Ep.9 Far from Ordinary - Nicola Kilner's $2.2 Billion Dollar Story

Ep.9 Far from Ordinary - Nicola Kilner's $2.2 Billion Dollar Story

By Grace Beverley

*Trigger Warning*

Nicola Kilner is the co-founder and CEO of DECIEM, ‘the abnormal beauty company’ and hub of science-backed beauty brands that pave the future for skincare. Part of the DECIEM family ‘The Ordinary’ has taken the skincare world by storm, providing an evolving collection of clinical technologies and treatments at drugstore prices. In just 9 years DECIEM has completely revolutionised the beauty industry, its long-term mission to curate brands that educate and inform consumers about products best for their skin.

Starting her career as a sponsored beauty buyer for Boots, Nicola is not short of corporate beauty exposure. As a CEO Nicola has navigated $2.2 billion-dollar sale to Estée Lauder, achieving nearly £500m in annual sales and in 2021 she made the Forbes 40 Under 40 list. She is also, much to my delight and surprise, one of my investors at TALA.

In our heartfelt conversation Nicola and I discuss the extraordinary growth of DECIEM, her personal successes as a CEO and friendship with co-founder Brandon Truaxe who tragically passed in 2019. Today, with one product being reported to be sold every second, I delve into Nicola’s story of success, heartbreak, and phenomenal business growth.


• Early career and sponsorship from Boots

• Building 10 brands at once and the fun of being a start-up

• Co-founding and Nicola’s close relationship with Brandon

• Brandon’s public mental health decline

• Taking on new responsibilities: becoming a mother and becoming sole CEO

• Phenomenal growth during COVID-19

• Building an inclusive company, women in the workplace, flexible and remote working

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