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FunTimes Magazine

Syreeta Scott

Syreeta Scott is the owner of a successful natural salon, Duafe Holistic Hair Care. With an impressive list of clients that include notable celebs like Jill Scott, Janet Jackson, Questlove and Smokie Robinson, Syreeta continues to build her empire, which now includes the Sable Collective Boutique.

Best and worst decision?
 “Best—to walk away from corporate America. I felt that voice saying that it wasn’t who I was and it was like fitting a square peg into a round hole. I am happy that I was honest enough with myself to listen. The worst: At first I didn’t understand the importance of deciding who should be around me; having business core values and sticking with them. I was compromising in places I shouldn’t have, and making people happy who were not willing to work at my dream.”

Dream job as a child? “I wanted to be an actuarial scientist. I walked around with a math book, solving problems. Then I landed an internship at Cigna’s actuarial department, and realized that it was not for I had too much personality to sit in a cubicle pushing numbers. I was too creative. Today, I apply some of the same things that I would have, by being in business.”

Barrier to female leadership?
“It’s hard to be a female leader; the reason we put ‘female’ in front of it—is the barrier. There should not be a gender role attached to being a leader; just roles and action. It puts the leader in a box, requiring them to act in a certain way. You make the same decisions as a male, seen as positive, using the same language, and are called something negative.”

Who inspires you?
“I was blessed to be raised with some extremely strong Brown women, unapologetic and didn’t allow themselves to be put in a box. My grandmother [Evelyn Parker] did miraculous things. I saw my mom [Vera Scott] fight to put me through private school. My family guided me and every Brown sister who ‘put their mouth on me’ in a gentle, kind way. That’s why I am here.”

Challenges for next Generation?
 “A lot of sisters don’t reach back. They don’t find someone for their own mentorship. Millennials seem to live in a world without any boundaries and do whatever they want, which is amazing. But, I feel like that grounding with a mentor and asking for guidance should be added.”