Phylencia Taylor talks beauty industry power in ‘Evolving Beauty’

Phylencia PT Taylor purple couch lounge
Photo Credit: Jerrina Montgomery

Beauty culturalist Phylencia “PT” Taylor will release her debut business book Evolving Beauty – The Business of Beauty in a New Age. The book was inspired by her passion for the the billion-dollar beauty industry. Immersed in an industry that continues to grow year after year, Taylor is a former corporate beauty executive. Today, she’s chief consultant and principal of Shine Beauty Culture Consultancy and editorial beauty director for Dollar General’s Beauty Cents Magazine.

“This book is a game changer,” says Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter. Price also wrote the book’s foreword.

Taylor understands the power of the beauty industry and shares insider tactics for beauty executives, influencers and enthusiasts alike, to take their careers to the next level. The book gives insight from a true beauty insider, she shares over a decade of experience and foresight to build and maintain a prosperous brand in today’s NEW AGE OF BEAUTY: Digital, Multicultural and Multi-Product Cycles.

This spring, the Evolving Beauty three-city tour will commence in Detroit, Atlanta and NYC.

Read what she has to say.
FinalEB Cover.3.11

What inspired you to write your first book?

I love the business of beauty, and the artistry of marketing and communication. I enjoy helping others build their brands and navigate in this New Age of Beauty. Working in the industry, I see so many enthusiastic indie brands rise onto the scene with such promise, and yet make so many costly mistakes because of their inexperience or inability to navigate within the industry. At the heart of this book is modern day beauty marketing layered with digital influence — to breed success.

I wrote this book to share tactics that work–tactics I’ve learned and adapted over the last 15 years in business. I want businesses to create legacies, to know long lasting results and obtain solid monetization. My ultimate goal in working with beauty brands is to increase revenue and market share and power profits.

And, an equally important purpose of this book is the importance of diversity and inclusion in beauty. Inclusion is not an option. It’s a requirement. The New Naturals movement of today, different from the 70’s because it had a rebellious spirit, but by the 80’s women were passively asking for acceptance–we relaxed our hair to assimilate in corporate America and take care of our families. I believe the New Natural era is permanent, it comes with a spirit of confidence. The time is now to embrace the impending multi-cultural population explosion. By 2040 the minority (African American, Latino, Asian, Multi-Cultural) will be the majority in the U.S

Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is similar to my personality, I’m pretty direct and the book is reflective of that. On the other hand, I’m also an Adjunct Professor–so I’m a teacher, I give stories and brand examples in the book to deepen the meaning and illustrate the tactics.

What books are you currently reading? Why this author?

Honestly, with the book. Jawanza Kunjufu – he has a couple books out about parenting and educating Black boys, I’m raising a son so that’s important to me.

What new authors have piqued your interest?

None lately. Honestly, I haven’t had time.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your latest work?

Sure, if my next book is a business book I will hire a research assistant. LOL. But, I’ll also block out about three to six months when my schedule isn’t super heavy. So I can just work with a couple smaller clients and work on the book. Balance is key.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing or coming up with a concept for your book?

This is my first book, and it’s a business book for the NEW AGE OF BEAUTY. For me there is an ebb and flow when I write, I have to be in the mood and prefer quiet (no television or music) and a Nag Champa incense. There are times when I just couldn’t put a word on a page and there are other times when I’d write for 10 hours straight. I am not a novelist, but my ideas are endless on so many subjects. The concepts aren’t the challenge. It’s creating the time. I am a pretty open person, so my perspective is ever-evolving and infinite.

What was the hardest part of completing this project?

The hardest part of completing this project is the time. Just balancing my life with work and family, like everyone else. Coordinating the many pieces as a self-publisher- I have to market this book on my own. And although I’ve been in the beauty industry for 15 years, no one knows me. I am not a “Blogger” with thousands of followers. But we are exploring other tactics to get the word out. Managing my consultancy and my family, it’s no easy task. If it were easy, I guess everyone would do it.

What advice would you give other writers?

My advice to writers and just people in general–whatever your passion? Whatever you believe you can do? Just do it. Just try. You know what is on the other side of it, not having it done. So what get of fear and just try. I feel for people that don’t or can’t just give it a try.

Describe the process in getting published.

This book is self published. I thought about getting published by a publishing house, but I wanted to have the book out this year, and when I started routing the book proposal last summer, I realized, it just most likely wouldn’t be possible that route, and so—here I am, self-published.

What were the literary, psychological and/or logistical challenges in bringing your work to life?

My challenge was aligning my time with my energy. Energy and mood to get what’s in my head on paper, from the writing standpoint. From the self-publishing perspective, it’s more about connecting my marketing and communication tactics which have a more modern approach and relating them to traditional benchmark standards in the industry, so that they are relatable and understood with validity, particularly with my first book. Which is another reason hiring a research assistant would have been very helpful. But I enjoyed the laborious process.

Everyone’s process for writing is different. Explain yours.

My writing process is pretty simple. I have an overarching idea, and I create sub-topics from the idea. Much like targeted marketing, there is a primary audience, then the sub-targets, but they are all connected to the main goal. Once my core subject is defined, then I outline the sub-topics or chapters and develop the book from there. Of course new discoveries arise in the development, that re-directs the plan, but overall, that’s it.

I’m most productive at like 3 am – 7 am, when it’s quiet and my mind is fresh and free flowing. But that isn’t always possible. I had the book written before I ever wrote a word..

What are four of your favorite books and why?

  • Think and Grow Rich – Dr. Kimbrough – self-explanatory–also a Professor at my Alumni CAU
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston – it’s so real, moving, timeless.
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho – paradigm shifting, life changing. I always get something different from it. Change can be challenging, but it’s the only way to grow.
  • The Four Agreements – Miguel Ruiz – It’s like religion, always striving, never quite there. Gotta love the journey though.

Please provide three “good to know” fact about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job or the inspiration behind your writing.

1) I’m one of those people that is blessed to have many talents. I’m good at a lot of things, especially related to producing and cultivating things. Which is one of the reasons I went to graduate school at a relatively late age, still in discovery about what I wanted to be when I grew up, it’s still ever-evolving. LOL—I’d had a long corporate career and was an entrepreneur already when I went to graduate school. (American University, Washington, DC)

I am also an adjunct professor and an advocate of education. But, it is important to recognize that college teaches you to think more critically and apply the theories to life.

It does not deliver a dream business or job. It provides some important tools for success. However, outside of case study examples, I’ve experienced few real-world corporate experiences that occur in the class room. Which is why I wanted to become a college instructor and also why many people are choosing alternative ways to get informed about their passion or fields of interest. Webinars and internet based class-rooms are booming business– we are living in a NEW AGE, the digital age.

2) I love home décor, how a room setting can make you feel. Ahhhh.

3) I’d like to do a year, or maybe six months in the Peace Corps, maybe when I turn 65 years old.

What is the mission you set out to accomplish with your voice in this book?

I want the people who need this book to read it, use these proven tactics in it to make their journey easier and to build and help someone else. This book will help Beauty Brand Executives refine their skills and market more effectively. It will help beauty influencers (bloggers, vloggers) who now have lucrative careers become more knowledgeable about marketing and communication so they are of more value to their clients and slow-down or end Beauty Influencer Promiscuity.

Who are the authors you reread and why?

Zora Neale Hurston, her work is timed, yet timeless.

Malcolm Gladwell, he is now, modern principles, forward thinking.

A great book has what?

Stories Connect People.

Where would you travel if you could to write you next book?

I found out through my Ancestry DNA, I’m 78 percent African and 22 percent European. And mostly Ghanaian. I also love ethnographic research, related to social anthropology. So I will go to Ghana, not sure exactly when, but I will relatively soon. I’ll just watch, study the people patterns (similarities/differences) take it all in, breathe and write. I’m thinking women, identity, image….

What is the gift of reading and why does it round up a new world?

I loved to read as a young girl. It was my escape, not that my childhood was so bad.

I’d open a book and would be where ever the book took me. It’s amazing what diving into a book does for our minds. The adage, you are what ever you do most, is so true. I can get so connected to a book that I have dreams I am in the book. It’s the power of words. Quirky, I know.

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