When Anastasia Soare immigrated to Los Angeles from Romania with her daughter in 1989, she spoke little English. But she had an art degree—and a knack for marketing.
She took a job as an aesthetician at a salon, where she developed a specialty: Eyebrows. She told clients their reformed brows used the proportions of the Golden Ratio, a mathematical formula that supposedly produces attractive symmetrical shapes. The concept dates back to ancient Greece and features prominently in Renaissance art and modern architecture.
By 1997, Soare had saved enough to open her own salon in Beverly Hills and in 2000 began selling her eyebrow pomade under the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand. Sales didn’t really take off, though, until the Instagram era, when Soare’s daughter urged her to use social media. They’ve since touted celebrities, Kim Kardashian among them, who are fans of Soare’s goods.
Anastasia Beverly Hills now has some 17 million Instagram followers, and Soare’s line is sold in over 1,500 stores around the world. Anastasia Beverly Hills brings in an estimated $340 million in annual revenue, and Soare, 60, said publicly in 2016 that she’s the sole owner. That 100 percent stake is worth at least an estimated $1.5 billion.