Influencer Caprice Augusta: extra-ordinary social and dynamic
Interview November 2018
Caprice Augusta, owner of Coupe Caprice is a person that we have come to know over the years as very dynamic and entrepreneurial. She was born in Curaçao and she has one other sister from her mother’s side and she has 4 other sisters from her father’s side and one brother. Her mother is still alive and she meets her on a daily basis at her beauty salon. Caprice has a grown up son, which she is very proud off and whom is doing well at his studies. Coming December he will finish his bachelor in Fiscal Law and Economy and he will start with his masters next year as Erasmus University of Rotterdam. He has team upped with UoC, to offer master degree courses in Business Administration in Curaçao.
Caprice, at an early age you decided to become a hairdresser and started with your hairdressers and beauty salon as an entrepreneur.
“Yes, I started when I was still at school doing hairdressing at a location closed to the playground of the school. I consider it a gift and it is my passion. Basically, I have planned to stop in my early forties, but I was not able to stop, because it gives me so much satisfaction. You know what really makes me feel great is, when people leave my beauty salon Coupe Caprice, that they leave happy first and foremost, because we offered them our best services. But also, that I am always open to talk and share experiences and advice with my clients.
You know my mother was my biggest role mother in terms of relationships. Although my mother and father divorced when we grew up, my mother has always encouraged us to remember to call my father when it was his birthday and give him a present, reminding us to take notice during Christmas and New Year and other special days in the year. She never bad talked about my father with us and this ultimately resulted in both of us having a good relationship with my father. This I have appreciated very much. This is also how I raised my son, because I raised my son mostly all by myself and this, in the end, resulted in an emotionally balanced son in the end. He is now mature enough to take his own decisions regarding his father, with no bad feelings. That was a big lesson that I have learned from my mother.”
Caprice what are your hobbies?
“I like going to the gym, I like meeting different kinds of people, I use to love motor biking, but sold my motorbike. And my mother was very pleased with that, because she was so worried that some serious accident might happen every time I went for a ride. Of late I have become very active in the Curaçao Body Building and Fitness Federation (CBBFF) as a Chairwoman. I am actively religious and learning to understand the Bible as I am taught by people that know the bible very well. It makes me understand the word of GOD better, as I apply what the Bible is teaching. It this way GOD gives me lots of strength. In a way, it boils down to Faith, everything boils down to Faith in GOD, that gives me so much strength. I have always been very entrepreneurial, because I am of the opinion that I can master my own destiny and should not wait for things to fall in my lap. By deciding to be like this, it also meant working long hours at times. I firmly believe that GOD the Divine has given us human beings incredible powers. And that we are the masters of our life if we choose to use these powers.”
Where did that come from?
Caprice: “I was fortunate enough to grow up in an environment that was very business minded. My grandmother in that sense was my role model. She was from Jewish descent and my father was also a businessman, that had a big business. If you grow up in that kind of environment, it affects you. My grandmother use to say: “Buy for ten cents and sell for 25 cents” that is in a simple way the essence of her business philosophy. My grandmother sold numbers and she used to have people working for her all year long making “ayaca” and selling this to Henderson and Zuikertuintje supermarkets. All of this had a lasting effect on me and condoned my to also be entrepreneurial.
As hairdressing and managing a beauty salon is my passion, I have been honing my skills by attending different courses continuously at times also abroad, to keep my skills levels, up. When you are in the business of a beauty salon, you have to keep yourself up to date. For example, the last two months I have earned three certificates of courses, that I have followed. I have been doing this for almost 30 years now, either going to New York or following local courses. That is what it takes to stay on top of my game. That is what I have been doing for years.
“As an entrepreneur I have ventured also in other areas of business, because I will not always stay active as a hairdresser. You know in a way, I am a dreamer. At night, in the very early hours of the morning, I can wake up and wonder what I can do to create a new business idea. I pray a lot and it is in those early hours of the day, that I feel oneness with the Universe and that I am at my most creative and rid myself of ideas that are of “no benefit and use”, to me. The ideas that come up are not necessarily for my self I also share this ideas with others to follow up.”
If you would meet a stranger in the bus and they would ask you to introduce yourself what would you answer?
“I would be the first one to start talking and they would come to know me as a very very social person and not me at not being shy.”
You are very socially involved in the past you have started a project where you taught some young hairdressers to share space and collaborate. Can you explain more about that project.
“That project was an incubator’s project. This idea I got from a Japanese friend and he told me that Curaçao is very expensive and he suggested to try to emulate something that happened in New York, where a group of hairddressers team upped and shared space, to reach an overall lowering of the costs of their businesses. This is what I now do with Coupe Caprice, we share space, but I also started this intiative with some hairdressers to team up and share spaces at Marshe Noboat Waaigat. I faciliated that they got courses and in the beginning there was a lot of enthusiaism. And more people started to belief in this incubator project, even MCB beliefed in it and we won a price, but then it didn’t worked out in the end. My biggest lesson was, we didn’t have enough people participating in this Incubator project, that wanted to learn how to fish.”
We have always loved coming to your salon because of the neatness of the salon but also you are very disciplined in your time management and get along very well with your employees. Is it these leadership skills that you developed over the years running your business that you now apply also as a chairwoman in the Curaçao Body Building and Fitness Federation?
“Yes, I am always challenging myself and becoming chairperson of CBBFF is one of them.”
Whom are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
“My grandmother because of her business mindset, that inspired me a lot.”
Where they always positive role models or where their also negative role models that you didn’t want to identify with?
“Well I have had to learn that in the end. It is all about choices and making the right choices is something that I have come to learn.”
What are some challenges, lessons learned, that you have encountered in your life when you ultimately discovered your talents and strengths ? Or what was a defining moment in your life, a setback that later turned out to be a great blessing?
“My biggest lesson in life is that some 14 years ago, I almost lost my legs. My legs as a hairdresser are of course very important for me. I was reaching the summit of my success as a hairdresser and had build myself a good reputation. What did I do? I asked somebody to treat my shin-bones of my legs and within one day my legs were swollen and it is then, that I discovered GOD and accepted Jesus Christ. I immediately concluded, that turning to GOD to save my legs was the only solution to this big challenge. I prayed a lot and was helped by different pastors that prayed for me. I have experienced what is said in the Bible: “If two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by the Father in heaven”, that is why group praying is so powerful. It has been a very emotional lesson for me. As from that moment on, I have developed myself and worked on so many of my weaknesses and this made me the person I am today in November 2018, a much more whole person. This was in a way my biggest blessing, that I personally have experienced and I am giving testimonials to others of this blessing and gift of GOD. I am sharing everything I know now with others. And btw, I never get into argument over religion, because I firmly believe that all us have this One God.
We have always experienced you as a very dynamic and opinionated person? You influence a lot of people while you work in your beauty salon and you have very good people’s skills. Where does that come from?
“I have been brought up in a way that to achieve something you have to move and work hard. You have to be dynamic and you have to be willing to help other people. I love sharing. If I get an epiphany that can help other people I will share this. I have been going to beauty markets in New York for years and I share tips where to go and what to attend with colleagues that I invite to join me in a visit to New York. When they thank me, I always tell them, that ultimately it is their own decision to follow up. Be grateful and proud for that decision.
Anopther example of sharing is Patric Bradley. Check this link: P-Element Haircare Products & Classes By Patric A.Bradley | Hair | Makeup | Beauty & Haircare Products|Naked Relaxer. He is my master teacher as a hairdresser I have brought him to Curaçao in Kura Hulanda as another way of sharing knowledge and skills.
I am also very much involved and caring for trainees and I have 2 employees with an AGO background working for me. I belief that one needs to help where ever possible. whenever possible. It will help to transform these youngsters in becoming self confident citizens.”
What are your other strengths?
“I am very very social, in a way extra ordinary, dynamic person and entrepreneurial. People might not necessarily like me, but they want to stay close to me to see what I am doing because I am always up to new things.”
How would you describe Caprice in one word or one sentence?
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be whom you are right now? Or where do you want to be 5 to 10 years from now?
“Within 5 to 10 years from now I would be able to retire because within soon I would get involved in the real estate business.”
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends and others to say about you let’s say 10 to 15 years years from now?
“I don’t think they would say something bad about me, but I don’t know what they would say.”
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao?
“I am optimistic about Curaçao because people like me, women like me, will take decisions that I belief in. Why? I am a small business owner and I have gone through many challenges and went through so many things and still stayed a float and I am still alive and kicking. I am confident, that I can be of use in the government of Curaçao some day. I think Curaçao needs this and we need to do this in collaboration with opposition parties if the party I will be part off is in a coalition government. We need to work together. I have political ambitions and I have the courage I think that the country needs, to take the necessary decisions that need to be taken.
Do you want to share anything else that might be relevant for those reading this blog?
I my spare time I love working in my garden and taking care of my orchids.
One of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao
As the core group of Share2Uplift we love and deeply respect Caprice, because of whom she has become and her willingness to share and drive to serve the community. We will definitely hear more of her in the not so far future. Definitely one of the 250 ethical leaders of our Island, that continuously works at connecting dots and creating value for the whole of the society.