If you're new here, 'Meet the Maker' is a special blog series by Sophie, featuring our amazing billie brands. In this series, we share the behind-the-scenes, background stories and words of wisdom from the biz-owners themselves!
We want you to not only enjoy these amazing products through shopping with us at love billie, but find out more about the inspiration behind their products, and feel inspired to turn your dreams into reality, too.
Today, we'll be chatting with another wonderful boss-lady, who's business we are so grateful to call a billie brand. Let's get right into it, and learn more about the fabulous Kara behind 'Miss Frankie'!
An Introduction to Miss Frankie
Despite her business' name may suggest, Kara is the lovely lady behind Miss Frankie, bringing you the natural and healthy approach to fabulous nails!
After owning her own nail salon in Melbourne's CBD, Kara saw a gap in the industry and wanted to provide a natural, healthy option for great nails, without compromising quality or style - and wow, has she done just that!
Kara is basically super-woman; mother of three and running her fabulous, expanding business. Miss Frankie is now stocked in stores all over the country, including our online store, yay!
Kara, the fantastic woman behind Miss Frankie!
Chatting with Kara, from Miss Frankie
S: Thank you so much for joining us for our ‘Meet the Maker’ series! To start us off, how would you describe what you do?
K: Miss Frankie is all about natural nails. Our ‘breathable’ nail polishes are free from all the nasties found in traditional nail polishes.
'They’re also vegan, cruelty-free and made in Australia.'
But probably best of all they’re long-lasting and won’t damage your nails.
S: Amazing! Take us through a day in life of Kara! How does your day typically start?
K: It most definitely starts with coffee, although I have recently switched to almond milk. I drop my big kids, who are seven and eight years old, at school. Three days a week, I have my four-year-old at home with me.
In the morning I tend to do emails and accounts then try to get all my orders packed before 2pm, but there is always lots going on when you’re growing a new business. While I’m at my desk I listen to podcasts whenever I can. A fave is NPR’s 'How I Built This', which I find inspiring.
S: What goes into making your products special?
K: Initially, there was a lot of time spent working out which formula we wanted and then, of course, there’s colour choice! Branding and packaging took a long time to get right, but the effort was totally worth it. Now I’m focussed on growing the colour range each season and introducing new products.
S: How did you start your business? Was there a lightbulb moment or did it eventuate after time spent dreaming?
K: For 11 years I owned 'French Pink', a nail salon in Melbourne’s CBD. Working with nail polish every day, I knew the products well and saw there was a gap in the market. When my lease was up, I decided it was time to take the leap and create Miss Frankie!
Pictured is Yes Way Rosé - shop here!
'With my years of experience manicuring and listening to my customers, I knew how much demand there was for quality, no-nasties nail polish.'
K: Because my children were older and not in the ‘baby’ phase any more, it was definitely time for me to start my own brand.
S: Where did the gorgeous name for your biz, 'Miss Frankie' come from?
K: The name question is one I get asked all the time!
My salon was called 'French Pink' and I was going to call my brand 'Miss French'... but I thought it was a bit serious.
K: 'Frankie' just popped into my head and once my graphic designer did the logo I knew it was perfect!
S: Did you always know you would be your own boss?
K: To be honest, when I finished year 12 I had no idea what I wanted to do. I ended up working in the telemarketing department at Optus then went into admin.
Eventually I moved to London, worked my way up the ranks as a Personal Assistant and landed what I thought was my dream job with a huge international company. But, I soon realised it was not what I wanted to do.
'I used to have weekly manicures and thought the concept of a nail bar would work well back home, so decided to do a course and give it a go!'
K: Opening my own salon was a huge learning curve, but it lead to where I am today and I definitely feel I’m finally on the path I was destined for.
I mean, have you ever seen cuter nail polish?! Didn't think so.
S: What is the best part of running your own business?
K: Definitely having flexibility with my hours is a huge bonus. I can still take my kids to school and do all the after-school activities.
Working on a business that I am truly passionate about is the best. There’s nothing better than landing a dream stockist, or getting an email from a stranger telling you how much they love your product!
S: Were there any particularly challenging moments at the start?
K: There are too many to list! Thankfully, I’ve learned to roll with the punches, so to speak, and turn setbacks into learning experiences.
'I read a quote yesterday that said, "My best successes came on the heels of failure" – I can completely relate to that!'
S: A piece of advice for anyone wanting to be their own boss?
K: Do your research. It’s so boring, but you have to know who your competitors are, how you are going to be different and how you’re going to stay true to your brand.
K: Write your own story – don’t follow others.
Perfect pinks by Miss Frankie.
S: Has there been a significant moment on your entrepreneurial journey that really stands out as a highlight?
K: There have been lots of small ones: doing our first trade show, Life InStyle, was a great experience and opened so many doors for us.
S: We just gave you a magic wand, and you have the power to fulfil your wildest dream for Miss Frankie.. What is it?
K: Be a world leader in natural nail care, educating people all over the world to choose natural!
billie loves a Quiz!
Beach Getaway / City Hustle
Definitely Beach Getaway.
Tea / Coffee
Coffee all the way!
Summer / Winter
Heels / Flats
Flats for day to day, but definitely heels when I’m out.
Typing / Handwriting
Typing - I spent a very long time teaching myself to touch type, so I need to use it!
Pastel / Bright
Texting / Phone Calls
Thank you for joining me for another 'Meet the Maker' blog!
Wow, is Kara super inspiring or what?! I found out so many interesting, new things about Kara from Miss Frankie, and it's definitely inspired me to keep following my passions.
We hope you're loving 'Meet the Maker', too - there are plenty more to come!
We would love any feedback or comments from you.
Until next time,
- Sophie x
Find out more about all of our billie brands, here!
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billie's faves from Miss Frankie
The perfect baby pink that flatters all skin tones. With a few good coats, it provides a beautiful, opaque coverage - just what we like!
Just as its name suggests, this shade gives us serious holiday vibes!
A stunning nudey-beige that is buildable, depending on the coverage you like. Add more for a creamy, opaque nude.
This pale grey is a beautiful, unique shade to make a statement whilst remaining soft!
Fierce. This rich, deep cherry is super shiny and sophisticated.