Origins Story

Origins Story : an evolution

In the very beginning …

As a 16 year old in High School, a couple of mates and I used to compete in drawing outrageous, crazy, scary monsters during the “boring class” that was just before lunchtime. This is the class where you couldn’t really concentrate too well because blood sugar is low and you were hungry and you knew that food and friends were not too far away.

At lunchtimes we would compare our sketches to see which one of us had concocted the most outrageous and dastardly creature. For some reason and without fail, mine always seemed to have at least one massive and hairy eyebrow. Over a period of time this eyebrow took shape and became more and more refined. No matter how hideous and disfigured the drawn creature had become, the eyebrow was always the main feature and was always perfect in shape – even when the texture was depicted as fuzzy or straggly and overgrown. Clearly a subconscious and unrecognised obsession had begun to seed.

Another group of friends and I used to have this stupid thing where we each recognised one single word that would trigger a laugh or giggle just by the sound of it. Mine was “eyebrows”. As a sixteen year old, the concept and function of eyebrows had absolutely no relevance or meaning to me at all. I could not comprehend what on earth their purpose or why they were growing on our faces. Eyebrows were just there. So when anybody said the word “eyebrows” I would crack up laughing. We used to think this was so funny – What a strange word. The things kids do to amuse themselves when they’re bored in the playground at school.

Boy! I’ve come a long way since then. The chrysalis has finally burst open and now I have my own business and have built a career completely specialising in tailoring eyebrows. Who would have thought this was even possible?! As a metamorphic journey of a Graphic Designer who became a Beauty Therapist and worked many years in the Hospitality Industry, I have been lucky enough to amalgamate my Artistic bent with my various Professional Trainings along with my “People Skills” and direct these attributes into doing something which I now feel like I’ve been (inadvertently) training for through the course of my working life.

In the early 2000’s an enterprise or service that was purely eyebrow-specific was largely unheard of in this country. There were only a small handful of proclaimed Brow Artists in Australia – all of whom resided in Sydney. These Amazingly talented,  entrepreneurial professionals recognised that there was a distinct gap in the Beauty Market. These people were essentially, professional makeup artists who found a niche service in the form of a passion for shaping brows. 

As a classically trained Beauty Therapist, I realised that after years of scrubbing feat and massaging faces (not in that particular order) I discovered I a penchant for sculpting clean looking arches. I found that I was moving away from regular in salon services due to the demand for my precision follicular work. My regular clientele would often remark that I should be “doing” brows for myself. However at the time, i was resigned to staying loyal to my employer and kept dreaming of bigger things. The title of “Brow Artist” was not yet a term which existed as a profession.

Unforeseen circumstances forced the busy Balmain salon to close which meant that I had to reassess my work situation and so from this point, BrowGuy was born. Now projecting my burgeoning talents as a Professional Brow Artist with $50 in my pocket and a $65 pair of tweezers (excellent tweezers were hard to find in 2007), I set out to conquer this new world of Eyebrows one hair at a time. 

Marketing myself as a ‘Mobile Brow Artist’ was tough. “People found the whole concept too new and unfamiliar. In addition there was the added fact that some unknown guy was asking to come to their homes to pluck hairs out of their face.” I must lament the struggle of breaking through with a new concept whilst regular beauty enthusiasts could not see past ‘the velvet rope’ held down by Beauty Service Traditionalists.

Previously this type of service was considered just an ‘add-on’ when ladies went to the Beauty Salon for a facial treatment. Alternatively it was a quick ‘wax-n-dash’. An eyebrow wax was a throw away treatment – something that was done on the run. This service was just a speedy rip of strip or hot wax at relatively no cost and very little skill. 

After working in Salons and various positions in the Beauty Industry for some years, I devised and founded BrowGuy in 2007. It was just at the forefront of the current Brow Phenomenon which has since taken over Social media and the World in the space of only just a few years. With little money and big dreams, I had to keep overheads low, so began operating purely as a mobile business. I soon realised that this was my point of difference as I had only discovered a small handful of Brow Specialists in Sydney and they had all established themselves in Salon locations. Nobody was offering a service which could be tailored for home or office visits. [I had previously worked some private home gigs for a friend’s catering business so I understood the process of discretion and working in a confined space and therefore knew I could make this work as an alternative business idea].

“I’m not paying that much for you to come to my home!”

Brow client enquiry, 2007

I recall early days when one particular lady requested my mobile services. As common procedure, I quoted the price and explained the rundown of the costs involved. Quite adamantly she blurted out “I’m not paying that much for you to come to my home!” Her reasoning was the she thought that it should be a far cheaper service because it wasn’t performed in an established salon. Moreover I believe she assumed I was offering a ten minute treatment at her kitchen table. She couldn’t be further off track, basically due to the fact that I was offering a luxury service which was both a considerable convenience for herself as my client, along with being worthwhile financially for me to support my business. I guess she had not accounted for the cost of convertible and collapsible equipment, disposables, travelling time, fuel and parking. Most of which she would have had to cover anyway (as imputed or unconsidered costs) if she were to attend a bricks and mortar salon situation.

Pricing expectations at the time and costs of mobility meant that single client visits were not financially viable enough to sustain my concept as a business and so the BrowBash was born! This crazy yet convenient alternative to in-salon services meant that I could manage small groups of people in one visit. I developed a party situation with a small list of essential services available. I soon found that I was servicing School Mums in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs during the days and groups of Lawyers in Sydney’s Inner West in the evenings.

Over time and many months, what had started out as occasional bubbles and canapes evolved into regular beer and pizza nights, all the while I would be plugging away working my magic on the sidelines whilst party guests were met with squeals of delight and ooh’s of admiration as each guest took their turn on my beauty table and returned to the group.

Finally in 2015 I opened my first Studio setup in Surry Hills in Sydney’s vibrant inner east. BrowGuy Studio was quickly growing in popularity and was becoming a regular fixture on the Crown Street strip. Every single person who entered my Parisian-Style ‘Balcony Room’ commented on it’s ambience, the groovy music, dappled lighting from the afternoon sun filtering through the beautiful Jacaranda tree situated just outside the window and the wonderful smells permeating out into the street. Two years in and the gentrification of the area meant that circumstances had to change and the next evolution was to begin.

By mid 2017 my Pop Up Brow Bar was taking off in leaps and bounds. Establishing residencies in various salons and professional spaces around town, it offered me more scope to meet and service even more wonderful clients than ever before. In turn this allowed for a greater range of services to be available to Men, Women, Trans and non-gender-identifying people. It also provides me the freedom to continue to develop more significant Brow Tools and luscious Arch Defining Brow Care products which can be purchased directly from me or online.

In 2018 Australia endured the Nation’s longest drought in history. I grew up in regional New South Wales in Australia and so I have a fairly solid understanding of the necessity of creating awareness surrounding the growing and sustainability of simple grocery items which people who live in the city take for granted. Becoming increasingly aware of the stories of hardship, loss and devastation had a profound affect on me and so in a knee-jerk reaction to the many articles coming through on the news, social media and friends, I lead a National drought relief campaign BROWS FOR BALES which focussed on garnering donations from Brow Professionals and their followers to help Australian Farmers, and their families and communities in need of support. It is still an interesting and somewhat disappointing observation to note that the majority of support received comes from those who live in the country areas and not so much from the people who live in the big cities.

In 2020, with the incursion of the Coronavirus Pandemic, BrowGuy was forced to ‘Put Down the Tweezers’ and take a break from service due to World Health Organisation Safety Regulations. Since the international lockdowns I have been undertaking some studies and working on a number of brow-related projects which are still in production phase. Currently I am developing a Public Mental Health Awareness Campaign. It is in very early days yet, so hopefully more on that later. 

I love what I do and I have some really loyal followers from the early salon days – even before the inception of BrowGuy the business. A few of these people are still with me today. I am continually evolving plans for more growth, the possibility of more staff and more alternative services and programs for our clients to enjoy.

So this is where BrowGuy is positioned at in this moment in time and I want to continue to share my passion with you. Please come by again sometime to check on our updates and read about how we are progressing.

Best wishes,

Andrew Browmiester® at BrôwGuy