Believe in yourself
Be adaptive and open to learning
Don’t be a bystander, be a bulldozer
Don’t listen to the opinion of others and stay positive
Is the American Dream still alive? If you speak to many of the immigrants we spoke to, who came to this country with nothing but grit, resilience, and a dream, they will tell you that it certainly is still alive.
As a part of our series about immigrant success stories, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann McFerran, Founder & CEO of Glamnetic.
Ann McFerran was born in Bangkok, Thailand and immigrated with her single mother to America when she was 7 years old. After graduating from UCLA with a B.S. in Psychobiology, she saw a gap in the beauty market for magnetic lashes that actually worked and sought to develop magnetic lashes that actually worked, in styles that she would personally wear. During July 2019, after teaching herself everything from product development to marketing, Glamnetic was born.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born in Bangkok, Thailand and immigrated with my single mother to America when I was 7 years old. I grew up in Manteca, CA and moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where I graduated with a B.S. in Psychobiology.
Was there a particular trigger point that made you emigrate to the US? Can you tell us the story?
The main turning point in my life that made me emigrate to the US was when my parents decided to divorce. After my parent’s separation, my mom remarried to my current stepdad which was then followed by our move to the US.
Can you tell us the story of how you came to the USA? What was that experience like?
Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood in Manteca, CA I always felt self-conscious about my thin lashes. Makeup and lashes not only served as a form of self-expression, but it became my coping mechanism and a disguise I relied on to help feel like I belonged. Today I lean into my Asian culture and I love it. But when you’re young and super impressionable you get bullied, and I think I automatically became self-conscious.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped make the move more manageable? Can you share a story?
One person that I would always cherish and be grateful for is my mother who has been my biggest support system while in Thailand and in America. Growing up in Thailand I faced many adversities but I was able to overcome every misstep with my mom by my side giving me hope. My mom moved to America first while I stayed behind in Thailand living with older family members. Living in Thailand without my mom was scary but despite the distance, she was able to give me a sense of hope and eventually got me a green card to move to America.
So how are things going today?
Glamnetic has become one of the fastest growing in the industry since launch and average over eight figures per month in sales. In October, Sheryl Sandberg spotlighted Glamnetic on the Facebook earnings call for seeing a 9 times increase in revenue in Q3 vs 2019, doubling revenue month-over-month and growing from 5 employees to 35 in less than a year. In the same month, Glamnetic was launched on their first retailer, Ulta.com and beat their first week sales forecast by ~70% and second week by ~99%. The brand sold out of the initial run of inventory within the first couple weeks before they even placed a replenishment reorder which led to their launch in 1,000 Ulta stores nationwide in January 2021.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
It’s important for us to empower individuals to express themselves unapologetically by bonding over our combined passing for art and beauty. We believe that being a successful beauty brand is more than just selling products; it comes with social responsibility. It’s our duty to educate customers about important issues and give back to important causes and movements such as BLM, LGBTQ, WWF, Step Up and more.
You have first hand experience with the US immigration system. If you had the power, which three things would you suggest to improve the system?
Having first hand experience with the US immigration system, if I had the power to improve the system I would hope for there to be more leadership coming from governors, legislatures, and agency heads. These leaders are solely the people who lead the system but also our country therefore it requires great leadership and knowledge in order to own this position.
Can you share “5 keys to achieving the American dream” that others can learn from you? Please share a story or example for each.
Five key rules that I have always lived by are:
- Believe in yourself
- Maintain persistence
- Be adaptive and open to learning
- Don’t be a bystander, be a bulldozer
- Don’t listen to the opinion of others and stay positive
While growing up, I faced many adversities and struggles, but by following these five key rules, I believe that I was able to achieve my American dream. I believe that happiness starts within therefore you need to make yourself your main priority and afterwards everything else will fall into place.
We know that the US needs improvement. But are there 3 things that make you optimistic about the US’s future?
There are a lot of opportunities for the US to grow and improve but one main factor that makes me optimistic about our future is the progression of technology and social media. Within just a short amount of time, technology and social media has grown tremendously and has changed the ways we live. Without the progression of technology and social media, Glamnetic would not be what it is today.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I am a huge admirer of Elon Musk and would be honored to have a meal with him. I believe that he has an extremely brilliant mind and I would have to chat with him about space and technology and smart business decisions. He inspires me to challenge myself daily to always push the limits of innovation and achieve the best product possible, no matter what it takes.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
Glamnetic is available on Glametic.com, Ulta.com and in 1,000 Ulta stores nationwide. You can follow me (Ann McFerran) on Instagram @themodernartista and Glamnetic (@glamnetic)! In addition to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!