: Well, for a start it is very personal for all of us. I feel incredibly lucky for the job opportunities I’ve had, and respected the organizations I have worked for… but honestly didn’t feel like I was personally part of affecting change that is as profound as what we are all experiencing at Credo. Credo is fun, challenging, educational….but at the heart of it all it has impacted my life in such a positive way that I feel very grateful each day to be a part of it. Credo has a very holistic approach that has become a very meaningful mission for all of us on our team. When you understand the ingredients in conventional personal care products and their negative impact on human health it’s shocking, so to spend each day working toward something this is doing good for people is tremendous for me – and all of us.
I think what also sets Credo a part from other beauty companies is the connection to the community we are creating through the store design, the service, and telling the brand stories. Credo is a destination where the most comprehensive selection of safe, beautiful and effective products are available in one place. In this age of information we are all beginning to make more conscientious decisions about what we consume. There is more transparency around ingredient safety, sourcing and overall impact of the products we buy. Credo is a place where they can make this choice.
Q: What are your favorite brands or products that Credo carries?
Q: What advice do you have for young women in the beauty marketing industry or the corporate world in general?
A: When you are looking to either make a move to another job or just starting on your job search, there is so much accessible information out there on companies now and such transparent ways to network with people working for organizations you are interested in. Take the time and do your research and don’t be afraid to connect with people you don’t know to try and learn more. I have found that people are actually quite willing to help someone out during their job search. Everyone on our team at Credo is here because they want to be part of this in their hearts. If you follow your heart, you will never work a day in your life.
Huge thanks to Annie for answering all of my questions and sharing her wonderful insights! Reading her answers, I was most struck by the obvious passion that she and the rest of the team at Credo have for the mission behind what they’re doing – more than just selling products, they’re really dedicated to providing safe and beautiful options in an industry riddled with toxic ingredients and little regulatory oversight. I really, really admire Credo’s mission and hope that it signals a shift in the beauty and personal care industries at large!
first image via my Instagram, headshot courtesy of Credo Beauty