Where are you from and how the road took you to Vienna?
At that time I came to Vienna from Romania after I had finished my vocational school in Italy. During the summer holidays I visited my sister in Vienna, who had lived here for a long time, and that’s how I met my husband and stayed, even though I was only 17 at the time.
What were the obstacles at the beginning?
Well, the language was, of course, a bit difficult at the beginning. I already had a German dictionary during vocational school in order to know few words for visits to my sister. But since I love learning difficult languages, I somehow mastered that and I’ve got my first job just a year later.
How many languages do you speak?
Spanish, Italian, Romanian, English and German
How did you start your life in Vienna?
First I took a German course and then tried to find a job as a saleswoman. As it didn’t work out at first, I took a second German course and got my first job as a saleswoman at Humanic in the 1st district. I stayed there until I got pregnant for the first time.
What helped you stay strong during the initially difficult time?
I’m really very grateful that Humanic gave me a chance back then because I was able to learn the language much better. Having this opportunity has really made me stronger on my way.
What was your dream job before? Have you always wanted to open a beauty studio?
I never really had a dream job. I always let it to come to me. For quite a long time I wanted to be a hairdresser, like many friends of mine back then, but that never came about. Then I finished the vocational school for hotel management in Italy, but I didn’t start anything with that in Vienna either (laughs). Of course, it was a great experience that still helps me a lot today. So no, I never had a dream job. I’ve just always tried to be open and grateful for every opportunity.
How did you finally come up with the idea for RealBeauty?
After working at Humanic for three years, I wanted to do laser hair removal. I had a look at a few studios and quickly realized that the treatment is always very expensive, you have to pay for all sessions at once and the studios aren’t that nice. I told my husband about it at the time, and he asked me why shouldn’t I just do it myself. At that time he was already self-employed and had free space above his shop, where I opened my first “beauty studio ” nine years ago. At the beginning it was only for friends and family, later I became self-employed, opened a company and four years later we opened studio in the 16th district, where we are still today.
How bumpy was the road to self-employment?
Harder than I thought, to be honest. The idea looked very nice and simple at first, but then a lot came on my way with courses, the choice of equipment, etc. where I noticed: The implementation is a lot more difficult, mainly because I wanted everything to be perfect for my customers.
What are your leadership principles?
For me, honesty is paramount. I also think it’s important to always find what’s right for you. I recently discovered a saying: “Just because you’re right doesn’t mean it’s right.” That’s why it’s important for me to always go my own way and stay human at the same time.
Have you ever had a hard time sticking to it yourself?
Especially in the beginning, yes. I relied on other people a lot and quickly forgot that they weren’t me and that a different path might be the right one for them. That can be very disappointing and I had to learn to deal with it.
What do your employees say about you?
(laughs) Well, that’s a good question. I think they all think I have very strong opinions and I’m always trying to push and help them.
What was the best decision of your professional career and what would you rather undo?
To be honest, there is nothing I would do differently in hindsight, because you learn so much from wrong decisions and mistakes and that always gets you further. So basically my attitude is that I don’t regret decisions.
What three things in your life are you most grateful for?
I am very thankful for my faith. I firmly believe in God and that everything happens for a reason and is preordained in some way. Then, of course, for my co-workers, whom God chose for me, as I like to say. And of course for my family.
How do you manage work and family?
I try not to mix work and family. Both topics are equally important to me and I think it’s good to strictly separate them.
If you had one wish right now, what would you wish for?