Mini Sarkissian

City: Melbourne

Business: Ottoman3 Brow Bar

What: We are Australia's leading Brow Threading company with over a quarter of a million Brows done in the last 7 years! We have also custom made a whole range of Brow products tailored for our beautiful Brow Babes to use at home for long term Brow fabulousness.

What was the catalyst for you launching your business?

I was born into small business, so l always assumed that when you grow up, you will own your own company. I was a fairly girlie girl and knew that when my time came it would be in either fashion or beauty!

What do you love most about what you do now?

I get to play out my ideas in my head in REAL LIFE, and l get to choose the people l want to play with.

Describe the biggest setback you faced when establishing your business? How did it affect you and how did you push through?

Money honey! Unfortunately it takes some significant bucks to kick off a business. Donald Trump once borrowed $1million dollars & turned it into $1 billion dollars – so even the big boys have to find their financing from somewhere.

I was lucky enough to have a brother who believed in my concept so much, that he matched my savings and became a silent partner.

Everyone has days where they feel flat or uninspired - do you have any tricks or tactics for overcoming these feelings?

Yes ma’am, its called FOMO!

There is nothing like the realisation that you may be getting left behind or that you are no longer your industry leader. A little bit of fear keeps me going each day! Not great for my anxiety l must say, but lm sure some therapy can help that!

What has been your most effective marketing tactic or strategy?

Social Media. Initially we were a nail and brow bar and nail art photography was top of the Instagram game. We were one of the first Australian beauty brands to have a Facebook page and soon after Instagram, twitter & Pinterest. It is difficult keeping up with what’s cool, but fortunately l have a great team now that ensures we are current with all of the trends and sometimes we are the trend setters 

What is the most courageous thing you've done in business?

When I had the idea to open up a nail and brow bar in Australia – something that had been done before, but not in a department store – it was audacious of me to think that the largest department store in a Australia would even consider my concept.

l figured that if l was going to convince them that l had the right idea, they first needed to believe in me. So I sent them a simple email that said ‘l’ would consider Myer to launch ‘our’ (l had no team then, it was just me, but they needed to believe that ‘l’ came with a pack) concept, but that I would require ‘them’ to sign a non-disclosure agreement before l was willing to talk to them about my idea.

With my corporate background, l knew that l had to speak a certain language when dealing with the leading market players for them to take me seriously, so l faked it till l made it!

Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote

Do not wait until you have all the plans in place, kick off with what you have. You can smooth out the creases in time, but time waits for no one.