Jacqueline, Allison and Elaine Taylor have farm life in their blood.
The three sisters grew up in Northern California, watching their uncle and father run the organic plum farm that their great grandfather first founded in 1916. As they got older, each woman followed her respective path, exploring fields from finance and branding to wellness and design—and helping run the family farm. Ultimately, those cumulative experiences perfectly prepared them for the passion project they would create together: Le Prunier, a heritage beauty line inspired by the power of dried plums, known as “the fruit of life” in Asia.
Here, Jacqueline and Allison talk entrepreneurship, beauty and the importance of getting out of your comfort zone:
Live The Process: Each of you has an interesting blend of the practical and the unconventional in your professional background. To what do you attribute that and how does it help you?
Allison Taylor: Thank you! That’s a great question, and I think there are many contributing factors. Farm life was incredibly special to our family and is something we’re grateful to have experienced. Time moves a bit slower when you’re on the farm. You have a deeper appreciation and connection to the land.
Le Prunier is built upon the cumulative years of experience, values and craftsmanship passed down through our family’s generations. Our parents gave us a lot of freedom to discover our own paths without forcing the family business on us, but, at the end of the day, we were raised in the industry. Farming is in our blood and, the older we get, the more we realize how much that lifestyle has influenced us.
As a heritage brand, we take the same care and consideration while creating our products as our great grandfather did while caring for the land. My sisters and I have worked outside of the family business for most of our adult lives, which has contributed to our value-add and separate skill sets. We have very different backgrounds, therefore, we’re able to bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. Collectively, we play very well off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
LTP: Tell us a bit about growing up together. What role does each of you play in the family and how is working together as adults?
AT: Jacque is the eldest. There’s a five-year difference between us, and Elaine is two years younger than me. We grew up like tomboys, to be honest. Our childhood was spent mostly outdoors: we rode horses and four-wheelers at the ranch, played lots of sports and read a lot. It was the best!
Jacque is definitely the most lighthearted. She likes to have fun, and she makes work a lot easier because we’re constantly laughing. But, at the same time, she’s incredibly ambitious and singularly focused on the Le Prunier mission. When she sets her mind on something, she achieves it.
Elaine is a Virgo, so, needless to say, she’s super organized and reliable. She currently has a full-time job at a startup in LA, but loves to attend events with us to help out on the side. I think everyone in the family agrees I’m a creative with a large vision for Le Prunier. I love building things from the ground up and figuring out how to maximize potential and move the business forward.
We were best friends growing up, and we’re still best friends today. We’ve learned how to manage our working relationships and a lot of that has to do with respecting boundaries and taking time to ourselves, if necessary. Work never really stops, but, at the end of the day, there’s no one else we’d trust for this. We’re on the same team and never take this opportunity for granted.
LTP: How did you come to launch Le Prunier? And why a single product and slow approach?
Jacqueline Taylor: My sisters and I long contemplated the ways in which we might reinvent the dried plum, but it wasn’t until we accompanied our father on multiple business trips to Japan and Korea that we realized the Asian culture highly regards it as a beloved beautifying superfood. After conducting two years of research, we discovered the skin brightening benefits of our Plum Beauty Oil and finally felt the impetus to launch the brand.
It just so happens that our family farm is located in Sutter County, California, an area well-known for agriculture. Our father and uncle had the foresight to make a collective decision to shift to organic farming practices in 1985, long before “organic” was a household term. It only made sense for my sisters and me to utilize what was readily available and growing in abundance on our family farm, which happened to be incredibly powerful organic plums.
We are also meticulous about the work we produce, so we wanted to make sure we launched a product we truly believed in, were passionate about and knew produced results. Organic farming requires years of patience and skill, and we think of Le Prunier much in the same way. We do have a new innovative plum-based product on the horizon though and are very excited to introduce it later this year. Stay tuned!
LTP: Are there any products or rituals (aside from your own) that keep you feeling balanced and healthy?
JT: Most definitely! In order to truly feel balanced and grounded, we each find it essential to work out and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets. Growing up on the farm, our parents always had a garden, so we grew and ate an abundance during each meal—such as vine-ripe tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, apples, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and peaches.
Also, each month, I visit the family farm and find this really helps me to unwind, become grounded with nature and glean insight from my father from his decades of experience as an entrepreneur. Over the years, I’ve truly found this is where my best work is accomplished, since it allows to me to detach from the hustle and bustle of life.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
AT: I think happiness, in a lot of ways, is a choice. It’s about perspective. I feel happiest when I’m living in the present—whether that’s with friends and family, hiking with my dog, enjoying a good meal, traveling etc. The ranch has always been my happy place, probably because it reminds me of a simpler time when we were kids and life was carefree. There’s less noise from the outside world, and I can actually think. Since I’m not always there, it’s about finding ways to achieve that same feeling in my day-to-day life in LA. Staying centered and healthy allows me to appreciate all the amazing things about my life and, ultimately, that brings me the most joy.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JT: As entrepreneurs, we recognize that we have a long journey ahead of us, which, thus far, has been exciting, rewarding and challenging. Along our respective paths, we've found that, in order to achieve personal growth, it’s critical to surround yourself with others, who push you to be your best self and believe in you. Also, in order to constantly evolve, you must learn to think outside the box, stay true to yourself, embrace change and be able to pivot quickly, should you need to. It’s important to have a positive outlook on life and not take things too seriously. It is only when we’ve felt challenged and gotten out of our comfort zones that we’ve found we are headed in the right direction—towards self-fulfillment.