HPW’s Inspiring Women series profiles remarkable Greek-American professional women whose stories of success inspire and encourage us to achieve our own career goals and aspirations.
Group CEO at Quintessentially
Annastasia Seebohm is the Group CEO of Quintessentially, the global luxury lifestyle group. Today, the Group’s revenues exceed $100 million, with a team of 1000 employees and 60 offices worldwide. Annastasia joined Quintessentially’s headquarters in London in 2012 to work alongside Founders Aaron Simpson and Ben Elliot. In 2016, she was appointed as CEO – Americas and relocated to New York where she led the four Quintessentially US offices, in addition to the nine in Central and South America. Within her first year, Annastasia successfully tripled revenues in the region and was subsequently appointed to Group CEO in 2018.
Annastasia is an authority on the lifestyle industry and luxury market, with an unparalleled understanding of the affluent and ambitious global audience that it serves. She has an extensive knowledge of the latest luxury trends, travel experiences and insider destinations and how they are evolving. Annastasia has been featured in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, Spears, Entrepreneur Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The Evening Standard, Forbes, HuffPost and WWD amongst others. She has spoken on panels for FT’s How To Spend It, Walpole and Luxury Daily, and at high profile summits such as Worth’s ‘Women and Worth’. Annastasia was included in Luxury Daily’s ‘Women to Watch 2018’ list, honoring 25 smart women executives who show the potential to make a difference in the world of luxury. Annastasia is on the membership committee for YPO (Young Presidents Organization), and works closely with Electric Woman, which helps connect women to 1- 1 coaching and workshops. Annastasia created Quintessentially’s own thriving global mentorship programme, with a focus on young talent in business.
Alongside the Quintessentially business, Annastasia spends time working on the Quintessentially Foundation which was established by Ben Elliot, Quintessentially’s Founder, and provides grants to bring about meaningful change in communities, schools and children’s programmes. Annastasia earned a BSc in International Business Management at Cardiff University, and later spent a number of years in her native Greece working with leading entrepreneurs. Annastasia previously co-founded an e-commerce property management company in the UK, which was privately sold in 2016. She is passionate about travel, the arts and Women in Business.
Contributor: Frederica Bolgouras
What is your passion?
I have an insatiable curiosity and love to travel. Discovering new cities and meeting new people always brings me joy. What you can learn from exploring a new country and culture – spending time with its people, understanding its history, learning the local traditions and enjoying the local delicacies, is transformative. Stepping away from screens and the familiarity and chaos of everyday life is more important than ever, and for me travel emboldens you to be fearless, to seek adventure and to enjoy a precious sense of freedom.
What motivated you to move into your profession?
I have always been fascinated by the lifestyle market and its trends – how successful people make their lifestyle decisions, who is buying what and why, where people are choosing to travel to and what it is that takes them there. My father worked in hospitality and was a hotelier in Greece so I grew up with an understanding of service, the importance of knowing your audience and how personal and meaningful relationships can define a business. I was curious about the lifestyle industry and wanted to work with a brand that had energy, passion and connectivity. For me, it was all about a love of learning – and the creativity and fun that comes from meeting clients, creating events, and experiencing the new.
Who has inspired you most in your life?
My late grandfather who worked in education was a huge inspiration to me. He was an avid reader, so articulate and creative, and we shared a love of the arts, good food and great travel! He always reminded me of the importance of family and friends, but also encouraged me to take risks, to find the joy in each day and appreciate life as it happens.
Tell me about a few of your most proud accomplishments?
I feel very proud of my journey so far at Quintessentially. I’ve worked hard to understand every part of the business and have learnt valuable new skills as a leader. I am proud of the strong and passionate team we have built, and the diverse and creative workforce that allows everyone to feel empowered. Moving to New York – a city I had always dreamed of living in – and being given the opportunity as a young female leader to oversee the whole global business, was a monumental moment for me. Recently I’ve spent more time focusing on my own health and wellness, from mastering Pilates to practicing meditation. Learning new ways to stay calm and focused in what can be a hectic and busy role has been a wonderful and welcome achievement.
Was there anything you would have done differently?
I definitely would have slept more! Perhaps there are things I could have done differently but I don’t think I would have. For every failure, mishap or missed opportunity, I learnt something new, or took a different route that led to something else. I strive to keep learning, to stay true to myself and not be afraid of making mistakes.
What advice would you give to professional Hellenic-American Women today in their careers?
Stay curious! Keep learning and keep asking questions. Stay connected to those around you, take the time to listen to others and learn from them. Discover new places and be open to new people and experiences. Nurture your relationships and make meaningful connections that count – with your team, and your clients and partners. Be bold, be brave and don’t be afraid of failure. I am a big believer in trying anything once, grabbing opportunities with both hands – some of my most successful projects have come from taking risks, and even if something doesn’t work out, it can be a path way to more learning and inner drive.
What impact has your Greek heritage had on your career and professional life?
I am hugely proud of my Greek heritage, and I always say I have a Greek soul. I think the openness and sense of community the Greeks foster so well is something I try and bring to my everyday work. I love networking and meeting new people and enjoy bringing together friends, clients and partners. I like to think I have the Greek sense of where fun and philosophy meet – I try and live in the moment and make the most of every day. I also make a mean Spanakopita, which has helped me through many a late night pitch.
Are you involved with the Greek community?
I love the arts and am hoping to support the American Ballet Theatre’s Spring production which shares the wonderful story of star-crossed lovers Callirhoe and Chaereas in Ancient Greece, based on the historical romance novel Callirhoe by Chariton. I love to stay connected to the Greek community, and am always inspired by those within it. I ran a series of Greek events whilst at university and now regularly host Greek Women of Influence dinners at home, bringing together other Greek women in New York to network and share business ideas.
Who has inspired you in your career? Let us know at email@example.com