Flyte.70 was founded by Elena Frankel and Carolyn Barber, pioneers of the beauty boutique concept in the US in the 1990s and 2000s. Their niche store, E6 apothecary, was a longtime darling of the cosmetics scene, thanks to their forward-thinking approach to stocking then-indie brands like Tarte, Too Faced, Philosophy, Shu Uemura, Bliss, Tocca, Aesop, and Becca.
E6 had a devoted national and international following, and was featured in Vogue, InStyle, O, and Travel + Leisure, among others. In addition, the shop was voted “Best of Boston” for beauty shopping by Boston Magazine for five consecutive years, a feat they are still enormously proud of today.
Their journeys in the beauty industry began in the 1980s when they were in their late teens, where they held part-time jobs during high school at the Clinique and Lancome counters. After the college years, they met in the cosmetics department at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston and bonded over makeup, strong work ethics, Bebé suits, and food. (This was the 90s). At Saks, they collectively worked on the front line for brands such as Prescriptives, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, and Dior. With their combined experience of retail merchandising and customer service (Carolyn) and design, color theory, and entrepreneurship (Elena) they were a match made in heaven.
As their priorities shifted, rents skyrocketed, and their families expanded, Carolyn and Elena closed E6 in the mid 2000s. Diehard makeup and skincare junkies, they always remained connected to the beauty world. Carolyn worked on the front lines at Barneys in Boston (now closed) for Armani, Sunday Riley, Serge Lutens, Byredo, and Westman Atelier and was regarded as giving the highest level of customer experience with an unheard-of retention rate of clients.
During this new stage of life, they realized that their approach to beauty had changed. And they were tired of the unsubtle messaging that age was something they should apologize for or hide. Instead, they searched for modern makeup that made them feel fresh and vibrant, and that worked with—not against the concerns of their maturing skin. They had a hard time finding one brand that wasn’t dated in terms of messaging and aesthetics or using models in their 20s. With over 25+ years in the beauty industry, not as beauty executives, but as makeup artists and 'front-line' workers, they began to hatch their plan at a Starbucks in Chestnut Hill, MA in March of 2019.
After two and half years of development that was hindered by so many obstacles (a worldwide pandemic, personal losses, grief, and cancer) the brand finally launched in December in 2021 with no social media presence or current connections in the industry. Elena and Carolyn named the brand in honor of how we “travel” through the different phases of life, combined with their birth year. And they firmly planted a new kind of beauty that matched the modern reality of what they were seeing with their friends and colleagues of similar ages, not what marketing teams envisioned. And this became a new way to age.