“Do not get lost in the operations only. Step back and enjoy and congratulate yourself for your achievements.”
Although change can often feel foreign and difficult to navigate, Ana Sastrias of ÆSASTRIAS has embraced it. Change is what allowed her to embark on the long journey of self-discovery, as she figured out her life passions. And ultimately it has led her to where she is now, running her own perfumery business.
Now at ÆSASTRIAS, Ana uses the roses and flowers from her own garden to create natural handcrafted perfumes. She also provides one-on-one consultations, where she helps her clients to create the perfect customised perfume. Since opening her business in 2017, Ana has taken multiple courses in perfume making, including one held in Grasse, France. This desire to keep learning and reach new achievements is what drives her forward.
Ana has come a long way since the beginning, but she still has big dreams for the future. She hopes to reach wholesale distribution of her most popular, niche products. In addition, Ana would love to continue creating handcrafted perfumes for an exclusive audience or other businesses.
To Ana, joining the HerBusiness Network Community has been a great first step in growing and scaling ÆSASTRIAS. She says that the ability to reach out to the members for advice, assistance or collaboration has been particularly reassuring. As she continues on this journey of change, Ana looks forward to creating her dream business.
Who’s your favourite entrepreneur and why?
I got inspired by Coco Chanel, French Fashion Designer and business woman; and Jean Claude Ellena, perfumer, writer and educator. Yves St Laurent, the most famous Fashion Designer in the XX century.
The three of them inspire me in my perfume making and the style of my brand. Their lives are exciting, deep, focused with huge determination and have contributed greatly to the world with Beauty, Fashion and Style.
Here in Sydney, Australia I was inspired by my friend, Ere Pérez, whose brand is about Natural Cosmetics. As I did, she migrated from Mexico to Australia and initiated her Cosmetics brand in Australia. Then, she gradually grew her business and now she has representations in different parts of the world, including Mexico and Europe and Asia. I am sure, the same as Ere Pérez, there are many other examples of entrepreneurial women who will inspire me.
Why did you start your business and what gave you the idea?
Meeting Ere Pérez for many years here in Australia, I was inspired to become a business woman producing my own fragrances. This has been a big decision in my life, even the most important one.
In 2013 I became a widow here in Australia without family members living in Australia. I have been in some way isolated living in my own house surrounded by plants and flowers. This connection to the flowers started taking me to various places like drawing, painting, photography, petal collection, then, perfume making.
I started doing my research through Internet about the use of Rose petals, then, I selected Perfumery. Then, I wanted to have Perfume making courses, and I was surprised that I found a place to have a course in Perfume Making near my place here in Australia. Otherwise, I would have needed to go to France, Italy, Ireland.
My first course in Perfume Making was at Heirloom BodyCare, who became my supplier and I kept coming to following courses in soap making, creams and lotions, shampoos. Then, I discovered New Directions and attended a one day Seminar about How to do Business in Cosmetics. It was a great seminar, that still need to get through to all aspects.
Finally, in 2019, I went to Grasse, France for a 2-weeks Summer Course in Natural Perfumery and Natural Cosmetics. Wonderful Experience!!
Since 2017 that I opened officially my Etsy Online Shop and started populating the shop with my handcrafted and Customised Option products. My very first sale was in 28 August 2017 from a client from Victoria. I have been growing very slow and gradually and having Returning Customers from Australia Wide, even from Overseas buying to Australian Friends. At the moment I am just shipping Australia wide.
I combine all this journey into my products providing a unique experience to my clients.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
It is not a Desk infant of the computer job. Nevertheless, the Admin, and Digital Marketing requires computer and time. I do get a great connection with my garden, people and inspiration.
I enjoy making people happy and excited about my products and having a positive impact in their lives.
What three pieces of advice do you wish you’d been given when you started?
- Go Slow and focus on one goal at the time.
- Do not commit to Big Projects knowing that you cannot fulfil the project. Test it first and re-test then. Then, launch.
- Do not get lost in the operations only. Step back and enjoy and congratulate yourself for your achievements.
What advice would YOU give someone thinking about starting a business?
Have Passion, do your Research, stick to your Goals, make a Budget Plan for Reaching Your Goals and Ask For Help.
What skills and knowledge areas would you recommend those starting out in business get acquainted with quickly?
- Know YOURSELF first :)
- Have Skills and Knowledge in what you are trying to implement.
- Learn the business skills for the venture you would like to run. Have a Project Plan, Budget Plan and review every time is required
- Do Research about your IDEAL CLIENT and do check and refine every time is required.
- Learn how to get money out of grants, partnerships, etc
- Network with GOOD AND INSPIRING PEOPLE, so you do not need to cope with unnecessary negativity or unhelpful approach.
- Remember to treat people well and fairly, so people will respond in a positive way.
- Document all your business aspects. Have backups, Legal Liabilities cover, memberships, regulatory bodies
- Decide when to Outsource or Delegate Tasks.
- Decide when to Grow / Re-Brand / Close Business
What does your IDEAL business look like? Even if you’re not there yet, what would it look like if your business was ideal?
I will have a Wholesale distribution of my tested most popular niche products throughout the years. Then, I will be continuing privately doing handcrafted perfumes for an EXCLUSIVE AUDIENCE or for BUSINESS as a separate business.
In my wholesale business I will be focusing on Perfumes, Mists, Soaps, Diffusers, Scented Papers, Lotions, Shampoo, Teas, Oil Infusions for cooking, Chocolates.
What problem does being a Member of the HerBusiness Network solve for you and your business? And, how?
Getting to know how other women are doing in their business and contributing with feedback to their journey and also receiving feedback from them it is part of re-opening new ideas and resolving some mental blocks that were on my way to achieve a goal. It has been very beneficial to me as I have been isolated and I am doing everything myself. In knowing I am not alone and I can ask for help, advice or assistance or collaboration it is very reassuring. Thank you Suzi and HerBusiness Team!