As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada‘s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our last Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies.
Anna D’Amore – Beauty expert, boutique owner and brand founder
Location: Niagara Falls
SC: What led you to pursue your career?
AD: I have had love for the beauty industry for as long as I can remember. I would spend my extra dollars on high fashion magazines, follow who the makeup artists on set were and I’ve been in awe ever since then. I recall like it was yesterday when I was given an opportunity to be a part of a makeup team behind the scenes on a large fashion show in Toronto. I worked along side amazing pro makeup artists (with much more experience then I) and one artist in particular, Jacqueline, was also an aesthetician. The care that she had for her model’s skin was just beautiful. Once our gig was over, I made sure to ask all the questions, all the why’s and how’s of what her work entailed. From that conversation, I knew what my next step needed to be.
SC: What has your career path looked like?
AD: My formal education was in business (accounting and marketing) followed by my education in beauty. I opened my first studio, upgraded to medical aesthetics, and continued to take courses in holistic skincare. I thrived from there. I had an amazing opportunity to open a distribution centre for products and equipment, and from that I searched a skincare line for Canadian distribution. I was fortunate to partner with a large European beauty company and purchased the rights to Canada, but that didn’t come without drama.
I was a young #girlboss and had to deal with the “wolves of the beauty industry” early on. Lucky for me, I had an amazing business mentor who helped me when I needed it most. Fast forward: I sold my first beauty studio and went on to work with one of the world’s largest hospitality giants as “Director of Spa”. I had some glorious years there but missed the connection with my clients and the need to fulfill my desire of formulating a line of skincare. It all came at the right time for me to go to the public sector again. I took what I had learned and formulated and trademarked Truvi Beauty – my dream to have simplified skincare. I also opened a brick and mortar studio called Truvi Beauty & Co.
SC: What was the process of creating your own product line like?
AD: The process was wonderful and challenging at the same time. I have been studying skincare for many years and was also very active as a formula advisor for a large beauty brand. You have to seek out the right labs with cosmetic chemists that “get” your brand. You have to source the right packaging, regulations are checked and triple checked, lawyers for trademarks are secured… then the marketing and partnerships really make it real. There are so many dollars that can be invested to bring you to the next level. You can never be lax – the process is ongoing.
SC: During COVID-19, operating as a beauty bar looks a lot different. What has changed for you and how are you dealing with the business side of things?
AD: The beauty industry has had to step back and remove our “extras” – beautiful bed linens, towels, robes, steam treatments – all which made our guests feel special. “extra” Its a more sterile environment that’s being handled so well by all of our guests and colleagues.
As for the business side of it all, we have experienced a large increase in product supplies and shipping that end up costing more for everyone. The delay in the arrival of certain products has also ruffled feathers as well. It has been a financial nightmare for many in the industry – rent needs to be paid, product commitments need to be filled, and guests need to be seen. We have to be strong and adapt to the changes to move ahead.
SC: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
AD: If I was to just pick one lesson that I learned early on in my career, it would be to never under estimate yourself. You can do anything.
SC: What obstacles have you overcome to get to where you are today?
AD: I have had to overcome a few. Being a young woman in a male dominated industry when I started, language, culture. All of it combined allowed me to build my strength to deal with very tough situations. I reminded myself that I had no choice but to move forward with such piercing focus to get to my goal. There are people that will want to deliberately push you down, but they will be the first to back down when you show them you have better things to do than deal with their nonsense.
SC: What’s your biggest strength?
AD: My biggest strength is my ability to get back up after a few falls without having others realize that I had ever tumbled to begin with.
SC: What’s your biggest weakness?
AD: My biggest weakness is that I trust all humans are coming from a good place even though I have had them “trip me” purposely. The saying goes, “hurt people, hurt people”, and one day that person will have to deal with the same hurt they caused someone. “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness” describes me to a T.
SC: If you have one goal for Truvi Beauty and one goal for yourself, what are they?
AD: My future goal for Truvi Beauty skincare and brow care products is to get to as many end users to simplify their beauty routine with even just one piece of my brand. Through those sales, we can continue to raise awareness and advocate for children with skin disease. I would love to do more work with influencers and develop more products.
A portion of the sales from every Truvi Beauty product sold is gifted to foundations helping children with skin disease. Shop Truvi today.
SC: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
AD: If I could tell 18-year-old Anna a little advice, I would tell her to take all that you have dreamed of and realize that what you are envisioning will come true by keeping focused and not getting distracted by negativity and doubt from others. Nay-sayers are more than likely envious that an 18-year-old has a future plan ready and they don’t. Also, believe in yourself. There will be so much out there to explore and you will be the driver of your future if you really want it.