BeautyView: Anna Bjurstam, CEO of Raison d'Etre

I have admired Anna Bjurstam, CEO of Raison d’Etre, from afar for a couple of years now, mostly through her presentations at the Global Spa and Wellness Summits. How lucky did I feel during the last GSWS when we were seated at the same dinner table… (I am sure you have heard me say such a thing before; indeed, I really think I should attend more industry dinners…) We hit it off immediately, and my admiration grew when I realized that she travels more than I do! She has since already made a couple of important introductions for me, which I am grateful for. And as always, I am even more grateful to learn from her. Her “strict personal rule” about when to read emails is something I may have to implement… and her recommendation to focus on doing the right things instead of doing things right will be my inspiration for today…

AP: What city were you born in? AB: Gothenburg, Sweden.

AP: What city to do you live in? AB: Stockholm, Sweden.

AP: What is your middle name? AB: Margareta.

AP: What is your astrological sign? AB: Gemini.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? AB: It works!

AP: Least favorite thing. AB: The gimmicks and false promises.

AP: What is your most prized possession?  AB: Our house, which is my sanctuary.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? AB: I have worked with healing in almost everything I do for the past 15 years.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? AB: No. I used to have an Omega which I loved, but about a year ago I left it in the robe pocket in a spa and I am still punishing myself about it by not buying one as it was so terribly clumsy.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? AB: Both.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? AB: Robin Sharma.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? AB: Meditation, very strict personal rules about when to read e-mails, and to be home every day to eat dinner with my children if I am not traveling.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? AB: 1. When going to another time zone, set your watch (if you have one) and program your brain when you get on the plane of the time zone you are going to, this way you program your body to not be jet lagged. 2. No naps during the day! And get a massage or workout to get circulation going when you land. 3. Treat yourself to something special (chocolate, shopping, a glass of wine, a massage), which will make traveling enjoyable.

AP: What is your favorite book? AB: There are so many….. I have just read Biology of Belief which was very good, and I also loved Steve Jobs’ biography, which was very inspiring.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? AB: A Mojito.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? AB: Natural products (chemicals age cells faster).

AP: What fragrance do you wear? AB: Sama (natural perfume) at the moment.

AP: Botox or not? AB: Not, there are so many other alternatives.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? AB: Not, but I am currently using natural colors instead of chemicals.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. AB: I am not my hair by India Ari, Valerie by Amy Winehouse, and Save the world by Swedish House Mafia.

AP: Quote to live by. AB: “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree I would start with sharpening my ax for 6 hours” by Abraham Lincoln.

AP: Who is your mentor? AB: I am in between personal mentors at the moment, but will sign up with Anders Erikson (very good Swedish one). I am also a fan of Robin Sharma and try to read or listen to something from him at least a couple of times a week.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. AB: My favorite quote above. Also, give yourself time to think and to polish your strategy. Don’t focus on doing things right, but rather on doing the right things. And never write anything on e-mail that you do not want to have on the first page of the daily newspaper (i.e. be careful with emails!).