Brianna is the other half of AZLO Lashes — and she a fierce and fabulous entrepreneur. In the first part of this interview you hear from Janny, and now you can get Brianna’s take on how she got started, what it’s like to be a business partner and what it's like to run a company.
Lauren Elizabeth: Tell us who you are.
Brianna Ancheta: I’m 23 years old and from San Francisco. I really enjoy makeup, traveling, and I’m obsessed with my Siberian Husky named Kaiko! AZLO Lashes is a dedicated fur-free lash company created to enhance your natural eye features. Working with a business partner is the best way to grow a company. Hence the infamous quote, “two brains are better than one.” I love how we are the yin and yang to each other business-wise, we are constantly bouncing ideas off one another and coming up with different perspectives. With a business partner, there will always be different perspectives, opinions, and solutions to a problem. The golden nugget is to remember that in business and you can’t take things personally. Filter out the best decision for the company whether you “feel” or “believe” it is what is right. Numbers and facts don’t lie! When both partners have a mindset like that, things just run better all around.
LE: Lashes are big in fashion, especially here in LA. I love that your mission is to create a product that helps with self-confidence, empowerment, and reduces the animal cruelty footprint. Can you let us know what led you down this path to both empower and not harm animals?
BA: Thanks! We appreciate the recognition that our brand is more than just a lash brand. Our story starts in Arizona, where Janny and I met at a seminar. We instantly clicked. We wanted to create lashes that were lightweight yet still beautiful, wispy, and voluminous. Researching, calling, and communicating with all the manufacturers, we quickly found out that using mink hairs hurt Minks. Even if they say “we brush the minks during shedding season from zoo’s,” in reality, they are cooped up in cages, and most are gassed for their fur. We knew we had a calling to find an alternative solution to where we can still wear 3D lashes without resorting to using fur. Once we found the truth of what goes into making 3D lashes, we were completely disgusted — with how all of the big brand lashes are selling 3D lashes made from mink fur. And we’re even more frustrated that they are labeling themselves cruelty-free. That’s when our fur-free lashes were born — 100% vegan, no animal hairs needed, so were are cruelty-free.
At the same time of being a vegan brand, we also wanted to be a brand that finally doesn’t make you feel like you need our product to feel beautiful. Maybe the product makes you feel more confident with your makeup look, or completes a makeup look or you like the personality behind each lash. But our ultimate goal is that we want you to know that you are just as beautiful without our lashes just as you are when you wear them. As a company made by women, we started campaigning for women empowerment. Each lash is a type of mood/personality we women often dip into and try out. We wanted to empower these feelings by naming each lash behind a personality — classy, fierce, resilient, elegant, radiant, sassy.
LE: Can you share a behind the scenes favorite moment you had when creating the lashes?
BA: A quick favorite moment of mine when Janny and I were coming up with the box design! Omg, Janny had me cracking up, she straight up got out a ruler, did some measurements, and was literally creating our box, made a 3D model and everything. Talk about genius! Creating AZLO Lashes was definitely always a bonding moment for us. Janny is more than just a business partner to me, she’s a great friend, and we have the same love for the same type of food too, lol!
LE: What are your top three tips for starting a business?
BA: My top three tips for starting a business would be:
Just do it. Like literally, don’t over think it, don’t over perfect it, you’ll work out all the loose ends when you get it going. The most important part is to start it, or else you’ll let precious time pass by when thinking about all the nitty-gritty.
Find a mentor or someone who is where you want to be. Go network, become friends with entrepreneurs in your industry.
Learn one skill that is vital for your business growth (aka Marketing for our biz). Hone in on that one skill and become a master at it. Wearing all the hats and being mediocre at everything vs. being an expert at one thing. Which one sounds better? You can always hire other experts.
LE: Tell us about a breaking glass moment.
BA: Definitely when we found out our lashes were going to be 100% fur-free and still have the 3D effect. Its something we created that was not in the markets at the time, so it was a HUGE learning curve for us.
LE: What's your daily routines like?
BA: I don’t have a strict daily routine. It’s mostly working and taking my dog out! However, in the morning, I try not to look at my phone and emails right away. I’m getting into the habit of writing down five things that I’m grateful for. It just starts the day out right, keeps you humble, and reminds you of what you have. I don’t have a job outside of AZLO, but I do have another company I’m working on in the digital marketing space.
LE: What is the best piece of advice you've received?
BA: Getting around the right people is the biggest success hack in the world.
LE: What is your favorite quote and why?
BA: “Perfection Prevents Progression.” It’s simple, easy to remember and something I’ve had to work on a lot in the past, but I always remember this quote to keep me from the “it has to be perfect” mindset.
LE: What advice would you give to a Girl on the Rise?
BA: Honestly, girl keep looking — not for a person but your passions, purpose, your love, your courage, your goals, your dreams, your happiness, yourself. Keep looking. Explore yourself before you explore another. Know your worth (sounds cliche, but do you really know?) know yourself. Only then will you know what you need over what you want. You need yourself to become your own.
LE: What's your favorite thing to do when you're off the clock?
BA: Travel, foodie, taking Kaiko on trips to the beach, hiking and exploring. I love down time with my friends and family. I also LOVEEEE coloring mandalas, it’s my therapy session!