Where are you from and what do you do?
I am originally from Stockholm, Sweden but my background isn’t so typical as my mother is Estonian-Russian and my father is Finnish. I live in Geneva, Switzerland with my husband.
As an expert and entrepreneur in the niche of modern elegance and personal transformations, my passion for these topics is my life’s work. I founded an online finishing school where I help women self-actualize and live the lives that they truly desire (if your readers are interested in learning more, they can do so on annabey.com). I can confidently call myself a trailblazer in this genre because I was the first to share content in the modern elegance and elevated lifestyle niche since 2012.
I have the most recognition for this in the international press and the biggest audience across multiple platforms.
I believe that all women from any background can transform their lives and opportunities by elevating their mindset, personal presentation and strategizing on reaching individual goals and aspirations, whatever they may be. Anything is possible!
When did you start to be interested in luxurious lifestyles? What attracted you to it?
My strict and conservative upbringing helped to explain the priorities of my young adult life. I just had this feeling deep inside me that something was missing and that there was more to this life for me. I know Sweden is a very privileged place to be but it wasn’t right for me. I wanted even more out of life than what I could get there.
At the age of 19 I registered for an Italian course in Rome where i was introduced to high society through my boyfriend that I had met there. He was the first man to show me what it felt like to be treated well as a lady. I wasn’t looking for a luxury lifestyle when we started dating; I didn’t even know what that was yet! He opened my eyes to a world of possibility. I then knew enough about the possibilities of a better and more fulfilling life and how to access that world on my own.
Did you learn on your own how to date rich men or did you have someone who helped you in that world and guided you on your journey?
Because the refined lifestyle that I was attracted to was one lived by those of means, it stood to reason that those were the kinds of men that I should be dating. I had to figure everything out by myself as there was nobody guiding me back then. I had to observe the affluent community and in particular women who come from similar backgrounds to me, and learn from them. I had to see what they did and apply it to myself. With time and much trial and error, I taught myself.
Have you ever fallen in love with a man who is not wealthy?
Yes, I’ve had relationships with both affluent and non-affluent men. Because I knew what kind of lifestyle I enjoyed, I soon realized that if an affluent man is a good, kind person and could offer me a joyous and loving relationship, well, that would be the best possible relationship for me. I do need true love in my life… that was non-negotiable.
How do wealthy people act towards you if they know that you’re teaching women how to approach them or how to “get something out of them”?
I think that is a bit of a misnomer: I don’t teach women to “get something” out of wealthy people. I don’t teach women to pretend to be rich. I teach women how to respect themselves, how to feel confident and present themselves with elegance and that is quite different. It’s up to each woman to determine what this means to her. It could mean using elegance to assist in positioning herself for a promotion at work. Or finding a suitable mate. Or joining the board of her children’s school.
A luxurious lifestyle has been always desirable, who doesn’t want to have money and be surrounded by beautiful things? But these days social media presents an image of the perfect, rich life to girls/women that makes many of them think it’s the only way to a happy life. What are your thoughts on this?
I believe that a happy life stems from feeling good about yourself, being confident in your personal presentation and resolving any mental/emotional issues that are preventing you from achieving your goals. This is why the fundamental goal in my teachings pertains to these things. What you see on social media rarely tells the whole story and even the most glamorous women are human beings beyond the glossy images. The women I teach determine their own lifestyle priorities and they live in the real world. I just help them learn how to live their best lives faster than them trying to figure it out on their own.
The media also makes many women feel that if they get a rich man their life will be magically sorted out, that life gets easy and they don’t need to do anything but buy nice dresses and go out to dinner… but it is not that simple, right?
It is so much more than that! If a woman has an affluent partner, her life may be financially easier but that doesn’t mean that she is not expected to be the yang to his yin. She must bring interesting elements of her projects and own life to their conversations and social interactions, even if she chooses to not be employed outside the home. Or she may choose to pursue her own career or wealth. My students know this and are not “one size fits all”. They are a diverse group of ladies with many different goals and interests. Not all of them are interested in finding an affluent partner! For those that are, the focus is more on the quality of the man than the level of affluence.
Women, or at least their families, have always wanted a “good catch”. What do you think has changed in the last couple of decades?
Financial stability has always been something that parents want for their daughter and her future children to ensure comfortable survival, so men that are strong providers have been historically valued. Over the past few decades more women have entered the workforce so the focus on a financially stable or affluent man may not be a priority. But there are women who still enjoy traditional roles and want to raise their children, or do non-personal-income-generating projects as their life’s work, or perhaps just feel more feminine being with a provider male. As such, in these cases, a financially capable man is still preferred.
Why do you think some women succeed and others fail in getting and staying in the wealthy world?
The wealthy world is really not that different from any other community, there are just certain nuances in the culture and protocols. I see women experiencing difficulty when they are not accustomed to this and they can get a bit lost in the nuances. These kinds of points are what I teach to help women feel comfortable in these communities.
You have a school called School of Affluence. When did you feel you became an expert on the subject and were ready to teach?
I started my journey when I was 19 and have since then learned invaluable lessons – which I pass on to my students – through my own research and trials.
I’m also a firm believer in continuing my own education, as I put a high priority on having the proper training and experience to bring the most value to my students in the courses that I create for them. I’ve trained at a Swiss Finishing School, Institut Villa Pierrefeu and completed their diploma course in International Etiquette and Protocol.
I’ve studied matchmaking in New York and am a certified Matchmaker.
I’m also a certified image consultant and color consultant from a firm in London.
Matchmaking is having a heyday again. Professional matchmakers have great connections and trust from families to find suitable matches. It is not that easy to get into the circle of really wealthy families. Do you think that if someone has good social skills it is possible regardless of their background, profession, education, etc.?
This is about becoming the female equivalent. Any woman of any background can learn the demeanor, charisma and overall desired qualities that appeal to men who are looking for a partner that will integrate well into their family, business and social lives. Any woman can become the type of woman whose partner is constantly told by others that he’s “a lucky man to have found her”. In becoming this kind of woman, as I teach in my course “Secrets of the Elite Woman”, background, career and formal education can all be transcended.
Who are your clients? What is the typical age, profession, goals, physique…?
My students range from 18 years old to well into their 80s and come from all different walks of life, with different goals and different appearances. Their commonality is that they would like to become as refined and confident as they can to support their specific life goals, which are usually different from their current situation. They seek a transformation to become a woman that exudes modern elegance and I’m honored that they choose me to guide them on their journey.
What do you see as the biggest problem in relationships/dating today, or the most common issue?
While there are many complicating factors, the biggest problem or issue in today’s dating and relationship arena is the lack of self-worth and boundaries. When women feel taken advantage of or used, it’s generally because they have self-worth issues. This is why mindset and confidence underpin all my teachings.
Last but not least, what do you like the most about your job?
It’s incredibly gratifying to be the reason that a woman takes action towards achieving the goals that she sets for herself! I cannot describe how happy it makes me when I read the emails and testimonials from my students. I respect any woman that feels that she, too, needs more out of life and points her aspirational compass towards the unknown, moving out of her comfort zone and taking that leap of faith. I’m especially thrilled when she uses my course to navigate on her journey. Being able to make it easier for women to achieve their transformation makes this such a feel-good job!
Thank you Anna for sharing your story and knowledge with our readers. Good luck with the School Of Affluence and if you get inspired by Anna’s words do not hesitate to contact her through her website or her YouTube channel!