Indie Beauty Profile
Julia Teren, Thesis
Plenty of independent personal care brands have taken natural beauty as their mantle. With Thesis, Teren has gone to something of an extreme, formulating with only ingredients that occur in the natural world. And while reviews on the brand’s ecommerce site suggest that not all of these products meet the expectations of all people, there is a notable segment of the consumer population that would rather not use synthetics. Thesis skin and body care products are made with that consumer in mind—someone who (once they establish which, if any, such natural ingredients they are allergic to) is quite content with the benefits of these “radically pure” products.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Julia Teren, Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Thesis
Launched: relaunched as Thesis in 2014
Headquarters: Somerville, Massachusetts
Cash flow: We are proud to be a debt-free, self-funded, family company.
Team work: 2 full-time employees and 3 part-time
Distribution: Thesis ships globally through our own website. We are also very grateful to our international distribution partners who are tirelessly promoting Thesis in their respective territories. Domestically, we sell in brick-and-mortar through select retailers including Whole Foods, Nugget Markets, Lazy Acres, gift boutiques, and apothecaries.
Years in beauty: About 8 years; I used to work in different industries prior to embarking on this adventure. But I always wanted to work in beauty, and not just any kind, but the most responsible and honest kind of brand.
Years at Thesis: 8 years, which includes at least a year of dedicated R&D prior to launching the first iteration of the brand.
Entrepreneurial experience: This is my first company. I left the corporate world during the uncertainties of the recession to develop something that I saw missing at the time – we still are the only brand filling our niche.
The business: Thesis is a family run apothecary….Our products are certified cruelty-free by PETA and Leaping Bunny; and we are known for providing products of radical purity that are completely free of synthetics including synthetic vitamins, ‘food-grade preservatives,’ acids, ‘derived from’ naturals and more.
Everything our products are capable of stems from expertly formulating with organic, unaltered, raw ingredients that deliver maximum nutrients to the skin. All products go through testing on willing subjects, including myself and family members, before they hit the market.
The wow-factor: Radically pure, 100% vegan, raw-based, zero-synthetics products for visible, healthy results – at fair price points.
The customer: Health- and environment-conscious women and men, educated about the risks of hazardous chemicals in skincare and looking to green up their life in an authentic, non-greenwashing way. Also we have a good number of people who switched to our products from expensive famous natural brands because they found out that our products perform on par or better than what they used to buy.
Milestone moment: When [I attend] a tradeshow or a consumer show and people say “Oh, we are following you on Instagram” – it’s precious. Awareness has always served us well for many years – 99% of our wholesale accounts came to us, not the other way around. So I guess, I was intuitively doing inbound marketing long before it became a thing.
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: When you are just beginning, it’s important to know that you are in for the long haul. It’s rare that someone becomes an overnight success, but a lot of effort and passion will definitely result in positive growth over time. Also, automate everything you can!
Just one: I have very dry skin and can’t live without our Unscented Cream. This 100% organic multitasker will cleanse, moisturize, and protect my face; it will nourish my hair as well. This Unscented Cream also makes a perfect base for experimental face and body concoctions.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.