Hapsatou Sy

Tv host – entrepreneur

I realized the strength it took to bounce back and keep on believing in your dreams.”

 PAST

You have many siblings. What kind of child were you?
I was a lively and resourceful child. I helped my parents a lot and I took care of my brothers and sisters every day. A 12, I already wanted to work and make money, so I did little “errands” after school, for fun.

What was the influence of your parents in your life?
My parents’ life is an example. My father was the one who made me want to take action: he is an entrepreneur of his own life, he did everything he could to give us a better life here in France. He taught me the values of work and dedication. My mom is an amazing woman who inspires me every day. She gave me a lot of love, and that is exactly what I am trying to recreate today.

What obstacles did you face in your professional life?
I would call it a failure, but not a defeat: the end of my first entrepreneurial adventure with the closing of my Ethnicia salons was a very difficult ordeal, but also very enriching. I realized the strength it took to bounce back and keep on believing in your dreams. Today and since 2013, I have an eponymous brand of cosmetics which is available in over 150 point of sales. Being enterprising is like a parachute jump: the only thing that matters is how you land, and being able to bounce and get back up if you fall.

Which icons have influenced you when you were little?
When I was little, I was only influenced by my parents. Then I grew up and I was inspired by several women, including Oprah Winfrey. I think this woman has an exceptional story and a remarkable personality.

If you could go back in time, what would you change in your life?
I would do the same, only maybe with less precipitation. But the thing is, without precipitation and impatience, would I have really made my dreams come true? I am not sure. Impatience is both a flaw and a quality.

PRESENT

What does your usual working-girl day look like?
I am a mom-preneur. Ever since I have had to conciliate between being a mother and a business manager, everything changed. I am always out of sync, I have to get organized: the advantage is that I can work at my own pace, make my own schedule… Every day is different, but I usually try to work in the morning and in the evening, when the baby is asleep. I generally meet with my colleagues in the afternoon. I make up more time for my family now.

How are you learning to be a mom?
I learn every day. I try, I observe, I am learning to know my baby and understand her desires and her needs. I also read a lot of magazines and ask my friends and professionals for more complex issues.

Many women don’t know how to conciliate between their lives. What kind of advice would you give them?
I would tell them not to let work take over their personal lives. Yes, you must try to get organized, but you need to be able to take real breaks from your job to keep it separate from your personal life. And I would advise them to set themselves realistic goals, otherwise they will be disappointed! It is also important to delegate and to decide which missions are most important for the day to avoid being snowed under. Make lists of priorities, and it will all be clearer!

What kind of manager are you?
I am creative and I listen to my colleagues’ ideas. I like giving them the opportunity to implement things how they see t in our various projects.

You are a TV host, the manager of a cosmetics brand and a showroom, a coach and a writer. Which one is the most difficult?
There not one role that more dif cult than the other. What is dif cult is to conciliate between all that, and to get organized for it to move forward. All the while being a young mom! The most dif cult thing is to manage your schedule.

FUTURE

How do you picture your daughter’s future?
My greatest wish is that she becomes fulfilled and free.

You are in the top 78 most in uent women in France. What would it take for you to get in the top 15?
Overthrow l’Oréal?!

How do you picture the future for women business managers?
The future of women business managers is very promising. All the audacious young girls I meet every day show me how much women are creative and ambitious.

What will Hapsatou Sy be like at 50?
At 50, I will still be Hapsatou Sy: a free, independent and enterprising woman.
If you had to make a list of the most influent women within the next 5 years, who would they be?
Emma Watson, Ophélie Meunier, Imany, Adèle Exarchopoulos.

By Médina KONÉ

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