For over a decade, Chantal Carter Taylor has worked in the fashion and beauty industry in a variety of roles including as a fashion editor, wardrobe stylist, and product developer. She started Love & Nudes to provide modern intimates to complement a variety of skin tones. We chatted with Chantal to learn about her inspiring career journey.
Can you tell us how Love & Nudes began?
While working as a wardrobe stylist in fashion I was motivated by the glaring absence and misrepresentation of everyday products for women of colour. Nude was only defined as beige in the fashion and beauty industries. I knew this wasn’t true, but it seemed like it was just accepted as fact because no one was making fashion based on darker skin tone colours. I saw how black and dark-skinned models didn’t have nude undergarments they were expected to have for photoshoots! I too longed to wear my own nude in undergarments and clothing, to wear fashion without compromise. In order for me to achieve the looks I wanted, I had to paint a bra and panty to match in my own skin tone colour. I thought, no one should have to go through this! So I developed Love & Nudes with love for my melanin sisters. I wanted them to know that they mattered and they are valid regardless of their skin colour. I am proud to say that we are the 1st in Canada to produce a diverse nude intimates line.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
In my eyes, my biggest accomplishment has been getting repeat buyers, knowing that I only have 2 products. I feel satisfied and elated that these customers enjoyed my products so much that they came back a 2nd time! Another I have to mention, was getting on Dragons Den (a version of Shark Tank) and winning over 4 of the 6 Dragons who wanted to make a deal with me!
How has setting up an e-commerce platform through Shopify helped expand your business?
Being with Shopify has been really good for my business as they make our websites simple to update when I need to update it. I also believe this has made it easier for customers to trust and buy from me. I am ecstatic about Shopify’s new Build Black Community initiative! It has been AMAZING to connect with other Black entrepreneurs where we can exchange ideas, connect and collaborate with each other and all because we are on the Shopify platform! It has definitely expanded my reach potential which is exactly what I need.
What is next for Love & Nudes?
Next for Love & Nudes is scaling up! I am excited to introduce new products in the near future and looking forward to expanding the team to help with this push forward.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice is to listen to your soul and believe in your ideas. Enlist the right people to help you bring your vision to life. Find people who are in a similar position you want to be in and seek out their advice to help you move forward. Don’t ask someone who is not an entrepreneur for advice, they can’t give you advice on something they haven’t experienced. Keep failing forward, meaning don’t try so hard to avoid mistakes as this is part of the process and the quicker you make them, the less costly it will be for you.