We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaclyn Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaclyn, how do you think about risk?
Risk is what got me to where I am at today. It’s important to take risks at the early stages of your career. When you take a risk and fail early on in your career, you learn something valuable and become more confident. I had my fair share of risks that failed, but I also had risks that were even more rewarding! I’ve gained so much knowledge and grew as a business owner by taking risks in my career. So if you’re under 30, take risks. Move to a new city, start a new business, start a new job, etc. You’ll learn more in three years of risk-taking than in your entire lifespan.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty industry. In 2016, I went to school to be a licensed esthetician. I started to freelance makeup right after graduation and enrolled at Arizona State University. I was doing makeup in Arizona for anyone and everyone, but I felt like I needed to leave to pursue bigger dreams. I practically packed up a U-Haul and moved to Los Angeles, CA within a week. I met a sweet girl my age online to become roommates with, and we moved in together with only meeting once. Got to love the internet!
As I became more obsessed with the vision of starting Jaclyn Taylor Cosmetics, I also was highly focused on becoming a well-known makeup artist. My lifestyle was the epitome of a starving artist. A few months in Los Angeles, CA, I found myself living with a friend with my mattress on the ground in her guest room because I quite literally could not afford a bed frame.
I kept going and landed a job with a clothing brand doing makeup for their spring 2019 campaign. At this time, I had already found a manufacturer to start creating my dream eyeshadow palette. I still had no money to my name but knew I would figure it out. Fast forward, the clothing company I worked with on their spring campaign heard about me starting a makeup brand and wanted to collaborate on my eyeshadow palette.
While doing this, I was still working as an artist to make ends meet. Unfortunately, I got robbed at gunpoint during this time, and it was a huge wake-up call for me. It shook me to my core. I didn’t have any time to process the situation and had to keep moving on with the palette.
We launched our eyeshadow palette a few months later and threw an epic launch party in West Hollywood, CA! My dream came true! It was November of 2019 that I finally was able to leave my friends condo, get my mattress off the ground, and finally afford my own place with a bed frame, 😉 I also met the love of my life during this entire process!
In December of 2019, I graduated from ASU with a marketing & sociology degree. 2019 was a HUGE year for me. After the palette launch, I came on board with the clothing brand to be their Marketing Coordinator and help drive more sales to our palette. Sadly, when the pandemic hit in early 2020, I was left without a job. I had no monthly income and had to figure something out quickly. Hand sanitizer was a massive thing at this time (as we all can recall), so I manufactured hand sanitizer, and I sold 3,000 gallons to make enough money to live off for the next 6-months. I also had enough money to bring in more products for Jaclyn Taylor Cosmetics, which is exactly what I did.
During this time, I felt passionate about helping others maneuver through this pandemic, and I started bringing in clients for my business, Zeena Digital Media. It’s never been easy, and I have had huge setbacks, but I never lost sight of the vision. I hope my story can inspire you that anything you set your mind to will happen for you. It can be scary to take risks, but I assure you that you’ll come out stronger and on top. Don’t ever give up. Setbacks are uncomfortable and never a part of the plan, but just another life lesson.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Malibu, Ca! It is my happy place, and I love to take my friends and family there. Shane and I found a secret hide-out spot on the beach one day while driving around. We love to go here because there is no one around, and it feels like your own private beach. I love to get tacos from a cute spot up the road, lay on the beach, & eat. I feel at peace at the beach!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s hard to honestly pick, but there are two people that come to mind right now. One is Jaclyn Hill and the other is Gary Vaynerchuk.
Jaclyn Hill had a launch event for Becca Cosmetics when she launched her highlighter, Champagne Pop, in 2016. I was utterly mesmerized by the process of the product and the event. I knew that I HAD to start my own cosmetics company. Fast forward 3 years later, my cosmetics company made $100,000 in revenue our first year.
Gary V, he’s been someone I’ve listened to daily for years. I would sit in my living room in college and listen to him for hours on Youtube. I loved the knowledge that he shared about marketing, and it was he who inspired me to start my agency, Zeena Digital Media. I felt very passionate about helping others create beauty brands right after the launch of Jaclyn Taylor Cosmetics. So in 2019, I also started Zeena Digital Media, and I chose to only work with beauty and wellness brands. I still run both businesses today!