“I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in beauty. As a little girl I played with my grandmother’s makeup. My creative side drew me to helping people look and feel beautiful. I learned that I could use also use these skills to help heal them.”
Meet Joyce Antebi, a NY Certified MUA Licensed Esthetician and founder of about_face_brow_bar. Joyce is a young, energetic, and impassioned member of our community. Let’s step back to Joyce’s childhood and discover what propelled her to create her current business.
Joyce was born and raised in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Her roots are a blend of beautiful Jewish traditions from different countries. Her mother, Rena Idy Maman Edelstein, was born in Alexandria, Egypt and came to the U.S. at the age of three. Isaac Maman, Joyce’s father, was born in Casablanca, Morocco and grew up in Israel. Rena and Isaac met in Israel in 1984 when Rena and her sister lovingly volunteered their time to work with the IDF. The couple married and settled in the U.S., and Joyce, their oldest, was born the following year. Rena initially was a stay at home mom. She went back to school, and is now a radiologic technologist. Isaac is a contractor and currently lives in Israel. Joyce has two younger brothers, Ralph, an accomplished welder, and Elie, a talent acquisition specialist. Joyce adores both of her brothers, and is so proud of them.
Joyce first attended Yeshiva of Manhattan Beachand then transferred to Ahi Ezerfor thefourth toeighth grades. She made the bold move of traveling from Brooklyn to Elberon, NJ to attend Ilan High School. Joyce explains that “the commute was definitely worth it – the staff was excellent, caring, and warm.” Ilan’sadministration prides itself on “Ilan being a place for the girls to grow.”
Joyce’s desire to help people look and feel beautiful originated when she was a young girl, checking out her grandmother’s makeup and beauty products. Joyce considers her mother and her grandmother Josephine, a”h, her key role models that inspired her to pursue her dreams. She recalls that she was always mature for her age, knowing what she wanted to do with her life and aiming for specific goals. When I heard about all her jobs during high school, I most definitely agreed! At 14, Joyce worked as a hairstyle assistant at a local salon. At 15, dedicated to getting her name out, Joyce created business cards and advertised her services as a makeup artist and hairstylist. She also freelanced in the Sephardic community, doing hair and makeup in women’s homes.
Joyce grasped at a young age a significant principle of human nature. Studies show that when people look good, they feel good.
As soon as Joyce graduated Ilanin 2003 at the age of 17, she was already enrolled at Christine Valmy (CV), an internationally recognized beauty and esthetics school. CV’s mission aligned well with Joyce’s dedication to helping women look and feel beautiful. CV is committed to fusing esthetics and nature to create healthy and balanced skin, and educates their students accordingly. In six months, Joyce graduated from an advanced program at CV, which takes most students a full year to complete. She received a recommendation letter with accolades from the school’s director.
With her certificate and letter of recommendation in hand, Joyce’s next objective was to get a job with a highly respected cosmetics firm. Driving home on the West Side Highway from an interview at MAC, she saw a billboard with an advertisement for the opening of a new Sephora store. Joyce got off the road and jotted down the phone number, called for an interview, and a few days later landed her first position as a makeup artist on the floor of a Sephora store on Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan. Talk about dreaming big! Joyce’s first job after turning 18 was with a beauty powerhouse. She credits her mother with giving her the confidence she needed, by encouraging her to go into an interview as if she already had the job. Joyce worked for four years at that location (2004-2007). She gained significant experience as a makeup artist and absorbed a tremendous amount of information about the beauty industry, the customers, the store set up, and display.
Joyce enrolled as a part time student at Kingsborough Community College while working at the Liberty Street Sephora store. After two years, she earned her Associate of Arts degree in Fashion Merchandising Visual Display.
The second Sephora store that Joyce was assigned to was on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (the 67th Street store), close to a large hotel in a residential area. Many Jewish customers and celebrities walked in. Joyce’s role there was a skincare specialist, and she applied her education and skills (beauty, skincare, and merchandising) at this location, thriving there for almost four years (2007-2010).
Going on Up!
The 67th Street store closed, and Joyce took the opportunity to select the next Sephora store to work at, choosing the Upper West Side store on 76th Street and Broadway. Joyce set off as a skincare specialist and then proceeded to dabble in other areas, producing noticeable improvements to the store. She organized the various displays and set things up in a more visually appealing manner. Her efforts were rewarded. The Sephora store manager took notice. “Joyce, I love what you are doing at the store, and how you take pride in what you do. Would you like to be the manager of animations?”
Thrilled with her promotion, Joyce embraced the opportunity. She loved setting up the animations, displays, and windows. She opened up the store at 4:00am, ensured it was “in tip top shape,” going home at 10:00am only after seeing the store was in great form. She was also asked to set up the 34th Street store for the winter season. Her initial three-week training took place there, and Joyce felt honored to do the displays. Joyce spent almost four years at the 76th street store, two years in skin care and the remainder as the Animation Manager.
Joyce developed a new skill set at the 76th street Sephora – eyebrow care. The store was a short distance from a hospital, and cancer patients and burn victims would walk in and ask Joyce to fill in their brows with makeup. These womenhad no eyebrows whatsoever due to their injuries or cancer treatments. Joyce also saw individualswith autoimmune disorders whose hair follicles could not develop. Filling in these women’s brows was a simple way of bringing them so much joy. Many patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation report that hair loss makes them feel angry, depressed, and embarrassed. Working with these clients, visually drawing their brows, became Joyce’s passion and calling. She was able to participate in and contribute to their healing process. Joyce even traveled to Long Island to treat some of her clients at their homes.
There’s a popular saying that beauty is only skin deep, meaning that true beauty comes from the inside. Yet, if one feels physically attractive, it can positively affect one’s confidence, state of mind, attitude, performance, and success, as described above. If one thinks she looks unappealing, as in the case of hair loss, it can be damaging to one’s self-esteem and even recovery.
Then Comes Marriage
Joyce first met her soulmate, Jesse Antebi, when she was 18. They did not date then. She believes it was bashert that she reconnected with him almost 10 years later. It turns out that Jesse, one year her senior, had lived in a house on East 26th Street, right behind hers on Bedford Avenue. “Hashem put us together at the right time.” They got engaged four months later, on January 28, 2014, and were married on May 25, 2014.
And Then There Were Three
Joyce was working at the 76th Street Sephora store when she married Jesse. Their daughter, Traci, was born on May 7th, 2015. A year after her wedding, Joyce went from being a workaholic to a stay at home mom. She was ecstatic about becoming a mom, but it was a big shock after working for over 16 years. Joyce was very proud of her accomplishments at Sephora. When Traci was a year old, Jesse came up with a plan for Joyce to launch her brow business from his parent’s home. He advertised about_face_brow_bar on Instagram and Joyce’s new career was launched.
Joyce and Jesse purchased a home in West Long Branch a year ago, and Joyce is passionate about reconnecting with the members of her community. She wears four hats now, Wife, Mother, Homeowner, and Entrepreneur. Joyce’s first priority is Traci, now three, dropping her off and picking her up from Keter Yeshiva pre-school.
Joyce built a studio in her new home, where she sees clients of all ages. Approximately 20 percent are cancer patients. Joyce values being honest, professional, and respectful of her clients’ privacy. What she does is unique, performing her craft by hand, using tweezers and scissors. She uses high-quality facial cream wax and natural products with no chemicals in a hygienic environment. Her clients are children as young as eight years old, boys and girls who might otherwise experience bullying about their unibrows. With cancer patients, Joyce works with powder and pencil creating the illusion and beauty of a brow.
Mission and Goals
Her mission in her private practice is the same as it was in Sephora, to help her clients look and feel beautiful and, in some cases, to help them heal.
Joyce’s next goal is to create her own line of brow makeup. She also wants to practice self-care, and set a positive example for her daughter and her clients.
Joyce encourages young women to follow their hearts and pursue what they are aching to do. Joyce admits that the beauty industry is a tough business, but it’s worth the effort to gain entry.
Ellen Geller Kamaras, CPA/MBA, is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach. Her coaching specialties include life, career, and dating coaching. Ellen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org(www.lifecoachellen.com).