For years, Anouk Geurts worked abroad for several luxury skincare brands. But Anouk lacked transparency, because what do you actually put on your skin? This is where her entrepreneurial journey began. She now shows with her A/N/G Skincare that luxury and organic products go hand in hand, without compromising on results. MASTERS went into conversation with the Founder.
What was your very first side job?
"During my high school days, I worked behind the bar. The night work was just less suitable for me. When I Business Economics studied in Rotterdam, I actually got my very first 'real' job. In the student magazine they asked for promoters for the fragrance Dolce Vita. So I ended up working behind the Dior counter in the Bijenkorf department store. I immediately thought: 'This is more like something for me!'."
How did you end up in your current job?
"I had two desires: on the one hand I wanted to enter the world of sports and on the other hand that of skincare. Sports is more my father and skincare my mother. My mother is the family business under the name A/N/G Cosmetics as well. She was a beautician and then started importing brands to the Netherlands. I actually always said I would never take over her business. But after years of working for international brands, I did see opportunities and wanted to add more to the family business. That adding more ended up being my own brand A/N/G Skincare became.
I just never wanted to just put a label on a jar to market yet another brand. I really wanted to establish a different brand. Coincidentally, I ended up with the business premises next to the editorial office of LINDA, and exactly during the period that I was thinking about a new product of my own, they organized the LINDA Festival. I actually used the festival as a test. This turned out to be a success: the rest is history..."
And... How did your mother react to this?
"My mother is proud of the step I took to go for my own brand. In the beginning, of course, she had her concerns. After all, a lot does come your way in the beginning. My mother is still very involved and still often gives her advice."
Who was your wheelbarrow?
"The family business may sound like a fun 'wheelbarrow' at first, but it's quite spicy. I'm a big believer in connection. Ultimately, I do believe that you have to do it yourself, but the connection with others definitely helps you. As such, I have gathered several people around me who are further along than me and therefore can give good advice."
So what makes the family business spicy?
"On the one hand, you continue something, but you have to be able to put your own spin on it, because everything keeps evolving. My mother had good years with imports, but everything changes when a brand has been around for a long time. You do have to make sure that you know what your next step is going to be instead of thinking that you are baked in."
"You do need to make sure you know what your next step is going to be."
What is your greatest passion in your profession?
"I am hugely mesmerized by skin. So my passion is literally skincare. Cherishing your skin. In addition, I want people to be the innovation in skincare. I have made that my mission."
What has been the biggest learning moment in your career?
"I think the most intense moments are also the moments that give you the most strength. An example is that when I had just started A/N/G Skincare, the first corona wave came. I had to deal with all kinds of delays. Then you have to keep it up. What I learned from that is that you have to stay very calm and look at what resources there are to maneuver through that difficult time. Giving up is not an option."
What advice would you give your younger self?
"I have a lot of advice for my younger self haha. I guess I would say : rather choose for yourself. Also, I have always set the bar very high for myself. In hindsight, I could have been a bit more relaxed at times."
Have you been a wheelbarrow for anyone?
"For my three children. I want to make sure they each have the support in their field to get where they want to go."
Would you want them to take over someday?
"No, I don't actually have that hope. In fact, the most important thing for me is that they develop where they want to. I want to teach them to start seeing something of the world, instead of staying in the family circle."
Curious about all of A/N/G Skincare's products? Check out the website here.