At just 22 years old, Taylor Frankel is not letting her age define her passion and leadership skills as the co-founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of her own company. Growing up around their mom’s professional experience in cosmetics, Taylor and her sister, Ally, always had a natural instinct and love for all things beauty. Through their own lifestyles and personal use of makeup, the three women found an opening in the beauty industry that wasn’t being met by other cosmetic companies.
In 2014, together they created Nudestix, a makeup brand with easy-to-use products for women on the go. With the slogan #GONUDEBUTBETTER, the brand aims to push women to enhance their own unique, natural beauty with multipurpose pencil sticks for the eyes, lips, and face.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor and talk all things boss babe — keep reading to hear her advice on what all entrepreneurs must do before starting a business.
Name: Taylor Frankel, Co-founder, Nudestix
Current Location: Toronto, Canada
Education: 2 years at Ryerson Business school in Toronto (took a sabbatical after two years to focus on my business)
What was your first job and how did you land it?
My first “real” job was working in retail, at a shoe store throughout my junior year of high school. A few weeks prior, I had printed out over a dozen resumes and walked my local mall to hand them out, essentially to every retail shop. A week later, I had gotten a call from this shoe store (one of my favorites at the time) to come in for an in-person interview. I remember being super nervous! A few days later, I received a call saying that I landed the job! Honestly, I had very little experience in retail, but I expressed my passion for fashion and shoes. I guess they loved my passion!
How did you come up with the idea for Nudestix? And what was the first thing you did after deciding to start your own company?
To give a little bit of background… my mother, Jenny Frankel, has worked in the beauty industry for over twenty years. She studied chemical engineering in university and began her career at M.A.C cosmetics developing some of their most iconic formulas. Later, when my sister and I were nearly toddlers, she co-created another beauty brand (in our basement) which she sold in 2012. This exact year, she decided to take an “eat, pray, love” moment, and exit the beauty industry altogether with the sole purpose of spending quality time with both my sister and I.
She had no intention of starting a beauty brand with her two teenage daughters. However, she realized that we viewed beauty through the lens of social media and very differently than her generation. My sister (Ally Frankel) and I craved beauty that felt real, authentic, and relatable to our lifestyle. We were searching for a brand that idealized the modern day woman to be real, imperfect, quirky, natural, bold, and intelligent; all things that we aspired to be. As we were all very passionate about beauty, these were our typical dinner conversations. Before we knew it, we came to the conclusion that there was a gap in the beauty industry that felt relatable to today’s woman.
This idea felt so empowering at the time (and to this day), as we truly believe(d) that we could make a difference by simplifying the lives of women everywhere through easy, fast and effortless makeup. The name Nudestix instantly clicked since we knew we wanted a shade range of all neutrals (for all skin tones) to enhance our natural beauty, and we loved stick products as they are super easy to use and fuss-free.
Once we knew that we wanted to start a company, the first thing we did was create a marketing deck. Since Ally and I were still in high school at the time, my mom had reached out to labs that she was familiar with through her previous brands. Once she had collected samples, she went straight to the retailers to pitch our story and brand.
What was it like perfecting the formula? About how long did the entire process take?
Because of my mother’s 20-year experience, she guided us to a few global laboratories. Also, every few years we attend world cosmetic conferences to find new technologies and innovative laboratories around the world. We usually have innovation in the pipeline two years before we launch to ensure that we have enough time to create, source packaging, stability test, and do all of our quality checks. If it’s shade extensions, usually we turn around in six months as we try to react to trend very quickly after fashion week seasons.
What have you learned from starting the company with your mom and sister? Do you keep business separate from personal life?
Other than learning so much about what it takes to start a business, from product development to finance to marketing, most importantly, I have learnt the responsibility of being a founder and business owner. My mom has taught me the importance of leading by example — through hard work, inspiring others, and thinking that no job is too small. I love working with my mom and sister. We always inspire each other with new ideas.
As an entrepreneur, it is difficult to separate my personal and professional life. Since I am so passionate about my work, it truly does become my life. Rather than separating the two, I always try to find time for myself, whether that be doing yoga, squeezing in dinner with friends, or just taking a night for myself to Netflix and chill.
My mom has taught me the importance of leading by example: through hard work, inspiring others, and thinking that no job is too small.
As co-Founder and Chief Inspiration Office of Nudestix, what are some of your responsibilities within the company?
As co-founder and Chief Inspiration officer, my main responsibilities include:
Firstly, I am constantly traveling to our key global markets (we are available in 30 countries globally) to educate, storytell, and inspire our in-field artistry teams in addition to our retail beauty advisors. In addition, I meet with our retail partners (mostly Sephora) to discuss our future launches and marketing strategies. Finally, I meet with magazine editors and influencers to reveal the latest product launches from Nudestix.
When I am home, I am at the office creating content for our social and digital platforms as well as meeting with our marketing teams planning out future travel schedules, new launch strategies, and more. Additionally, I work closely with my mom on product innovations and pipeline.
Okay so you’re the face of the brand, you’re traveling all over the world, and you’re helping to run the business. That can be a lot. What do you do to keep from getting overwhelmed and to make time for yourself with this busy schedule?
I can’t stress enough how important it is to take time for yourself! As women, we tend to think we can do it all, and try so hard to go above and beyond without realizing that sometimes we need to stop and take care of ourselves. My favorite “me time” activities include:
- Going to the gym or booking a class with a friend (Kill two birds with one stone — work out your mind and body while being social with a friend that you haven’t seen a while!)
- Eat well! At the end of the day, I like the unwind by making myself a healthy and tasty dinner. It’s something I look forward to, and it allows me to be creative in other ways than just my work.
- Spending time with my family always helps when I’m feeling overwhelmed. They’re always my #1 fans and always find ways to keep me motivated.
- Lastly, put on a face mask and turn on Netflix! This always cures my overwhelmed or stressed-out state of mind.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I receive messages from our customers and followers sharing their Nudestix experiences and stories. Our goal continues to be to make beauty products for real women — it is so powerful when I witness our Nudestix girl globally (from India, Australia, Middle East, Canada, U.S, and more) using our products authentically and sharing that Nudestix has empowered them to wear less makeup, embrace their natural beauty, or sleep in an extra few minutes before they have to take their toddler to school (because Nudestix takes five minutes). It makes it all worth it!
You and your family play such an active role with the company and on social media. How has this business strategy helped to grow the brand?
Social media has allowed us to connect with our global Nudestix girl in an authentic way. It has allowed us, as founders, to tell our story and share our vision and passion with our followers. Using social media didn’t necessarily start as a business strategy… we wanted to use a platform to connect with our customers and share our story (for free!). Throughout the past five years, Instagram has grown into a business, allowing brands to use the platform in more strategic ways (i.e. influencer partnerships, sponsored posts, analytics, etc.). Instagram has now become one of our primary marketing tools and gateway into our global markets.
It is so powerful when I witness women sharing that Nudestix has empowered them to wear less makeup, embrace their natural beauty, or sleep in an extra few minutes before they have to take their toddler to school (because Nudestix takes five minutes). It makes it all worth it!
What advice would you give other young women who want to start their own businesses but are discouraged by their age and experience?
Before starting a business, be sure of your vision and product. It is so important to have both a rational and emotive reason to exist. Once you have a strong point of differentiation from both a brand story and product perspective, then start to build your community. It is easy to be discouraged when you look at your long term goal — try and set short term goals for yourself, because once you accomplish all your little goals, the larger picture won’t seem so far away. Also, it can be intimidating starting a business if you are not an expert in all parts of business (most of us are not), so surround yourself with an amazing team who can compliment your skill sets and bring your vision to life.
What are your everyday Nudestix products that you can’t live without?
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✨Glimmers✨ We created our Magnetic Nude Glimmers for our Nudestix girl/boy who continuously asked for a natural glow that lasted all day! So we did it! Our glimmers are all-day wear and formulated free of oils + with the tiniest pigments for the most skin-like glow finish 💫
You recently launched the Magnetic Nude Glimmers. Congrats! What can you tell us about this new product?
Think more than a glow, and less than a glitter. Our Magnetic Nude Glimmers are your gel liquid luminizers for the eyes, cheeks, and lips that provide the most skin-like glow, but yet have just the right amount of pigment to build for a foiled glimmer. They are also waterproof and sweatproof for all-day wear!
Nudestix works closely with Love is Louder. Can you share a little bit more about this partnership and why you chose this organization?
Love is Louder is social movement led by the JED foundation. Love is louder is a movement that strives to share the message that love and support are louder than any of the internal or external voices that bring us down, make us feel hopeless, or cause us pain. This social movement ultimately provides a safe platform and community for anyone struggling with mental health issues.
We chose to partner with Love is Louder because both my sister and I have struggled with our mental health. We strongly believe in the power of love and community to help those who are struggling to get through the next day, week, month, and year. By sharing our Love is Louder stories, it allows us to connect with those who may also be struggling and sends the message that they are not alone.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
You’re only as good as your last move!
What’s next for you and Nudestix?
We have a ton of exciting new launches coming up! This summer we’re launching some AMAZING glosses and dewy blushes. Come fall, we’re talking foundation. Can’t wait!
Taylor Frankel is The Everygirl…
Favorite Instagram to follow?
Coffee or tea?
Greatest challenge in your career thus far?
Last item you splurged on?
Two piece pink suit from Aritzia
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and why?
I’d love to have lunch with Cara Delevingne. She was one of the original inspirations of the brand when it comes to authenticity and embracing your true quirkiness.