With her RAS Foundation, famed eyebrow artist and inspirational entrepreneur Anggie Rassly supports women’s empowerment and works with families to build a positive digital generation for the nation’s future. Claudia Rindiantika reports.
Anggie Rassly is one of Indonesia’s most enterprising young “beautypreneurs”. It all began with her interest in eyebrows, which started when she was a teenager. Later, she decided to go into the beauty industry for herself – specifically in eyebrow embroidery, which is “the way to maximise your beauty”. Starting in 2005, at the age of 24, she became a pioneer in brow embroidery. Her skills and services as a brow artist became renowned among beauty enthusiasts in Jakarta.
“It all began as a hobby,” says Anggie, who studied Marketing Communication and Brand Knowledge at Curtin University. “I started out by going door-to-door to my clients’ homes. Back then, I had an office job, and it was after work hours that I went to see my clients. I received so much positive feedback from all of them. They were really happy with their new looks and how it positively affected their personalities, their careers, and even their personal lives.”
Her services were in such high demand that Anggie was able to open her own studio, Anggie Rassly Brow Studio, in Kebayoran Baru in 2008. Her business became a huge success as she gained thousands of clients. Celebrities and other famous figures in Indonesia were willing to go onto a waiting list for the touch of Anggie’s “magic hands”. “Eyebrows have always been my passion, and perfect eyebrows are a right, not a privilege,” she says on her website.
Her success has motivated Anggie to encourage others in the same field. “For at least 14 years, I have been in the semi-permanent makeup industry,” as she puts it. “Two years ago, I started sharing my knowledge and expertise with women who wanted to launch their own beauty businesses. I am focusing on how to transfer my knowledge and to empower women to feel positive about who they are, what they can do, and how they can develop themselves.
“This year, we are going to launch Anggie Rassly Management, where we target the brow professionals that we are going to promote to Anggie Rassly Brow Associates. We are going to inject skills and knowledge, from technical points to how to handle clients and how to overcome the problems and challenges of the business. We will provide the best medical-grade tools, and we will train them with the right SOPs. There is also grading in the programme: from artist to grand artist, expert and trainer. They will then be supported by Anggie Rassly Management to become skilful and trusted professionals.
“Before all this, I already have the Brow Professional Academy, where I prepare brow artists to become “browpreneurs”. When they have finished their studies at the academy, they can spread their wings. Later, when Anggie Rassly Management starts running, they will be able to choose between starting their own businesses or going into the management of my company.
“So, instead of considering other brow artists as competitors, I want to embrace them. The idea is that we support each other by sharing our knowledge and experiences. I feel lucky because I started such a long time ago. Therefore, I can share with them what I have faced and how I overcame it, as I have already gone through my trial-and-error phase.”
Anggie’s passion to help others does not stop there. Worried about the negative aspects of the internet and social media, notably the exploitation of children and cyber bullying, she founded RAS Foundation with her husband in 2016 with the aim of helping build a positive digital generation.
“RAS Foundation was initiated due to my daily conversations with my husband and with mothers who are our friends and clients about how concerned we are about our kids and how their gadgets are affecting them,” Anggie explains. “My husband and I, besides being business owners and professionals, are also parents who are always concerned about what is good and what matters to our family.
“We started by creating a sharing platform for parents and kids. We invited some young inspirational people from the digital realm to be speakers, and we talked about what parents and kids should be prepared for with the growth of social media in their lives and the impact that it could bring. We have a programme called ‘#UntukAnakku’ (“for my children”), where RAS Foundation invites parents and experts to share their knowledge and opinions. The parents are able to ask questions and gain information regarding children and the digital or cyber world.
“RAS Foundation is targeted more towards the parents, in order for them to understand and assist their children’s usage of gadgets. Previously, we had a programme called ‘Aku di Sini’ (“I am here”) where parents sat for one hour with their children. The idea was to encourage parents to guide their children so that they wouldn’t misuse the internet.
“It’s important for parents to at least know what their children are doing online, whether it’s browsing or playing games. Children have a lot of curiosity, so I think the parents’ role is not just to tell them no, but also to have an understanding. Parents need to be aware and be ready to be asked a lot of questions by their children. They also need to keep up-to-date with the development of technology.
“Limiting and overseeing children’s usage of the internet is not impossible these days. There are apps that have settings for children and that will send alerts to parents when children try to breach their limits. RAS Foundation plans to create a specific sharing platform regarding that topic.
“The foundation is open to working together and contributing with other organisations or institutions that focus on women and children. I am focusing on women’s empowerment and what I can do through my expertise for women’s positive impact. For instance, we have a programme that helps to train female prisoners and prepare them with skills that will be useful once they are out of prison. Hopefully, it would help them to become confident enough to get back up and stand on their own feet.”
Anggie’s foundation has also set up skills training programmes for students at vocational schools. “We realised that Indonesia’s education system does not really facilitate students to be as creative as they could be,” she explains. “We visit vocational schools with experts, such as friends from the beauty industry who teach the students makeup and other skills. We want to help students to find their passion and to develop their talents and make money doing it – just like I did with my eyebrow embroidery work.”
Why is her philanthropic work so important to Anggie? “Everything started from an intention and focus on the future of the nation,” she states. “Because our children are the future, so we intend to help to shape a better generation. We want to stay focused on educating through working with the right, credible people who have the information and wisdom that is needed in a world that keeps changing so fast. RAS Foundation works with any organisations and institutions who have the same mission as us. We want to gather as much support as we can. We hope we can always share information and be helpful to others.
What’s next for Anggie? “With the foundation, we hope to create more and more programmes that will support and nurture children’s development and women’s empowerment. We hope to find and work with more and more institutions and organisations that are aiming for the same things we do.
“As for me personally, I want to grow Anggie Rassly Brow Associates by making ‘clones’ of myself in terms of their skills and creativity. I hope that through becoming my associates, they can reap the benefits of the work they do. In the end, our real value is that in whatever we do, it will provide benefits to others.”