Co-Founder of Flora & Fauna Beauty: Marion Henson
Our second interview features Flora & Fauna’s co-founder, Marion Henson. This WOC-owned beauty company strives to promote natural beauty products, as well as give back to the community through charitable donations.
Thank you so much to Marion for the interview and all the people at Flora & Fauna!
Introduce yourself. Name, age, profession, hobbies, inspirations, life goals, etc.
My name is Marion Henson. I am 33 years old. I’m a wife and mother of three beautiful children whom I homeschool. I am Co-Founder of Flora and Fauna and the Director of Digital Marketing, I am Co-founder of Good Juu Juu, a seasonal crystal inspired subscription box. I am a Digital Marketing Strategist by trade, and I help entrepreneurs and businesses development marketing strategies. Cooking and writing are two of my favorites hobbies. More recently, I went back sketching and painting more recently. Doing art projects with my kids reawakened a very therapeutic hobby. Inspiration is everywhere! I am inspired by art, music, books, and even people watching. My life goal is to build a legacy for the next generation and also help others accomplish the things they thought were impossible.
How did you get started with Flora & Fauna and what is your role there?
I got started with Flora & Fauna in 2017 when Sierra Lewis, the owner, and Founder of Flora and Fauna, as well as my sister-friend and business partner, asked me to come on board to help with customer service and digital marketing. At the time I was beginning an M.S. in Digital Marketing. In November, I completed my degree, which has been instrumental in the development of Digital Marketing strategies to implement at Flora & Fauna. I develop our strategies for social media, website, SEO, E-commerce, analytics, ads, blog, and e-mail.
Talk to me about “embracing your inner goddess.” What does that mean for the brand and what does it mean for you?
“Nurture Your Inner Goddess” is our tagline and is essentially an emphasis on the importance of self-love and self-care. The more we experience, the more we grow and heal. Any major improvements in our life start with loving ourselves, and accepting all “our flaws” and all. This process allows us to discover new parts of ourselves.
We want every woman to practice self-care, starting with the simplest forms. We want you to MAKE TIME for you, your needs, goals, and aspirations. We believe skincare and other beauty routines are forms of self care, when practiced mindfully.
Do you practice sustainability/veganism in your everyday life?
There are several ways that my family and I practice sustainability and veganism in our everyday life. I really enjoy natural light, so we have cut back on how much energy we use. We unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. We use recyclable bags when going grocery shopping or to the store. We recycle. We’ve cut way back on eating meat. The entire family isn’t quite vegan, but we have replaced a lot of our meat and dairy products with vegan options. We’ve switched to almond, cashew, coconut, and other plant-based milk. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies and use plant-based oils to cook with. We have also replaced all of our skincare and personal products with vegan brands or DIY.
What was your motivation for founding this company? What were the highlights and lowlights of starting your own brand?
Sierra really wanted to bring something of value to women. We founded Flora & Fauna to share the importance of SKINCARE. Taking care of your skin truly makes you feel good. When your skin is healthy and your working on all aspects self-care, you radiate a glow. That confidence and fearlessness is something we want all women to embrace. The highlights were witnessing the products come to market. Seeing the hard work pay off and having our products available on AMAZON and in Abrams Claghorn has been a blessing. Some of the lowlights are the actual logistics and funding for a business. It takes a lot of time, energy and capital. We learned to pull strength from nowhere and truly understanding that every “No” is really an opportunity for a greater “Yes”.
Take us through a typical day at Flora & Fauna.
My day begins with emails. I check emails and see if there are any PR or Customer related questions and respond. I head to Amazon and our Website to check in to see if there are any orders or issues. I check our social media pages and make sure that the planned content is ready, while engaging as much as possible throughout the day. I spend a few hours at night researching, engaging, planning, thinking of strategies and looking at analytics.
What has Flora & Fauna taught you about green living? What have you taught Flora & Fauna?
Flora & Fauna has taught me to fully understand that everything has an impact on our environment. It is extremely important to maintain balance in all things. Mother Nature truly provides everything we need but we have to learn how to take care of her in order to prevent waste and destruction. I mentioned earlier some of the ways I incorporate sustainability and veganism into my daily life. Living green doesn’t need to be a huge adjustment, you can start with small things and slowly add on as you learn new alternatives and habits.
Can you tell me a bit more about the junior achievement programs your company supports?
Flora & Fauna is dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of building self-confidence via self-acceptance. This is a message that is truly important to us and we have shared it on @FLORAANDFAUNABEAUTY and in our blog posts.
In 2019, we plan on making our donation to I am B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L., a non-profit organization committed to helping young women build self-esteem and strong leadership skills. Founders Tina Woodard and Zenobia Edwards are passionate about helping young women let go of self-destructive habits, and take the difficult but rewarding self-love journey necessary to grow and thrive.
What is your favorite product from your company and why?
My favorite product is our CUTICL E HERO. I am always washing my hands. I paint, cook, and have small kids who love to craft so the Cuticle Hero is a MUST HAVE. The ingredients really make a difference for me as well. Since the Cuticle Hero only contains Avocado oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil, and Vitamin E it is safe for me to use on myself, my daughter… and even my husband and sons nails as well! Our cuticles and nails look so healthy.
As a black-owned business in the beauty industry, what changes would you like to see in the beauty community/industry? What things are currently working well for women of color in beauty?
First, I have to pay so much respect to the women of color who have brands and are working hard every day to build their legacy. I love seeing so many amazing entrepreneurial women create!
As a woman of color, it is beautiful to see a shift with many brands showcasing women of color in campaigns, promos, etc. because it isn't something I grew up seeing as much as I do now. I am happy my daughters and son will experience seeing more images that look like them portrayed positively in the media.
I would like to see more women of color gain the resources support, and funding necessary to scale their businesses.
What do you hope Flora & Fauna will accomplish and how do you think it will impact the country/world?
I hope that Flora & Fauna continues to grow and that we build a community that truly embraces self-care. We want to help the country/world embrace and Nurture their inner Goddess. We want to see more people take time out for themselves. We want to see more people take the time visit a new destination, take a crystal bath, enjoy their favorite mask or serum, set intentions, spend time with loved ones, draw, paint, create, and follow whatever it is that truly makes them happy. We want Flora & Fauna to go beyond being seen as a Vegan and Cruelty-Free Beauty/Skincare Brand and be viewed as lifestyle, thought-leading brand sharing self love and selfcare.
What is your favorite part about working at Flora & Fauna?
Connecting with our customers and sharing content that our audience relates to is one of my favorite parts about working at Flora & Fauna. My ultimate favorite thing is sharing this journey with Sierra Lewis ( Founder & Owner of Flora & Fauna ) and working with our amazing team.