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TheStreet Open House

Anisa International: Starting a Business Out of Adversity

(Anisa International's Anisa Telwar is the eighth female executive to be profiled in our series highlighting women in business.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Anisa Telwar's meeting in 1992 with a cosmetic brush producer in Asia through her family's import/export business changed her life.

That meeting led to a distribution partnership between Telwar and the producer, which ultimately became the stepping stones for Anisa International as it is today -- a leading global designer and manufacturer of cosmetic brushes and tools based in Atlanta.

With more than 600 employees, Anisa has offices in the U.S., U.K. and China (including its manufacturing plant in Tianjin, China).

But the path for Telwar, 46, was not always easy.

Recently, Telwar was nominated to be included in The Committee of 200, an elite organization comprised of the world's most successful women executives and entrepreneurs.

>>>Woodhouse Day Spa's CEO: Act Locally, Think Globally

Earlier this week, Telwar shared with TheStreet her road to success.

How did you get into cosmetic brush industry? Did you know anything about manufacturing the brushes and if you didn't, where did you learn?

Telwar: I had worked with my family's business in international trade for five years. I had met this gentleman who came from a family of manufacturers of cosmetic brushes. He did not have sales and marketing experience, however. I was able to support him and become a distributor for him. And through our partnership, I was able to learn from him the tricks of the trade. He was the craftsman and I was his prodigy. The technical aspect of brushes is always changing and it's a handcraft, so it's still very fascinating to me, and I don't know everything about it today even after 20 years.

After 15 years of working together he decided to go out on his own after I had built quite a bit of opportunity for us and for him. So I almost lost my business, and that's when I had to start my own plant in China in 2003. That was pretty scary for two years, and still is very scary to have a China manufacturing arm that I own 100%.

It was not expected ... But it was really the best thing that happened because after that happened and I started my own facility in China that's when my company really grew.

>>>Great Clips' Rhoda Olsen: Company CEO (and Mom-In-Charge)

>>>Fastsigns CEO Catherine Monson: 5 Traits to a Successful Career

>>>BrightStar Care's Shelly Sun: From Frustrated Consumer to CEO

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