Tayler Rogers is no stranger to the Vancouver beauty scene. After working at BeautyMark, which for an entire decade was one of Vancouver’s top makeup havens, for 12 years and co-owning it for seven, Tayler found herself eternally fascinated with and dedicated to the ins-and-outs of the retail world. So much so, that she created a side project driven by her passion for the clean beauty movement called Midnight Paloma. But as fate would have it, the unexpected ending of BeautyMark would make Midnight Paloma Tayler’s full-time venture sooner than ever expected. With Tayler’s experience and training in Blanche Macdonald’s Makeup program backing her, it’s no surprise to find out that Midnight Paloma is in over 100 stores across Canada. Gracefully and intelligently, Tayler delves into her Makeup history and her retail road that led her to an unexpected life based around clean beauty.
How did Midnight Paloma come to be and where does the name come from?
I developed Midnight Paloma as a passion project! After working in retail for so long, I was ready to do my own thing. I’ve always been intrigued by branding and design, so for me, it was super fun to create a brand that was completely my own concept and idea. Originally the line was all based around the ingredient charcoal, so that’s how the ‘Midnight’ part happened. Paloma was the inspiration behind the original scent blend: blood orange, lime, vanilla, and grapefruit.
Do you design and formulate all the products?
The inspiration and product development are 100% thought up by myself, but I do get help from a formulator. Making the recipes is not my forte! I outline what I’m going after in a certain product and then we go from there. It’s my favourite part of the process!
We have a few different collections. I started with the Detox line which is a line of charcoal-focused bath and body products. Gradually we’ve added more lines and product variances such as skincare, skin tools, and a calming line. Each one targets different needs and has separate scent blends. Something for everything and everyone!
After working in and owning BeautyMark for many years, I was exposed to so many different brands and ingredients. A lot of our best sellers were amazing products, but full of crazy preservatives and chemicals. I really wanted to get involved in clean beauty because it is a passion of mine.
Why did you choose to start a clean beauty line?
After working in and owning BeautyMark for many years, I was exposed to so many different brands and ingredients. A lot of our best sellers were amazing products, but full of crazy preservatives and chemicals. Slowly, clean beauty was becoming a thing in the makeup world and I loved every part of it. I really wanted to get involved in clean beauty because it is a passion of mine.
As a former co-owner of BeautyMark, does a lot of retail knowledge cross over?
Big time! I always like to say I got my MBA working at BeautyMark. I learned the industry inside and out, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Were you led to Midnight Paloma out of BeautyMark or was Midnight Paloma a natural next chapter for you?
When I started Midnight Paloma I still co-owned BeautyMark. It was never meant to be my next chapter, just a side project. But things changed and we made the tough decision to close our store. I was lucky that I had been chipping away at Midnight Paloma when we closed, so it was a natural transition for me.
And before all of this, you were a graduate of our Makeup Artistry course! What was that experience like?
Yes, I graduated in 2005. Jeez, has it really been that long!? It was so fun! Blanche had such an amazing reputation, it just seemed like a dream come true that it was in the same city I was from. I had always been really interested in movies, makeup, and anything creative so it seemed like the perfect fit for me.
Blanche had such an amazing reputation, it just seemed like a dream come true that it was in the same city I was from. The course itself will prepare you for what to expect when working in retail and what type of retail jobs are available. It’s such an important part of the Makeup world. It also helped me use my knowledge to get my foot in the door in the industry which can be the hardest part.
Now that you’ve spent time in the business, do you think the Cosmetic Retail course was realistic?
Totally. The course itself will prepare you for what to expect when working in retail and what type of retail jobs are available. It’s such an important part of the Makeup world. It also helped me use my knowledge to get my foot in the door in the industry which can be the hardest part.
It’s so impressive how many stores across Canada stock Midnight Paloma! Did your ability to anticipate what retailers are looking for from your previous experience or from connections that you’d built already help?
It was an interesting switch for me to go from being the retailer to then becoming a wholesaler, so in some aspects, I knew what I was doing but I definitely had a lot to learn. It’s been a journey and it takes time. As of right now, we are in almost 100 stores Canada wide which is something I’m incredibly proud of.
As of right now, we are in almost 100 stores Canada wide which is something I’m incredibly proud of.
What kind of values or aesthetics do you look for in places that carry your brand?
I love to see Midnight Paloma in any store that has a community around it. Small businesses are what connect us to any area of the country. If we can be a part of a community in all those places, I’m really happy.
Do certain products sell better in different areas of Canada?
Well overall I’d say it’s pretty even, but we definitely see a spike in our Everything Balm in the wintertime—especially back east because it’s so cold!
About buzzworthy ingredients—charcoal is one. Do you make a big effort to try to capitalize on those or integrate them into different products?
I think trends can be a good and a bad thing. Charcoal is something that has been around as far back as Egyptian times. The thing with fads is that often the ingredient has been around for a while but its new popularity makes it acceptable to champion them all of a sudden.
Trust your gut and have patience. It’s so easy to get excited and expect things to happen right away, but they truly take time. If you apply yourself and work really hard, good things will happen.
The advice you’d give to a fellow entrepreneur is:
Trust your gut and have patience. It’s so easy to get excited and expect things to happen right away, but they truly take time. You’ll have bad times, but those are the moments you really learn from. If you apply yourself and work really hard, good things will happen.
What does the future look like for Midnight Paloma? Any plans or goals you can share?
We have so many new launches planned for 2020—I can’t wait! But in the meantime, our holiday kits will be out soon and they are so epic!