This is the eighth installment in an interview series with the 2021 Target Takeoff Beauty cohort. Participating companies are sharing, in their own words, details about their innovative companies. All interviews have been conducted by the Target Takeoff Program Management team.
Meet Solara Suncare.
TT: What’s the one-liner description of Solara Suncare?
Stephanie: We believe skin protection is wellness, so we’re proud to be the first mineral-only sunscreen brand to blend adaptogens, botanicals and science to power truly clean, supercharged and eco-conscious skin protection perfect for the skincare and wellness obsessed.
TT: What inspired you to start Solara Suncare? What makes what you are doing different from anyone else in the marketplace?
Stephanie: In 2016, I began the journey to solve a need for my children’s sensitive skin and allergies to chemical sunscreens. At that time, mineral SPF was sticky and white. Other options labeled “organic” or “clean” still contained ingredients disruptive to skin, health and the environment. Confusing, right? This is where Solara Suncare was born! In building this company, we learned that the need was much larger than a family-friendly SPF and more about a desire towards cleaner, more sustainable lifestyle and wellness inspired options. Given your body is your largest organ, and this is a product meant to be use daily, we knew there had to be a more pleasant and conscious way. It is my personal journey with Lyme Disease, however, that guides our formulas and what makes them the first of their kind to integrate a wellness-based approach to sun care. Our ingredient philosophy includes clinically effective, skincare levels of defense boosting ingredients common in health supplements. When it comes to protection, the skin can benefit from a similar integrative wellness philosophy as our body: adaptogens, plants + science used efficaciously and sourced consciously can help keep the skin barrier healthy and safe from elemental aggressors like the sun, blue light, pollution and photo-aging free radicals.
TT: How did you decide it was the right time to join an Accelerator? What are you most looking forward to during the Takeoff experience?
Stephanie: I couldn’t be more excited to take part in Target Takeoff! Our brand is just over a year old and has been growing at a wonderful, fast pace, but as we look to scale with success in the future, there is so much to learn. Having the ability to listen, learn and grow from Target experts across the wide variety of functions the Accelerator touches is like being given the gift of 5-week hands-on MBA from one of the very best in the retail category! I also look forward to connecting with other brand founders in the cohort — I’ve found that, especially during the challenges of 2020, having the support of fellow founders is an uplifting resource.
TT: How do you stay motivated through the ups and downs of growing a business?
Stephanie: With our very first full year in business being 2020, like most brands, we certainly experienced some incredible highs and some challenges. In the moment it can be quite hard to see through the clouds, but for us, every challenge has always led to an opportunity that wouldn’t have existed previously — so, I try to remember that. I stay motivated by always going back to the problem I wanted to solve for my family and our brand’s mission of believing so strongly that world needs healthier skin protection options that are pleasant and innovative. That’s the motivation that keeps my engine running every single day.
TT: Fast forward one year from now; where do you see Solara Suncare and your team?
Stephanie: I’m so optimistic about what is ahead for us a year from now! With 4x growth projected this year, I see our company working on all cylinders to get our products into the hands of even more people with broader distribution, including new products we have on the horizon that will help us achieve that goal. I’m also excited to build the Solara family, adding new team members who can help us continue our mission in a bigger way.
For more information about Solara Suncare, visit solarasuncare.com