I learned so much from my parents. They had their territory taken from them in the communist era in Macedonia. My parents had moved to Romania and had everything taken away from them. And so came here without anything. I learned from them, about how you can have everything taken away from you and still recover.
There wasn't a single thing that wasn't a challenge. Life is a challenge, don't kid yourself. Relationships are a challenge, work is a challenge, if you're not pushing the boundaries you are not living. But that's life. Every day is a fight and you have to fight for your right.
I've taken this to heart to realize also that life is a balance of what you are putting in. You don't get anything without putting energy into it.
I initially studied Fibonacci numbers and didn't really start in beauty, I was a technical designer studying the golden mean, I never knew 25 years later I would have a beauty store in downtown Beverly Hills, Anastasia Beverly Hills. At that time not many people were working with eyebrows and I felt eyebrows are so important for your expression. So I went to the library to find out as much as I could about what beauty was and realized there was a ‘Golden Mean’. I took the technical knowledge of what I had and applied it. Today I have 80 beauty stores!
Success is not about one thing. It is a combination of many things. I didn't come to Beverly Hills with the idea that I might be a famous beautician. If that is your goal it won't happen. It happens when you make every day a goal and you accomplish it. I started with clients and they enjoyed what I did and gave me referrals. Passion isn't enough. You need to have discipline, be in the right place, and work 80 hours a week.
So many people come into my store and I make them feel beautiful. That in itself creates a great meaning for me. My next chapter in life is for charity and I will be devoting my life to this. Right now we take refugees who are struggling with finances and train them as beauticians.
I definitely love my beautiful things but this business has definitely taught me to stay grounded. When you see a person who lost his legs due to an infection and then someone comes in complaining their bangs are too short you start to see the right perspective.
Also, relationships are a dilemma! If I am having dinner I am still working. I have a guy who wants to take off for two weeks in Cabot for a golfing holiday and I'm running an enterprise business. Sorry, you can't have everything in life. I didn't have time for family but then I solved this by having my daughter work with me. She has the same drive as me.
I never really plan things out. I respect the people who plan next year but I never know what I'll make the day after tomorrow.
But I know I have so much passion inside me that if I don't work I'll self-destruct, it’s like there is a bomb inside me that if I don't use it will explode inside of me.
This salon is my heart and my passion. With 80 stores do you think I need to work here and do eyebrows still? But I do it because I love to make my clients beautiful.