Meet Paris “Working Girl” Hapsatou Sy, a popular television personality in France and owner of Ethnicia – a successful bespoke beauty salon concept established in 2004 on the island of Saint-Louis Actuellement, which has since grown to 17 locations all over Paris.
Name : Hapsatou Sy
Age : 32
Location : Paris, France
Profession: TV Personality & Beauty Entrepreneur
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I come from a family of seven brothers and sisters and my Dad always instilled in us a love of work and independence at a young age. I started out as an entrepreneur while I was quite young. I think I was about 12 years old when I started my first business — shopping for senior citizens. They’d pay me and I’d go out and do all their grocery shopping. I must have been the richest kid my age. I did this throughout middle and high school and also while continuing my studies for a degree in international trade. I then went on to land an internship in New York that focused on international markets, allowing me to eventually venture into the world of business and ultimately establish my own company in 2004, Ethnicia – a bespoke beauty salon. Although I started out in business at a young age, being an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is something that is innate.
What is an average day like?
I typically wake up very early every morning and head to the studio for work on my daily TV show. I usually arrive backstage at around 8:00am and then it’s off to hair and makeup, which usually takes a while so I use that time to go over notes and prep for the show. Then we have a production meeting which lasts about an hour and covers various interesting topics and ideas. We start the show at around 10am. It wraps at 12pm; then we briefly meet to discuss upcoming shows. Once I’m done with the show for the day, I then switch gears and start tending to the business of my salon. I typically have several appointments and catch up meetings with my team that deal with the ongoing development of my brand and day-to-day business operations. Every day is different. My work is definitely my passion, so working late into the evening (which happens a lot) doesn’t bother me at all. I usually like to end my day catching up on some of my favorite shows such as Scandal. The only time I have to myself, is when I go to sleep; but before I know it, I’m up to do it all over again.
Why do you do it?
I really love what I do.
What’s your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement so far is becoming an entrepreneur, mainly because I come from a family where only men can be entrepreneurs. I am of Senegalese-Mauritanian origin so, shifting my parents’ perceptions and making them understand that women too, can be successful entrepreneurs, has definitely been a great accomplishment.
What might be next for you?
I want to continue being a success story; and I want my company to continue growing. That said, my next step would be to expand internationally, starting in Africa. That’s very important to me.
Do you consider yourself a work-a-holic? How much sleep do you get each night?
Yes! I’m definitely a work-a-holic and get about six hours of sleep every night.
What are your top five hair tips?
Well my top 3 tips include…
- Using good products. I’ve actually just launched “cas de force majeure” which is an amazing oil for all hair types.
- Getting a really good shampoo once a week, rather than every day.
- Be you! Whether that means having relaxed hair or natural hair; do what makes you happy!
Fun Fact: In 2011 Hapsatou Sy was chosen to represent the French entrepreneurs from the G20. She is also a TV-a-holic and social media fiend. On any given day you can find her watching inspiring TV shows or spending hours connecting with followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook.