We had the good fortune of connecting with Awa Ndiaye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Awa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
An integral component of the way I think and have taken risks are my parents . My mom and dad emigrated from Senegal at a very young age in hopes of following their dreams and because of the endless opportunities America presented. The courage, ambition, sacrifices, and enormous risks that parents have taken is the result of me even being able to answer this interview question at this time. And so when I think of risks I think of them as frightening, bold, but also life changing and necessary; Every risk that I have taken wether it played out in my favor not has in some way helped the business, from mustering up the courage to start the hair page on Instagram and promoting myself and the business, to the disappointing failures that Ive endured and eventually had to learn from, none would have been possible without risk taking.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I absolutely love and am excited about what I do because I get the opportunity to make people feel beautiful and new! The salon that I work at is a family run business who prides themselves on attention to detail, being versatile and the ability do work on any hair type, and making our customers feel extremely important and comfortable, and I believe that this is what sets us apart from others. I am where I am today by having a great mentor, lots of practice, and patience, and although the road was not easy, I was blessed with lots of support and help from my mother as well as my closest friends. The most important lesson that I have leaned from my experiences is to never be afraid to promote yourself and what you are passionate about, and that hard times do not last forever!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Houston is an amazing city with great restaurants, hidden gems, and people! When it comes to food there are so many great choices, however I would make sure I take my friend to Taste Bar, Boombox Tacos at the Truck Yard in downtown, Raw Sushi, Mastro’s, and Turkey Leg Hut. These are a few of my favorite places to eat in Houston, It is very important o make sure the food selection is versatile so that they can get a little taste of everything Houston has to offer. When it comes places to visit, I love the Houston’s Fine Arts and contemporary museums, along with Houston Rodeo is March. Houston is also encompassed with a lot of amazing creatives and designers, studios in the downtown area often times will have some great pop up shops and events to meet new people!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person that I owe my life and any success to is my mother, Adja Thiam. My mother opened up the beauty supply and salon that we work out of today when I was merely a child. Like most new small business owners the beginning was difficult, but she was able to see her dream through. Which in turn allowed me to be able to both see and experience the entire process of building the business up to what is today, from the good to the bad. Adja has taught me everything that I know about hair, and so she is not only mother, but my business partner, my best friend, and my mentor.
Instagram: @ab_byawa @afhairbraiding_