A few months ago I met Sylvie Audet, Franchise Partner at THE TEN SPOT at Shops at Don Mills. When we were chatting as I got my nails done, I learned that she used to be in the financial industry and that her interest in working in the beauty industry all evolved during a rather hard time she went through a couple years ago. Her story was so inspiring. Last week I sat down with her to learn more about her, including what she does to stay organized and de-stress. You will love reading about Sylvie! Enjoy!
Meg: In three words how you would you describe yourself?
Sylvie: I would say kind, compassionate and driven.
M: Before you opened up THE TEN SPOT what industry were you in?
S: I was in the financial services industry for over 15 years. I worked in a wealth management firm. I always worked with large insurance companies, the big banks, so l always was in that corporate environment.
M: Why did you decide to go into the beauty industry?
S: That’s a great question. I love that question. So my mom got sick two years ago. She was diagnosed with cancer – which of course I guess is quite common. You hear it more and more nowadays and so I took a leave of absence and moved temporality to New Brunswick, because that’s where we’re from and while I was there I just realized a few things…like I actually really wasn’t fulfilled in any way doing the work I was doing, and I just realized I needed a change. Then the beauty industry snuck in there because when my mom was doing chemo she lost all her hair and all the typical things that happen, but she always got her nails done. Every two weeks I would bring her to the esthetician who was always the same person. They had a great relationship and even when she got really sick the esthetician would come to my mom’s house. That’s how powerful the bond was. It just made her feel like a million bucks. She would walk out of there and have something that was normal and because it wasn’t her hair anymore it was something else. So it all started coming together for me. I used to think the beauty industry was about vanity and then I realized how good it can actually make you feel. It’s much bigger. It’s not Keeping Up with the Kardashians, it’s bigger than that. So that’s how I ended up looking at THE TEN SPOT and joining an industry I didn’t know much about.
M: And it’s awesome with THE TEN SPOT because it’s all about feeling good and feeling like a ten.
S: It’s all about that. It’s about how we make people feel. Because it’s not just paint the nails and get out, it’s about the conversations you have with the esthetic experts. It’s bigger than that.
M: You may have already said it, but what’s your favourite thing about being in the industry?
S: When I go home at night and I feel like I’ve had a great day it’s when I connected with some of the guests and they shared their story. It can be something really happy like “I just got engaged and I need to get my nails done because everyone is going to be looking at the ring.” And then we’ve had people who are just having a bad week. Maybe they are a mom and this is their sole time for just “me time”. We get that Sunday morning mom who just wants a cup of coffee, a pedicure, and to be quiet because they know they’re going back to craziness after. I love hearing those stories because it just validates why we have THE TEN SPOT.
M: You’re super busy, how do you stay organized? Do you have any tips you want to share?
S: Well it’s not a big secret but I understand now that I’m a morning person and anytime beyond 4 p.m. you’re just getting the bare minimum Sylvie. So I just make sure that I come in much earlier than we open so that I can get some stuff done because that’s when my mind is sharp and clear and I can get things moved out of the way. And then I can keep the stuff that doesn’t require such detail, like stocking the shelves and making sure inventory is here. But the bookkeeping and the accounting, the HR decisions…that stuff gets done bright and early in the morning because that’s when I’m fresh.
M: So do you everything? HR, finance, stocking the shelves?
S: Yah, so do we have a bookkeeper who does final accounting but everything still has to be logged, so invoices, bills, etc. The cool part about being an entrepreneur is that you get to do everything. You clean the toilets, you get to make decisions about who to hire/fire. What does that look like? What does the schedule look like? I’ve never worn so many different hats at one time. When you’re in a corporate environment you have four walls of what your job requires you to do. As an entrepreneur there’s no such thing as “that’s not my job”, because everything is my job.
M: What do you do to de-stress?
S: I spend lots of time with my fiancé and our family. So that’s a great way to keep my mind off whatever I’m stressing out about. But there’s nothing better for a great mindfulness session than reading a book. I’ve always been a big reader. Since I was a child I would devour books. So to me that’s truly great. If I can sit down with a good book, I can immerse myself in whatever I’m reading so I don’t have to think about anything else. That’s bliss.
M: Do you have a book that you’re reading now?
S: I always have a few that I putter around in but I just got Tools of Titans it’s by Timothy Ferriss who authored The 4-Hour Workweek. I saw him on a blog with Jay Shetty. They’re inspirational people. So I started reading that. It’s a bit of beast, quite a large book. But I love it.
M: What’s your favourite service at THE TEN SPOT?
S: Nothing beats a facial. To me that’s one hour of just bliss. I would definitely say a facial. Even the Quickie Facial if I don’t have time and I’m running on empty. I’ve never spent so much time thinking about my skin since I have now. I have experts at my discretion!
M: And you use Dermalogica here?
S: Yah we use Dermalogica for all our facials. It’s our professional line.
M: What’s your favourite nail colour?
S: I have a few. I have a Christmas one on now. But my two favourites are, Is it Legal? and it’s from our Get Nailed line, and it’s a nice deep navy blue, almost an indigo. And my new favourite is by OPI and it’s called Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s like a white with some shimmer in it.
M: What would your favourite room in your house be and why?
S: I think most people would say the kitchen, but not me. I’m very lucky to have met someone who loves cooking so I rarely spend time in the kitchen. I love our living room, it has a big fire place and is so conducive to Sunday afternoon reading or naps and I just love it.
M: What’s your favourite item in your makeup bag?
S: Oh, without a doubt, Eye Envy.
M: Okay, your eyelashes are SO long!
S: Yah people ask me, are those extensions? Did you do anything to them? They’re 100% mine and I’ve been using Eye Envy since August. I’m still on the same tube. I use it everyday. I use it religiously and I get compliments all the time on my lashes. They’re real.
M: When you take off the mascara are they still that long?
S: Yah, these are my lashes. If I took all my makeup off right now they would still be this long. I just have mascara on right now.
M: How long were your lashes before?
S: Well they weren’t super short and stubby, they were just normal I guess.
M: You have it at the front right?
S: Yah. It’s magic. It’s my favourite thing.
M: Who would you say your role model is?
S: My parents, but for two different reasons. I would say my mom and my dad separately.
My dad was always an entrepreneur and looking back now he was the risk taker in the family and had so many careers and ended up being quite successful so I always thought it was normal to take risks because I thought if he could take risks so could I.
And then on the flip side of that my mom. But I guess I only realized that in the last few years. She was always quiet and just a bit more of an introvert but I realize now that her being quiet didn’t mean that her voice wasn’t heard or shouldn’t be taken into account. I realize now how compassionate she was and how understanding she was. She was a positive person without being outward.
M: So she was a silent leader?
S: Yah, and I didn’t really see that. Probably because of my dad who was a bit more of the other side. So when she got sick I really got to know her as a human being versus just my mom. And I didn’t realize how great of a person she was until obviously bad things happened. The last two years have probably been the best two years of my life because of that, and some people may say the worst but it’s taught me so much.
M: Sometimes the shitty things make you learn so much about yourself.
S: Yah, I’m grateful for that…as bad as it was…like my mom ended up passing away. But you know what? Like I said, it turned my world upside down but in the best way possible way because I needed that or else I would still be in the financial services industry, which there isn’t anything wrong with…but you know.
M: You had to do what was best for you.
M: Do you have a favourite social media platform?
S: Probably Instagram. I’m loving Instagram.
M: Do you have an app that you use to stay organized?
S: I don’t but I do have a new favourite app called Head Space. It’s actually from Tools of Titans. There is a percentage, something like 80% of all the leaders do a few things on a regular basis, and one of those things is meditate. Mediate or some kind of mindfulness on a daily basis. I realized I really needed to incorporate that because I know it’s important but I don’t know how to. It was a big question mark for me. Head Space is literally a 10 min daily guided meditation. The app is cool looking. There’s a reminder in my calendar at 7:30 a.m. to take my 10 minutes and do that. I was like, how do I meditate, how do I start?
M: It is hard to start. Because you think of mediation as sitting quietly in a room and you can’t think of anything. But there are so many different ways you can meditate.
S: Yah! So this has been really instrumental in getting me to meditate. It’s 10 minutes. Not an hour. My new favourite app!
M: Do you have a morning routine you stick to?
S: I definitely do. I get up early. I walk the dog. That’s my job in the morning. I make a coffee and do meditation and then get ready. Actually I usually wash my face, put moisturize on – especially in this crazy weather…I moisturize the heck out of my face in the morning before I even start putting my makeup on and then go outside, walk the dog, do all that and then come back and do all the normal makeup.
M: IS there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
S: So a couple random things. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2007. And I founded a money group for women a few years ago. We were five and it was all about empowering women when making financial decisions and empowering women to make decisions that are wise. Like “go and ask for that bonus” or “go and ask yourself for that raise”. We started looking at real estate. Two of us went and bought real estate. That’s how I bought my condo. I was single at the time and needed that extra support system that would push me enough to do those things. Because it’s sometimes it’s so easy to be like “oh, I need a man”. You know? But yah, it was just about empowering us to make decisions. It was really cool.
M: That’s so awesome! Thanks so much for the chat Sylvie!