Azaria Anaman is a multi-business owner carving her way into the beauty and zero-waste spaces. She is the founder of Eni Lashes, an eyelash brand that enhances lashes and empowers people. She also owns Brush Fresh Co., a zero-waste dental products brand. Recently, Eni Lashes won the runner-up prize for Cardiff University’s Start-Up Awards 2021, both validating the confidence in her business concept and giving her funds to implement some of her ideas. She is currently scaling and building business communities for both brands respectively while navigating her way in the entrepreneurial space.
As a recent graduate, she has wasted no time and regularly contributes towards causes she is passionate about alongside her businesses. She is constantly raising funds for charities supporting women against gender-based violence through Eni Lashes. She has also recently met with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to advocate for student mental health during the Global Pandemic. Overall, Azaria is a determined person and budding entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people.
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Table of Contents
Let’s start with a brief introduction first. Introduce yourself to our readers.
Azaria Anaman: Azaria is a business owner carving her way into the beauty space. She is the founder of Eni Lashes, an eyelash brand that enhances lashes and empowers people. She also owns Brush Fresh Co., a zero-waste dental products brand. Recently, Eni Lashes won the runner-up prize for Cardiff University’s Start-Up Awards 2021, both validating the confidence in her business concept and giving her funds to implement some of her ideas. Overall, Azaria is a determined person and budding entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people.
Our audience is interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to become a CEO or was it something you were led to? Our readers would love to know your story!
Azaria Anaman: Being a CEO is always something I had dreamed of from a young age but didn’t always have the confidence to pursue it. One day I thought about how I would look back on my life when I’m older and I knew I didn’t want to look back regretting all the things I didn’t do and chances I didn’t take, so I took the plunge and decided to start a business.
“Selfmade” is a myth. We all received help, no doubt you love to show appreciation to those who supported you when the going got tough, who has been your most important professional inspiration?
Azaria Anaman: My most important professional inspiration is the same as my inspiration – my family and friends. Being surrounded by such kind, passionate and driven people in such diverse areas of life has given me the courage to go for what I want professionally. Even though we have vast professional backgrounds, our values align and reflect in various areas of our lives and that inspires me greatly. As a creative person, I tend to pull inspiration from wherever it strikes me and this is where it tends to happen most.
How did your journey lead you to become a CEO? What difficulties did you face along the way and what did you learn from them?
Azaria Anaman: It started with my housemate from university giving me a makeover for her YouTube channel and she did makeup that was quite out of my comfort zone – with big eyelashes. But afterward, I felt so good and confident in myself that I wanted other people to have that feeling as well. That’s where the idea for Eni Lashes was born. A difficulty for me was blocking out the noise. At first, a lot of opinions wavered me and my faith in my business idea but ultimately as time went on, I realized that there is no one set determinant as to what may make me or my business successful. There are plenty of businesses being set up in saturated and expanding markets and that alone does not determine their future success.
Tell us about your company. What does your business do and what are your responsibilities as a CEO?
Azaria Anaman: Eni Lashes is an eyelash brand with a focus on enhancing eyelashes and empowering people. All of our eyelash styles are named after characteristics that make people feel beautiful. We sell strip false eyelashes and makeup tools to help people wear false eyelashes. My responsibilities as CEO strategizing for the future, creating social media content, and managing social media websites, alongside shipping customer orders.
What does CEO stand for? Beyond the dictionary definition, how would you define it?
Azaria Anaman: For me, the CEO is like the captain of the ship. The CEO has assistance from other crew members but they are steering, looking ahead, planning the route, looking out for danger (risks), and trying to manage them.
When you first became a CEO, how was it different from what you expected? What surprised you?
Azaria Anaman: It was hard work! Not that I thought running a business would be a walk in the park but there is so much that goes into it behind the scenes. Moreover in this day and age being a business on social media is a full-time job. I didn’t understand the depth, level of detail, and consistency that is required to run a business social media page.
There are many schools of thought as to what a CEO’s core roles and responsibilities are. Based on your experience, what are the main things a CEO should focus on? Explain and please share examples or stories to illustrate your vision.
Azaria Anaman: Strategy, planning, and the vision for the business. For me, that meant, planning what I wanted the brand to look like, both short and long time, and planning the voice and values of the business. Survival, whether you’re just starting or fully-fledged in business, survival is key. The pandemic saw a change in people’s consumption, daily habits, and spending habits. For a lot of businesses, whether established or not, this meant adapting to survive.
The wellbeing of yourself and your employees. Again, during the pandemic, I threw myself into my business as a hobby to keep myself busy. But during summer 2021 as the world began to open up again, I realized that I hadn’t taken a break. Between studying and running a business I hadn’t given myself time for other hobbies or to just rest. This meant that for the summer months, I found it difficult to post on business social media and needed to take a few months off to reset. Even now, it’s something I am trying to get into slowly. It is so important to check in on yourself and the people who work for you. I used to think that being a CEO means working long hours and pouring your life into your business, but experience has shown me it’s not about the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Azaria Anaman: Changing my website platform. For me, this meant designing the website from scratch, transferring product information, and learning a new platform again from scratch. This meant a lot of sunk costs from the previous website platform and a lot of hours sunk into building a new one. However, for my customers, this meant having an easier website to navigate and purchase from, with a more streamlined design.
How would you define success? Does it mean generating a certain amount of wealth, gaining a certain level of popularity, or helping a certain number of people?
Azaria Anaman: I define success as achieving goals, making progress, and living the life I want to live. I don’t see success as something that it takes a long time to reach, but more of something you meet time and time again.
Some leadership skills are innate while others can be learned. What leadership skills do you possess innately and what skills have you cultivated over the years as a CEO?
Azaria Anaman: My innate skills are an organization, leadership, and verbal communication. Cultivated skills have been e-commerce site-building and social media managing.
How did your role as a CEO help your business overcome challenges caused by the pandemic? Explain with practical examples.
Azaria Anaman: The pandemic caused a delay in the start of my business. I was supposed to start at the beginning of 2020 but couldn’t start until a lot later. Therefore I used the time to get familiar with my stock, start building my audience and social media presence to get people familiar with our products so, by the time we launched, we had customers that knew exactly what they wanted to buy from us.
Do you have any advice for aspiring CEOs and future leaders? What advice would you give a CEO that is just starting on their journey?
Azaria Anaman: The most important thing is that you have confidence in your idea and confidence in yourself. It doesn’t matter what it is you’re doing, self-belief and confidence are so important. Validate yourself and validate your business idea.
Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge with our readers! They would also like to know, what is one skill that you’ve always wanted to acquire but never really could?
Azaria Anaman: Painting and art. I have the passion and feel like it’s something that should have come to me naturally, my mum is incredibly artistic and I thought that it would have… been passed down to me, but unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. I do still paint and draw on occasion, but I don’t think it’s my calling in life.
Before we finish things off, we have one final question for you. If you wrote a book about your life today, what would the title be?
Azaria Anaman: “Creating a Life Worth Living”. There have been times in life where I have felt like I am just existing or ticking off a long list of things I felt I needed to do achievements. Now, however, it’s about building an exciting and fulfilling life to enjoy and creating a life worth living.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Azaria Anaman for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Azaria Anaman or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.