We had the good fortune of connecting with Aggie Burnett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aggie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Leaning into risk is an opportunity to show yourself what you’re really capable of.
I think there’s a lot of fear that stems from taking risks. We’re taught from a young age to “be careful” of jumping off that rock or to “be careful” when traveling to that foreign country. The more we’re conditioned to be continuously “careful” in our choices and decisions, the more risk-averse we become as humans, never fully realizing the expansiveness of our capacity.
I like to shift the idea of risk being dangerous to being experimental and exploratory. Risk and security or safety don’t have to be exclusionary of one another. It doesn’t have to mean being reckless. Taking risks can be intentional and planned.
It can be planning your exit strategy from your 9-to-5 and building a cushion while working on your side hustle. It’s choosing to travel to a new place but perhaps having a friend come along and registering with the local embassy while there. It’s starting the business, failing many times along the way, but continuing to move forward and experimenting nonetheless.
Personally, as an entrepreneur and an adventurer, I enjoy taking risks. For me, that has shown up throughout my life.
Whether it be backpacking throughout Equador and Peru with a local Shaman as a guide. Leaving a coveted job to start a fragrance business then pitching Sephora (and getting our products in) right out of the gate. It means taking my children on adventures around the world, trusting my instincts to keep them and myself safe. It even shows up as showing love and empathy towards those who may have been unkind or standing up for what’s right (even if it means going against popular opinion).
Risk is built on trust of self, and the only way we can build trust of self is by doing the risky thing and proving to ourselves that we are more than capable of coming out on the other side that much wiser, more knowledgeable, and more confident.
Consider where you are playing it safe and how you can challenge yourself to expand your own capacity.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I launched AB Creative out of a desire to break open the secrets of the beauty industry. I started my career as a beauty journalist at Glamour Magazine, which led me to launch my own fragrance brand.
My husband and I got our brand into every Sephora store nationwide, as well as numerous of other boutique retailers in the US, Europe and Asia.
Eventually, our successes led to consulting opportunities, which led to pivoting and starting my consulting arm, AB Creative. With AB Creative, I consult with emerging and scaling beauty brands that lead with impact and purpose, in order to challenge the status quo in some way through innovative digital marketing and media strategies.
I absolutely love the work I do. I get to work with passionate entrepreneurs every day and help them align with their bigger purpose while leveling up their visibility and business income.
I believe all women should have have the financial freedom to make their own choices, contribute to their family in bigger ways, and their beauty business is the vehicle for that. It’s also a means for self-expression.
Everyone has their own unique spin on what they want to offer and sell to the world, and I love to champion that.
What I find to be one of the funnest things about the work I do (though it took me a long time to see it this way), is making the mistakes, learning from them, and then being able to teach on it because of the actions I took. I believe in teaching from a place of experience not from a place of passive learning.
Learning to trust myself as the business grows and reaches wider and wider audiences, is one of the biggest learning lessons I’ve taken away from my entrepreneurial journey. It’s a neverending process. It’s becoming aware of your blind spots and being able to see them as a gift and opportunity to grow.
What is the future of AB Creative? I see it as a multi-hyphenate educational platform, consulting agency, and media company. Everyday I feel lit up to build this community of passionate entrepreneurs who are shifting standards in the industry.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Eat – lunch at Chelsea Market, drinks/people-watching at the Boat Basin, art, view of CP and restaurant at the Museum of Art and Design, ABC Kitchen, dessert at Doughnut Plan, Eataly Rooftop and main floor, sweetgreen for a great salad, Eleven Madison Park for an elegant dinner, The Smile, Russ and Daughters
Drink – Raines Law Room, Bathtub Gin, Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental
Hang out – The Highline, Little Island, walking and people-watching in Central Park, summer nights on the rooftop of The Met, drinks, views and crepes at Le Bain, holiday shops at Grand Central, The Whitney Museum,
Beauty – Cap Beauty, acupuncture at Yinova Center, manicures at Jin Soon, Smith and Morgan salon on the UWS (hidden gem)
Adventures to Bronx Botanical Gardens, Coney Island
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of many. My husband has shown me the beauty of humility and empathy. My children have taught me patience and silliness. My entrepreneurial friends and colleagues who went out of their way to teach me a new perspective, provide insight or a quick fix, or opened doors to a new connection. My business coaches who have helped compassionately point out my blind spots and help me level up in my business each step of the way. My ABC team who treat our business as their own and look out for members and clients like a family.
Tracy Dungo Phillip Van Nostrand