Paul and Nick are the foundation of Toronto-based creative agency Taylor Reid. They work directly with brands and through agencies to create engaging content that tells a story.
From broadcast commercial spots to documentary style branded content, they handle projects from end-to-end. From conception to the finished product, Taylor Reid handles creative, scripting, production and post-production.
Paul and Nick travel the world, working with elite athletes, automotive companies, brands, and non-profit organizations to tell their stories. Their client list includes Porsche, Subaru, Pfaff Automotive, EA Sports, Red Bull and Air Canada.
TCS: What is the relationship and how did you get started with Simon? Could you talk about some of the initial meetings and how you started with offerings that were presented to you?
Paul Reid: We met Simon though a mutual friend when we were shooting a project with a member of the Toronto Raptors. We had heard Simon’s name before from when he offered Kawhi the penthouse to stay in Toronto and keep playing for the Raptors. Our initial conversations were about us doing video work with TCS and after doing a few successful projects we hit it off with Simon and consider him a good friend and mentor of ours. After learning more about TCS and Simon’s projects we became eager to get our foot in the door and invest with TCS.
TCS: For everyone, 2020/21 (and potentially 2022) has been a trying period of time, how have you and your families been managing through all the quarantines and distancing?
Paul: Overall the last few years have treated us very well. We’ve grown the business more than ever. Both Nicholas and I are younger and in a similar position to drop everything and focus on the business. The pandemic almost worked with us in a unique way. For example, some automotive manufacturers had to cancel Auto Shows but repurposed those budgets into marketing & video campaigns that we were awarded. Seeing and hearing all the horror stories this pandemic has caused, we do not take this situation for granted.
Nick Taylor: Yes, it definitely changed our working life and personal life. Luckily production was allowed to continue through most of the pandemic. We instituted a number of policies to make sure that crew and on-screen talent were as safe as possible given the circumstances. It added some logistical issues, but we generally have everyone on set tested ahead of time, and have a Covid compliance officer on set to make sure that everyone is following the guidelines put in place by the government. It also meant that a lot of our clients couldn’t be on site during production so we had to create new work flows to work with creative teams spread across the world. We produced a commercial in Montreal that had an Agency based out of LA and a client based in Tokyo, so we provided them with a live feed of the camera and were in touch throughout the day as we shot. With the time change it meant a long night in Japan but they were very accommodating.
TCS: What about away from the office, what do you guys like to do when not working?
Nick: I’ll let Paul answer this one since he does all the cool activities.
Paul: When I’m not at our office in Queen West, I spend most of my time in Collingwood, where I now consider home. I grew up in Toronto but loved coming up here to enjoy the outdoors and the activities this area has to offer. Since our work is so flexible, and we travel so much, I decided I was going to move up here but still spend a lot of time in Toronto. I’m normally either biking, snowboarding, or surfing. I also love to travel and usually do a surf trip as well as a snowboard trip every year.
TCS: You started your creative agency together in 2017, what can you tell us about the journey and if there was a primary business principle that has allowed you to have the success that you have experienced?
Paul: Nicholas and I met at the perfect time, where we both had lots of experience in the industry at a young age and some of the best mentors we could ever ask for. We realized we were both in a similar situation, ready to work as hard as we possibly could and start something ourselves. We both had unique connections so we were reaching out to everyone we knew to see what business we could obtain. Our first job was quite significant, the longest snowmobile race in the world, where we traveled to Labrador for a month and had helicopters to film the race. At the time it was a HUGE deal for us, and once we locked that in we realized we could strictly focus on our business.
Nick: I think we realized early on that our business is all about relationships. We have been very lucky to
have a number of incredible mentors that continue to push us and motivate us to get us to higher
levels. We know that typically, when we come into a project it is something that our clients care very
deeply about and it’s something that is important to them. So we work very hard to make sure that
everything runs smoothly, that they are taken care of, and that everyone has a good time while on
set. We love what we do and feel very lucky to be in a position to do it so it’s not too difficult to have
a fun time on set.
We also realized early on that we needed to invest heavily into projects when we had a good
opportunity in front of us. So whenever we had an exciting project, we’d dump all the resources we
had into it to make it as good as it can be. Our work is really the best advertising we can do, so we just
work as hard as we can to make it great.
TCS: As leaders in your field, you need to give a lot of advice, but what advice would you give to someone that is looking to invest in the condo market, what would be the top considerations that they should be focused on?
Paul: As everyone hears, the market is increasing. If you look at Simon & TCS’ track record you see it. When the opportunity arose for us to invest with Simon we were thrilled and made it happen. My advice would be to go with your instincts, especially when looking at the history of TCS and all the happy customers that invest with them.
Nick: I think everyone has a different approach to real estate investing. For us, we are focused fully on
being experts in our field and growing our business. We invested in the condo market to diversify and
frankly because we trusted Simon and the Condo Store had our best interests in mind. We knew the
specific deal we were involved in made sense once Simon laid it all out for us, explaining the pro’s and
con’s. We feel it’s best to find people we trust who are experts in their field. For us, that is Simon and The Condo Store.
TCS: Any regrets about deals that you didn’t participate in over the years that stand out for you?
Paul: We try not to think too much about deals we didn’t participate in. Our business is quite fresh and we needed the operating capital to keep growing at the rate we have been. I look at it as investing in our business. We’re happy we got in when we did and will continue to invest with TCS.
Nick: No regrets really, I think like everyone, we just wish we had gotten into the market a bit sooner.
TCS: Lastly, we’d love to chronicle some of your early activity with TCS, perhaps an example of a project that you invested into?
Paul: We invested in a project in the west end of Toronto. It is still an ongoing project, under construction, but it is evident that the price will be significantly higher than what we paid not that long ago, when the deal was presented. The media coverage around the building is very impressive. We’re looking forward to seeing our luxury condo once complete!