Amid scores of harsh, chemical treatments, Frank’s gentle vegan solutions are transforming young lives blighted by stressed and damaged skin along with all the mental pressures that ensue from being in a society increasingly fixated on visual perfection.
Launched in 2020 by first time entrepreneur Kyle Frank, it was his personal experience that led him to scour the world for plant-based ingredients such as aloe vera and tea tree that had more potency when grown naturally, then devise formulations that effectively cleared his spots and scars.
Becoming his own customer and focus group, he first created the products, hand making them in his dad’s kitchen.
“Because I knew myself how they performed and could adapt them as needed, that speeded up the process,” says Frank. “University friends noticed my skin looked clearer and advised me to start a brand and help others.”
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust was his springboard. Enabling him to overcome his lack of business experience, its super practical Enterprise programme with steadfast, expert mentors is designed so 18-to-30-year-olds can turn their smart ideas into commercial realities.
Two years on, backed by independent testing and verification, London-based Frank is forecasting a £350,000 turnover next year.
He now operates production from a studio, while a fulfilment centre helps with extra storage, labelling and order despatch. Overall 11 freelance jobs have also been created.
Frank’s Miracle Waters face wash and clearing face cream are its hero products so far while value bundle kits creating simple routines for clients and subscriptions are also working well.
“The conventional approach is to pretty much dry out the skin with harsh formulations, our products work with the skin, they don’t attack it, and take into account its health and the moisture barrier,” Frank explains. “We treat spots, de-stress, clear post inflammation and then brighten.”
Covid and lockdown have increased public awareness and the popularity of natural products, while Frank’s client base is also much wider than first envisaged with strong take up among pre-teens and adolescents as well as 33-to-55-year olds.
“Mums buy our products to prevent their children suffering breakouts, and our remedies keep skin looking refreshed that works well with more mature skin,” says Frank. “Feedback suggests they can help with rosacea flushed faces too.”
Social purpose collaborations including employment for young people between Boots and The Prince’s Trust have opened up further marketing opportunities for Frank, who is also a Trust youth ambassador.
Understanding the mental health aspects of coping with a skin condition, he now runs a social impact project too and so far the five-week Frank’s Glow Up wellness programme for 11-15-year-olds in secondary schools has helped more than 300 young people.
Focusing on a clear path of priorities, instilled in him by The Trust, helped all his do-it-yourself pivots to online, such as self-taught graphics production and web management, that were required during his tight budget start-up phase which coincided with lockdown.
“My mentor is from the skin care sector which was a big plus,” he says. “That ensured all the key details I had to cover at the back end were correct.”
The brand is now stocked by Sephora and very soon by Superdrug, making it the right moment for the business to start seeking its first investment raise of £250,000 and then recruit its first full-time staff member and explore expansion overseas, such as the US.
Ideally backing will come from an angel with skin care and distribution expertise. “This year is all about growth,” declares Frank.