Almost 30 years ago, Anastasia Soare immigrated to the United States. Last year, Anastasia Beverly Hills celebrated 20 years as a brand. But what happened in-between? We’ve created an ABH Visual Timeline to fill you in on all our favorite, momentous events.
In 1989, Anastasia Soare immigrated to the United States from Romania with her young daughter, Claudia Norvina Soare. Without knowing the language or a single other soul, she found work as a salon esthetician and began the origin story of a brow empire in the making.
After spotting an empty niche in the salon market, Anastasia begins offering eyebrow services to existing clients. At the time, most people didn’t see brows as a separate service, and if they were tended to at all, it was typically during a facial as an afterthought. With the feeling that she was on to something, Anastasia began developing her signature technique based on the Golden Ratio , a concept she had discovered through one of her art teachers, the late Nicoulae Asciu, back in Romania. Early adopters of the service reported both an improvement in their appearance and an increase in compliments received but without anyone being able to put a finger on exactly what was making such a difference. It was transformative enough to build a cult following, and Anastasia’s brow service soon became one of the best kept secrets in town.
Breaking out on her own, Anastasia rented out a small space with the intention of becoming solely devoted to brows. Though she soon piqued the interest of celebrities, working with the likes of Naomi Campbell, Michelle Pfeiffer, Faye Dunaway, and Cindy Crawford, Anastasia took great pleasure in giving every woman who walked through her door the perfect shape.
“The landlord didn’t believe I could pay rent with eyebrows. If was only after a very long talk that I convinced him to rent me the space. The very first week, a line would form even before the store would open – which the landlord was able to see from his office. That was best told-you-so I could imagine."
ANASTASIA APPEARS ON THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, DOING THE
HOST’S BROWS LIVE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.
“After Oprah reached out, the phone would not stop ringing for six months. Getting to know her changed my life – it’s a stamp of approval, it’s like getting an Oscar. But as a human being, she’s just incredible. Once you step inside the perceived sugar-coated life of celebrities, you realize how hard women like her work, how smart they are, and just what it takes to be successful and maintain that success. You recognize their magic, and that there’s a reason they are where they are.”
The first ABH brow collection launches in Nordstrom. Every single weekend, Anastasia would visit department stores to promote their services and personally show clients how to use the products.
In 2006 and 2007, the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow line launched in
Sephora and Ulta respectively.
“It was a game changer. The production, the volume – it all changed once we were exposed to that audience. It presented new challenges, but also so many new opportunities.” And just like that, the name ‘Anastasia’ soon became synonymous with brows.
ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS BECOMES AN EARLY ADOPTER ON
THE INSTAGRAM PLATFORM.
The move was driven by Norvina, who saw an opportunity for the brand to expand through social media and build a special relationship with users. Knowing that not everyone would use makeup the same way and that it would need to be customized from face to face, ABH was excited to showcase the diversity of what everyone was creating. Individuals were sent products along with a SonyA6 camera - this was pre the days of iPhone photo quality and the front facing lens. Taking this grassroots approach of sending product build incredible relationships, even leading to collaborations with talented artists, including Amrezy, Nicole Guerriero, and Mario Dedivanovic.
ABH launches the Anastasia Brighter Horizon Foundation. “The country gave me and my family so many wonderful opportunities, and I wanted to find a way to give back. The ABH Foundation gives individuals the opportunity to attend beauty school, build a career, and pursue a passion.”.
ABH launches its color line, geared towards professionals and prosumers
By 2015, Anastasia Beverly Hills holds multiple patents on the Golden Ratio Eyebrow Shaping Method.
ABH launches its 1st pre-assembled Contour Kit, selling out on the website and on Sephora.com in one day. This year also saw the launch of the brand’s best-selling cult classic Liquid Lipstick.
According to Anastasia, it was Norvina who had the idea of not only putting together a kit, but also pairing it with video tutorials. The focus on really understanding the application of the product and what it was capable of turned out to be a winning formula. From this point onward, tutorials have always played in integral part of each launch.
After Anastasia Beverly Hills was recognized by WWD the previous year as #1 on the “Instagram Influencer List,” ABH President Norvina received the honor of being listed as one of “The 10 most in-demand execs in digital fashion and e-commerce.”
“What makes Soare stand out as an innovator besides her ability to draw in millions of dedicated social media followers, is her skill at working directly with followers and beauty influencers to help inform product development. ‘My task is to align [my mother’s vision as an artist and entrepreneur] with the dynamic voice of our customer,’ Soare said.”
“It feels like yesterday, but it feels amazing. It’s the most fulfilling thing I can imagine. Even if I’m working hard or tired or on a deadline, it doesn’t feel like I truly work a day, because I’m doing what I love.”
Anastasia Beverly Hills recognizes that we have the most amazing fanbase. We’ve loved connecting with you through tutorials, seeing your talent on social media, and meeting you in person at events and Beautycons. We have no plans of slowing down now, so here’s to the next 20 years!