How Taylor Frankel Teamed Up With Her Family to Build a Multi-million-dollar Beauty Brand
As a teen who loved makeup but not spending hours primping in front of a mirror, a young Taylor Frankel identified a gap in the beauty market. With the goal of creating easy-to-apply multi-use cosmetics, she teamed up with her sister, Ally, and their mother, Jenny, a chemical engineer who developed products for MAC and co-founded CoverFX, to launch Nudestix in 2014. Now, the brand is carried in more than 2,500 stores worldwide, including Sephora and Ulta in the U.S. As chief brand officer, Frankel oversees creative direction, marketing, PR and social media. In 2021, the company scaled by launching skincare, and
this year, it expanded with a body-care collection, Nudebody, brought on Sofia Richie Grainge as a brand ambassador and investor and took the company to an estimated $100 million valuation.
Title: Chief brand officer, Nudestix
Currently lives in: Toronto
My favourite childhood memory is: I remember my sister and I getting ready for family events like bat mitzvahs and weddings. We would sit in my mom’s bathroom and go through her makeup, completely in discovery mode. I was so fascinated.
The biggest takeaway from my education is: I went to Toronto Metropolitan University to study retail management for a year and a half before I decided to pursue Nudestix full time. There are so many benefits to finishing your degree, but my best education was actually being in the business and surrounding myself with very intelligent people.
My first job ever was: A day-camp counsellor. My second job was working at a shoe store. It seemed insignificant at the time, but I learned a lot about customer service and team management.
A significant challenge I had to overcome was: My age. Being a brand founder and being a leader when I was still a teenager was definitely a challenge. I struggled with imposter syndrome and had to work hard to come into my own as the business grew—and as I grew up.
My most influential mentor was: My mom. She’s a veteran in the beauty industry, having worked at MAC and then developing CoverFX when I was a little thing in diapers. Having her insight and mentorship is such a privilege.
“Being a brand founder and being a leader when I was still a teenager was definitely a challenge”
The moment I knew I’d made it was: We’ve definitely been better lately at taking a step back and saying “Okay, this is a moment.” There are key milestones that really changed the game for us, like launching in Sephora in 2015 and, a few years ago, when we got angel investment from Hilary Duff and Chelsea Handler. Our partnership with Sofia Richie Grainge this year is another exciting moment.
The thing that keeps me motivated is: Our team. Nudestix is now a company of more than 100 people. Everyone puts so much passion and energy into helping us build the brand. Seeing how our team has grown, seeing how much love there is for the brand—it’s the most amazing thing.
If I wasn’t doing this, I would be: In public relations, probably. I love wearing my PR hat, especially when I’m working with influencers on campaigns.
When I need inspiration: I look to social media. I love Allegra Shaw and Glamzilla, both Canadian influencers who have made it big. I also get a lot of inspiration from our global team—there are so many nuances when it comes to which products are popular in different markets, whether it’s the U.S., the U.K. or the Middle East.
The biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur is: That you get to make your own schedule. That’s kind of the selling point of being an entrepreneur. Maybe if you’re a one-man show, but if you have a whole team, you need to be present for them.
The advice I always give others now is: As a leader and as a founder, you need to inspire people to get on board with your vision. Part of that is staying inspired yourself, and you do that by being present in the day-to-day. It’s important to get things done but also to enjoy that journey. Five or 10 years later, you may look back and wish you had been more present for those moments.
Before I retire, I really want to: One of my insecurities from building a business with my mom was this question of “Could I have done this on my own?” I would love to challenge myself to build another business with all the things I’ve learned over the past 10 years, whether it’s in the beauty space or something else.