Today we’d like to introduce you to Anisa Telwar Kaicker.
Anisa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began working for my mother’s import/export company at the age of 17. I watched her build a business from nothing into a $100 million-dollar organization and then I watched her lose everything. At the age of 25, I was suddenly out of a job, held no college degree or any formal business training. Within a year, I became determined to pick up where my mother’s business ended and start something on my own.
In 1992, I founded Anisa International. I began working with a gentleman who made cosmetic brushes out of Korea and I offered to do his US sales and marketing. I started calling on some of the largest beauty brands in the industry – it was terrifying at times. I listened to a lot of positive-thinking and motivational tapes back then.
Fast forward to 2003 – I knew we needed to grow the organization with innovation and design. To become a leading makeup brush producer, we launched a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Tianjin China.
Now having been in business for over 25 years, we hold more than 25 patents and trademarks and work with top beauty brands like Estee Lauder, Sephora, Laura Mercier and MAC.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve definitely experienced struggles over the past 25 years. When I decided to build my own manufacturing facility in China – that was a huge risk. But, I grew up with risks and I understood they were necessary.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Anisa International story. Tell us more about the business.
At Anisa International, we design and manufacture makeup brushes and beauty tools for private labels. While you probably haven’t heard of our brand before, you most likely have used a brush that we produced.
About 4 years ago we made the decision to end the use of animal hair in our brushes for many reasons. The main reason being we did not agree with how the animals were treated and how the hair was harvested. There was no way to control the quality of hair or the cost. No one was winning – our customers, us as suppliers and especially the animals. Prior to this, animal hair was perceived to be the best quality and only option when it came to brush fibers. I knew we would have to provide equal if not better performing substitutes to get brands on board. I’m proud to say that our collection of New Naturals™ is a series of patent-pending synthetic fibers that outperform their animal counterparts. Our brand partners joined us in our commitment and at the end of 2017, we ceased production of any animal hair brush heads.
Creating products for our partners will continue to be our core business, however late last year we launched our first direct to consumer brush collection – a licensed collaboration with Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo has always been an inspiration for me and I wanted to honor her legacy by designing a collection of artistry tools. Her spirit of owning your beauty is something I want to empower our customers to feel when they use our products.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’ve had certain people walk into my life and take a chance on me and for that, I feel very fortunate. But I don’t know if I would call it ‘luck.’ I love the Gary Player quote – “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” As long as I remain positive and work on bettering myself and my business daily, the ‘luck’ will come.
- Website: www.anisa.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/AnisaIntl
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnisaInternational