MTI: What was your experience before the studio or before getting into film and TV?
A: When I was in high school I always asked myself “what was I going to do?” I’ve always loved beauty, and the other day one of my old high school friends called me up and said “Ana, I’m so thankful. You were my first beauty inspiration.” She wasn’t necessarily putting on loads of makeup, but she got it. She understood how to express herself through beauty, because it is a form of expression – you can cover up or enhance by using colours and have fun with it. So I guess at a young age I showed her some tips that I don’t even remember. Looking back, I understand why I was so drawn to start this.
After high school I went to Vancouver Film School, and then shortly after I would try to do anything to get experience – fashion shows, music videos, and I worked for MTV Razor. I tried to work with every photographer in town. It gave me the courage to continue and learn more.
MTI: Why did you choose to start a studio as opposed to taking other directions in this industry?
A: The journey took me here. Through the roller coaster of the industry I ended up here. I knew I wanted to start classes though.
MTI: Have you always felt like an instructor?
A: Actually no. Not at all. But you know what? I love teaching so much. Out of all the things that I do, when it comes to a class and educating, I get so much enjoyment out of that. So I never knew I enjoyed it, but it’s something I recently discovered.
MTI: Establishing a business and a brand has its struggles. What has kept you motivated through the rough times?
A: For me, it’s knowing the end result and knowing the goal. It’s telling myself “I know I have to keep doing this because it’s life changing.” Also, thinking about all the women I was able to help and how many lives I was able to change. Getting emails from girls telling me they got the job they wanted, or that they’re happier, that’s what keeps me motivated. When you think about all the bills, the self promotion and the business side of things, it can be hard to keep going. But what fuels me is thinking about that end result – the one-on-one with clients and seeing their transformation.
MTI: How would you describe the essence of your brand? What characterizes what you’ve created?
A: It’s definitely about confidence. It’s adventurous and fun – I want girls to have fun and love themselves. So it revolves around empowering women and being knowledgeable. The more you know the more confident you are, with anything you do.
MTI: What is one thing you didn’t expect to learn on your journey?
A: Sometimes you surprise yourself with your own energy and fire. You don’t know what you have until you go for it. I’ve worked days and hours without breaks, not realizing I had it in me. Or even family support. You really get to know who your friends are when you’re so busy, because they still stick around. That’s really important, having a support system.
MTI: What is one product from Ana V Beauty you cannot live without?
A: The first product I created had to be one that could change lives – one that could be time efficient and effective – and that’s the Ana V Beauty Highlighter. It’s not just about correcting but enhancing, so the highlighter does both. It corrects undertones but it also enhances, so not matter what, it looks like you had 8 hours of sleep. It’s a product that caters to a busy lifestyle.
MTI: How do you describe your everyday look?
A: For myself, natural and not a lot of makeup. It’s more so corrective and enhancing. I do like a pop of colour though. I could not see myself without a colour on my lips. Today it’s maroon because I’m not wearing a lot on my eyes, but it’s always either fuchsia, fuchsia or fuchsia!
MTI: Are your workshops for women who want to get into the makeup industry, or for the everyday woman?
A: I wanted to create beauty education for the everyday woman. You don’t have to go through a month or year long program and spend thousands of dollars. Our classes are super affordable, $90 for 3 hours as well as some awesome promotions online as well. It’s about helping the everyday woman know how texture works. I show them a picture and say “give me your version of this,” I never say “copy this.” I want them to be inspired by somebody’s beauty and create art. Art cannot be copied. So you can be inspired, but don’t copy and compare yourself to others. Nobody is the same, so I love the customizing part.
MTI: What are your words of inspiration?
A: The most important thing is that you’re on your track. There are so many things that will try to pull you aside or push you over, but just keep focused on that end goal. See the big picture and don’t get stuck in too many of the small details. You can feel overwhelmed but don’t lose track of why you’re doing this. I feel like we’re all meant to do something, and if you’ve found it then you have to keep doing it. It will all work out.