Anna Nooshin (27): one of the leading ladies in European online business. A few years back, she contacted brand new publisher Wayne Parker Kent and together they came up with what is now the biggest lifestyle platform for women in The Netherlands: NSMBL.nl. Being a tomboy at heart, Anna curates all of NSMBL’s publications and introduced her very own man calendar, school agenda, second hand blogger wardrobe sale, successful Guy Talk on their YouTube channel – and as icing on the cake an NSMBL festival is coming this Fall. Anna is happy being her own boss and tells us: ‘I’ve always felt I wanted to be an entrepreneur. From the age of five, I have been told that I’m quite the bossy type, haha.’
Luckily this busy bee could squeeze a Career one-on-one interview with CHAPTER FRIDAY into her packed agenda. We met Anna (and her hair) at the NSMBL office at the monumental Herengracht in Amsterdam, just around the corner of the CHAPTER FRIDAY headquarters, for your information.
YOUR CAREER JOURNEY BEGAN IN NEW YORK… TELL US ABOUT IT!
Anna: ‘After I graduated cum laude at the university of Amsterdam, studying Communication Sciences, I interned at fashion designer Yigal Azrouël in New York. That city changed me a lot. All of a sudden I came in contact with fashion events, big labels and shows. I remember thinking… ’I can get used to this lifestyle’. Still, it was just a dream. But I strongly believe in visualizing your goals.’
WHAT WAS A PIVOTAL MOMENT?
Anna: ‘After my study I travelled across the world. When I came back home, I send out lots of applications, but every time I had an interview I was told I was too ambitious for the job, ha! I simply had too many ideas. Someone told me to open my eyes and start my own business. At first I felt kind of confused, but I understood the message and knew I had to do what I loved.’
AND THAT SET THE BALL ROLLING…
Anna: ‘I had known the guys who are now my business partners for a long time. Right when I decided to start something up, they had just started as online publishers. They were searching for a womens’ title and I had the plans, so we sat down, talked and after two weeks – I was 24 at the time – a concept, a website and name were born. Within two weeks NSMBL was live. It went super fast!’
HOW DID YOU MANAGE SUCH A BIG PROJECT ON YOUR OWN?
Anna: ‘In the first months, I had to work two jobs: one from 9 to 5 to pay my rent and NSMBL from 7 at night to 2 in the morning. After a while I could hire someone, a huge step and relief – the bags under my eyes had become enormous.’
WHAT IS THE NSMBL SUCCESS FORMULA?
Anna: ‘NSMBL grew and we realized we’d found a great niche. We were the first website in The Netherlands that put together an ensemble – or collection – all the puzzle pieces of a woman’s life.’
ARE YOU A GIRL IN A MEN’S WORLD?
Anna: ‘I know what my audience wants to read, I’m the woman in the team, the guys are really technical, they do sales and design. I’m busy with brand extensions, mainly I’m busy working on the future of the site, come up with concepts for new products and I’m the face of NSMBL in media. Leading my own team of 6 great girls is awesome. I want to make them happy so that they come to work with a smile on their faces.’
HARDEST PART OF BEING A BUSINESS LADY?
Anna: ‘That it’s ongoing. It never stops. Keeping work and private stuff separated is hard, but I’m learning! But honestly, when I come home there will be 300 emails that need to be answered. And altough I want to rest, I have to reply them all. Because tomorrow, there will be 600 of them.’
A PIECE OF ADVICE?
Anna: ‘First of all: don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re not an entrepreneur by heart, it’s just as good to be an employee for a great business. Because when you’re running your own business with success, keep in mind that you won’t have babies for the next ten years. There is no time for a white picket fence dream.
Second of all: success depends on how much time and effort you put in.
Third of all: On blogging: don’t walk the paved road so many others did before you, because the market is getting saturated very fast. For example; when you travel through The States, you come across so many interesting products that we don’t have in our country yet – there’s so much worth writing about.
And lastly: Above all and no matter what you are doing: believe in yourself!’