From L.A. to Babson: Audrey McLoghlin Ignites Entrepreneurial Sparks

Audrey McLoghlin listens among a group of students in a classroom

During a recent visit to Babson College, Audrey McLoghlin, founder and CEO of clothing brand Frank & Eileen, joined the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® session in which she offered students a direct portal into her wealth of wisdom and experience.  

Created by the Frank & Eileen™ Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (F&E CWEL), the WIN Lab empowers women entrepreneurs and allies through an inspiring network and an experiential process. F&E CWEL Executive Director Dr. Shakenna Williams ’94 kicked off the session, which was led by Associate Professor of Practice Sandra Bravo MBA’87. McLoghlin brought the session to a close with personal stories about being scrappy, hustling, failing, and focusing on profit margins to grow a successful business. Her personal journey added a layer of authenticity to the session and provided a glimpse into the realities for emerging women entrepreneurs. 

“When we bring seasoned founders like Audrey into the WIN Lab, their real-world experience brings the curriculum to life and gives the students the opportunity to see it in action,” Kara Miller, director of Babson WIN Lab, said.  

Hearing McLoghlin’s journey proved to be incredibly inspiring for the students, providing them with tangible examples of entrepreneurship in action.  

“Audrey’s candid discussions about the challenges and triumphs of her journey offer invaluable lessons on resilience, innovation, and strategic problem-solving,” said Gopika Maheshwari, WIN Lab student participant and founder of Plantex Technologies. “Women, who often grapple with self-doubt and underestimation, find in Audrey’s journey a guiding light through the challenging, sometimes solitary, and obscure paths of entrepreneurship.” 
Following the presentation, students eagerly lined up to speak to McLoghlin, sparking lively conversations that extended beyond the session’s end. “I felt like we could have sat around a fireside chat for hours with the burning questions of all early entrepreneurs,” McLoghlin said.   

‘More Women Entrepreneurs’ 

McLoghlin, a former engineer and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, founded Frank & Eileen, a globally recognized fashion brand known for reinventing the women’s button-up. As a certified woman-owned and woman-led business, the brand’s mission—to model and support women’s entrepreneurship as a force for good—is intricately woven into the fabric of its identity.  

Audrey McLoghlin, founder and CEO of clothing brand Frank & Eileen, speaks to a group of students during her recent visit. (Photo: Nic Czarnecki/Babson College)

One year ago, on International Women’s Day in 2023, McLoghlin cut the ribbon at the newly named Frank & Eileen™ Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership. The ceremony marked an exciting moment in her company’s commitment to educating the women entrepreneurs of tomorrow.  

“McLoghlin’s dual investment of both her time and resources possesses the unparalleled potential to cultivate and empower the next generation of women entrepreneurial leaders,” Williams said, “forging a path toward a more inclusive and innovative future.” 

A year later, McLoghlin personally invests her time and expertise in shaping the next generation of entrepreneurs by seizing any opportunity to engage directly with Babson students. She also has joined the Babson Board of Trustees, further solidifying her commitment to entrepreneurial leadership and the College.   

“The greatest impact I can have to change the world for the next generation is to help create more women entrepreneurs,” McLoghlin said. “I am a woman and an entrepreneur, so I have lived the journey for the past 20 years that women entrepreneurs face. Women entrepreneurs are under-represented and under-networked. I want to help bring awareness to young women that entrepreneurship is the most powerful driver of positive change for women. A significant increase in the number of women entrepreneurs will cause a generational shift. It will be world-changing, life-changing, generationally changing.” 

Developing a Case Study 

An F&E CWEL team visited Los Angeles last month to research the Frank & Eileen brand for a global case study on McLoghlin and the company. 

During the visit, the team—including Williams; Professor Lauren Beitelspacher, the Ken and Nancy Major Romanzi Senior Term Chair in Marketing; and Sarah Grillo, assistant director of global research and ecosystem development—toured the company’s warehouse, conducted interviews with department heads, and enjoyed a sneak preview of the fall 2024 collections.  

This case study featuring McLoghlin at the forefront is a rarity. Harvard Business Review notes that only 11% of top business case studies spotlight female protagonists.

“The greatest impact I can have to change the world for the next generation is to help create more women entrepreneurs.”
Audrey McLoghlin, founder and CEO of Frank & Eileen™ and Babson Trustee

“Studying how McLoghlin accomplished pivoting her business during the pandemic presents a tremendous learning opportunity,” Grillo said. “McLoghlin’s candor enriches the depth and authenticity of the case study. She’s an engineer by training and takes great satisfaction in problem solving. You can see this in the way she approaches business challenges head-on with a fearless demeanor and a healthy dose of tenacity and grit.” 

By immersing students in the experience of trailblazers such as McLoghlin, this case study aims to bring real-world examples to classrooms around the world and redefine paradigms that empower women to see themselves as future leaders. 

In Los Angeles, McLoghlin introduced the Babson team to Frank & Eileen’s K-12 educational partners at Marlborough School, home to The Frank & Eileen Accelerator for Leaders of Tomorrow, and Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences. The Babson team presented the Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A™) methodology to budding young minds and aspiring entrepreneurs at these schools.   

McLoghlin’s far-reaching dedication underscores how successful women entrepreneurs can uplift other women along the way. 

Posted in Community, Entrepreneurial Leadership

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