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Ann McFerran: “Surround yourself with people smarter than you”

Our slogan, Be Magnetic, Be Glamnetic means that when you feel beautiful on the outside, it ripples inward to affect your confidence. Nothing boosts confidence more than lashes because of how it gives you an extra eye lift and an illusion of bigger eyes. However, most people can’t apply them so hence you need Glamnetic! […]

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Our slogan, Be Magnetic, Be Glamnetic means that when you feel beautiful on the outside, it ripples inward to affect your confidence. Nothing boosts confidence more than lashes because of how it gives you an extra eye lift and an illusion of bigger eyes. However, most people can’t apply them so hence you need Glamnetic! 😉

Beauty also starts from within but first, you have to feel good about yourself. Start with exercising at least 2–3 times a week. Whether it’s yoga or strength training, you’ll have the serotonin to feel beautiful! Eat healthily. Drink green juices and eat salads! Again if you feel healthy, you’ll feel beautiful.

Do something good for someone else. Whether it’s giving advice, a compliment, or a favor. When you help someone feel good, you’ll feel good and beautiful from within.


Asa part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann McFerran.

Ann McFerran is the Founder & CEO of Glamnetic, a beauty brand that specializes in magnetic eyelashes and eyeliners. At 7 years old, Ann immigrated from Thailand to America with her single mother and settled down in Manteca, CA. She attended UCLA and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology, however, post-graduation, she realized that her true passion lies in expressing her creativity and she then went on to become a highly successful fine artist. During these years, she still felt unfulfilled and had a strong desire to build a community and collaborate with other like-minded individuals. When she saw a gap in the beauty market for magnetic lashes that actually worked, she sought out to create a product that crossed all boundaries of innovation, simplified the beauty routine, and at the same time, is accessible by all. She taught herself everything she needed to know to build a successful and scalable brand. One year later in July 2019, Glamnetic was born. Today, almost a year after its launch, Glamnetic is now doing 7 figures per month in revenue.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Ofcourse! Thanks so much for having me. What’s funny was I took so many unconventional turns in my life and I think that is very common. With life, you can never predict what happens but my best advice is to follow your curiosity because that comes from your gut and it will never serve you wrong.

So a series of experiences led me to this compulsion of going into business because it felt like it was my only feasible option where I could feel remotely happy.

It started when I went to UCLA and was told by my mom to take the safe route which was becoming a doctor and entering the medical field. My mom was a pretty strict Asian mom and I had a stepdad who was much older and was also heavily conservative. I had always been in love with science so I didn’t object. However as I went through school, I realized that I gravitate more towards art. My mind wanted creativity beyond what the strict confines of science offered and I took art classes at UCLA that solidified my stance at wanting to become an artist. Right around when I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science, I sold my first painting for 5k dollars and I decided that I was going to be a fine artist. What did I have to lose? I was already broke at the time, was able to get by, and it seemed like people were really into my art. In my mind, there wasn’t anywhere to go but up. Fast forward 3 years later, I had sold paintings all around the world, had shows in Los Angeles, and had commissions from wealthy clients. But I felt like all I was doing was painting, and at a certain point, I just didn’t feel mentally challenged anymore. On top of that, the lifestyle of being an artist was super lonely and unpredictable. I spent all day in my studio painting when all I wanted to do was be around other people and build something with a team. I was also teaching myself day trading supply and crypto at the time so I could have variety in my life and make extra money. But this did not exactly give me a sense of stability. I felt pretty trapped in a lifestyle that I felt was going nowhere, and that I wasn’t passionate about it. There was a point where I had to be honest and ask myself “Ann, do you want to be an artist for the rest of your life?” It had not turned out to be what I expected and my passion was fading.

I got fed up. I just pushed myself to make a change. What I realized I wanted to do is start an e-commerce business. At that same time, I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of people in LA who I saw become successful in e-commerce and grow their brand. I felt like I had it in me as well, that I also had the intuition to do it myself. I just needed an internal push inside myself to say “You know what, you can do it too. Forget that you have no previous experience. Didn’t you teach yourself everything up to this point anyway?”

I thought about what I would launch and up until that point, I had always had a passion for lashes and beauty in general. However, lashes especially had been a coping mechanism to make me feel like I fit in with everyone else. Coming to Thailand at the age of 7 into an all-white neighborhood, I had been made fun of for the way my eyes looked. I had become self-conscious and became reliant on lashes since they made my eyes appear larger. I tried every type of lash from so many brands and felt like I wasted so much money on lashes because the glue would clump up on the band and I would have to throw them away so often. Magnetic lashes existed at the time but they were all thin, felt like plastic, and had 3 magnets max. I saw a gap in the market for beautiful, full glam lashes that were easy to apply and super reusable, unlike conventional lashes. They were basically lashes that I would want. That’s when I decided to take the plunge and invest my entire life savings into this idea and after months of trial and error, Glamnetic was born.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Ulta reached out to us wanting to partner up with us! This was HUGE for us considering we are less than a year old! Besides that during our first Black Friday last year, we had to rush ship 5k eyeliners from our manufacturer since we did not expect the demand we got and had to ship orders as soon as possible. I had to hire whoever was available, one of them being my best friend from UCLA, along with an intern and her friends. Together with my roommates, we got 5 thousand labels and boxes printed and sat there for 11 hours straight stickering, forming the outer box for the eyeliner and assembling all of the orders until 4 am. We formed a huge assembly line in my living room and everyone became an expert at the task they were assigned. This was month 5 of the business and I was still working out of my small apartment in Koreatown with what seemed to be an endless sea of eyeliner, boxes, and stickers. It was a complete mess! Afterward, I had to drive everything to my shipping facility because I didn’t want to lose a single day due to shipping. Needless to say, I have a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into just assembling a product. I’m just so glad we can forecast our demand at least a few months out now.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

It started in January and I don’t think it was a particular tipping point. I think it was a combination of being hyper-focused on community building, maintaining engagement on social media, working with influencers, advertising, and just all aspects of marketing. To be a successful brand today you have to be solid in all aspects and work 24/7 to make it a reality.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I wouldn’t even be in America to have this opportunity to start my own business if it wasn’t for my mom. When we moved here, it was just the two of us and she did whatever she could for my sister and me to have a good future. Even when I made major career changes from being a premed at UCLA to starting my own beauty business, she thought I was crazy and that I needed to go back to school. Nevertheless, she supported me.

She was like, “You know what? As long as you’re happy doing that.” She thought I was delusional. Then one day I told her, “Mom, we’re making over 100,000 dollars a month.” And now, we’re making over 4 million dollars a month! She’s always just been supportive no matter how well or not well I was doing. Now, I’m so happy because I can support her.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?

We are making beauty — and for the moment, lashes — more accessible to all age groups and abilities. Lashes are the hardest part of the beauty routine and we are changing this. Our innovative Iron Oxide infused magnetic eyeliner formula makes it so effortless to apply liner and lashes. And it doesn’t even have to be perfect. We also invented the world’s first 6-magnet lash to create a maximum hold and also precut our lash band so you can keep all 6 magnets, with no trimming needed. To take it further, we came out with magnetic lash anchors that sandwich your lash corners so they are insured to stay through any conditions and can also allow you to wear magnetic lashes without any eyeliner. We listen to our community and their feedback daily and continually push the boundaries of innovation across all our products to not only make it more accessible for everyone but also solve everyday problems. Through our products, we also aim to create less waste. Our magnetic lashes are reusable up to 40 times since there is no longer any glue clumping up on the lash band. We ship them in 100% recyclable bubble mailers and will continue to release products that eliminate the need to drive anywhere (i.e. getting your lashes, nails, or brows done) and instead promote the do-it-yourself beauty routine in the comfort of your own home.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?

First, anything is possible. And that’s the most exciting thing. We live in the age of innovation. If we’re able to re-land rockets, we’re able to achieve anything within beauty. We can solve ANY problems. I’m a very creative individual and I get so excited about endless possibilities to explore my creativity. Beauty is like art for me, but functional. It’s art for everyday use that truly impacts how people feel about themselves daily; that’s powerful.

Second, as a modern beauty brand, we can influence change far beyond the confines of our industry; beauty is that powerful! We can set trends and inspire movements. We saw it with the #pulluporshutup challenge started by Sharon Chuter, the founder of Uoma beauty who is demanding transparency and accountability for ALL beauty brands. This movement has led all brands to look within themselves to create a change within their company culture to make a conscious effort for inclusivity and diversity.

Third, I love the emphasis on health and transparency.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?

I think the speed in which everything is happening doesn’t allow time for consumers or other brands to catch up. It’s a constant process of finding out about something, and not digesting it fully until something else comes out. This is counterproductive and actually can disengage consumers, especially the older audience. Secondly, I think the beauty of beauty is its simplicity and one’s personal experience with it. You have an emotional experience with your product. Too much tech can lead one to disengage with the reason they wanted to pick up the product in the first place. Thirdly, since the technology is new and growing, it can often be wrong. Unfortunately, you can’t program in emotion and taste or perfectly get the foundation shade to represent the product if you’re using the wrong lighting. When we become too dependent on our experience through technology, our experience with the product in-person could be ruined. I think to fix these issues, we need to focus on key technologies that have for sure been tested and developed thoroughly and will lead to direct positive experiences for the user.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

Our slogan, Be Magnetic, Be Glamnetic means that when you feel beautiful on the outside, it ripples inward to affect your confidence. Nothing boosts confidence more than lashes because of how it gives you an extra eye lift and an illusion of bigger eyes. However, most people can’t apply them so hence you need Glamnetic! 😉

Beauty also starts from within but first, you have to feel good about yourself. Start with exercising at least 2–3 times a week. Whether it’s yoga or strength training, you’ll have the serotonin to feel beautiful! Eat healthily. Drink green juices and eat salads! Again if you feel healthy, you’ll feel beautiful.

Do something good for someone else. Whether it’s giving advice, a compliment, or a favor. When you help someone feel good, you’ll feel good and beautiful from within.

Feed your brain by learning! When you know you’re smart, you feel more confident, and therefore more beautiful. Keep learning and gaining knowledge by being curious and consuming astute content.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

  1. Work harder than anyone you know — this principle has admittedly made us one of the fastest-growing beauty brands in the world because I work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, and never give up. I continue to learn vociferously, which helps to propel us further faster.
  2. Learn to do everything yourself first (even if at a surface level) before you delegate — I started Glamnetic being the only full-time employee in the company. I taught myself sourcing, product development, marketing, photography, editing, customer service, all aspects of the business. It was important and it laid down the foundation for allowing me to hire young fresh talent that didn’t necessarily have much experience but I was able to train them from the ground up. They are the most dedicated people because of this and we are all growing together! To be a good delegator you must know the ins and outs of what you’re delegating.
  3. Innovate and make sure your product improves people’s lives — I like to make sure that my product does the talking, and that it solves real commonly-faced problems. By doing this, you’re improving people’s lives. I don’t just want to make a product that already exists on the market; I want to innovate on them.
  4. Be transparent and have an authentic voice — I was always present on social media via stories and feed and I talk to the audience almost every day. Even in the ads I shot, I did it myself and am always the face of the brand. I think this allowed us to build a distinct and unique brand voice that enabled us to succeed.
  5. Surround yourself with people smarter than you — you’re only as good as your team. This is what I came to learn as I started offloading a lot of responsibilities so I can focus on growing the company. You must hire intelligently and train them well.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think brands no matter how big or small should have their sights set for philanthropy and creating products that don’t produce waste, but rather help reduce it. Although Glamnetic is under a year old, we have already donated sizable amounts to nonprofit organizations that align with our mission to fight for equality — the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the LA LGBT Center — as well as helping in times of need — donating to the Australian Wildfires and rehabilitation for endangered Koalas and donating lashes and masks to front-line workers. We are young but I know we can push to make a change and contribute for the greater good. We develop products also that create less waste such as our magnetic lashes which are reusable up to 40 times and ship them in 100% recyclable bubble mailers. We will continue to release products that eliminate the need to drive anywhere (i.e. getting your lashes, nails, or brows done) and instead promote a do-it-yourself beauty routine in the comfort of your own home.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“When I lost my excuses, I found my results”. I think everyone wants to make excuses about why they can’t do something and I realized that when I abandoned those thoughts completely, everything just unfolded for me. It was like manifestation in full force and all I had to do was find a path that aligned with me and get out of my own way. Now my manifestations — every thought I have in my brain — come to life almost immediately. From our marketing campaigns and products coming to life, to the huge community we grew and the number of employees we have — everything started with just a thought. I mean look at how fast we grew! I imagined one employee working for me and then I imagined we would have 30 employees. Within 4 months we achieved that! (26 hired during quarantine). Now, I am focusing my thoughts on becoming a global beauty brand with over 100 employees and continuing to be the fastest-growing beauty brand in the world.

How can our readers follow you online?

Via @Glamnetic Instagram, of course, where I do weekly takeovers and give updates on the brand and on my personal Instagram account @themodernartista. You can also view our products on https://glamnetic.com/

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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