“I got into marketing on a whim,” says Sabine Quetant, Director of Marketing at Blavity and 21Ninety, “I was 18 and applying to colleges. I applied undecided everywhere, but on the application of the college I ended up attending, I checked the marketing program. At the end of the day, it meshed so well with how I already saw the world and how I moved through it as a storyteller.”
At work, Sabine manages people and creates content.
“Overall, I would describe myself as a storyteller," she says, "No matter what I’m doing, I’m always thinking about how to communicate what I want to say to people. I’m thinking about how everyone else is viewing something and the different perspectives that go into telling one story."
And Sabine has told stories her whole life. Whether that be in the messaging of her full-time job or through her various creative outlets. Even her hair tells stories. When she was younger she wasn’t able to cut her hair. When she finally got old enough to just do it, she started changing up her hair regularly and never stopped. It’s her own easy way to take control of her narrative. She is expressive and has mastered the art of getting the point across in a direct, effective (yet artful) way.
One of her favorite pastimes has always been reading. “I get so wrapped up in stories, she says, “Reading is something that helped me expand my imagination. It was my first look at storytelling and helped me create this whole world and share a story with someone who wasn’t right in front of me.”
TAKING CARE OF HERSELF
Sabine moved out to California about a year ago, putting her on the opposite end of the country from many of her family and friends on the east coast.
“I try to stay in touch via group messages, and me and my sister will FaceTime all the time," she says, "For me, the best way to make sure I’m seeing friends and family is to set my own limits with work. I think especially in the social media and startup life, it can take up all of your time. I had to set up those barriers. I had to put up those blockers and limits to give myself time to recharge and hang with friends, vent, etc.
For Sabine, it’s important to be productive when she’s in grind mode, but it’s also important to be intentional about time with family and friends.
Outside of making time for whom she loves, Sabine has recently started penciling in more time for herself.
“Being in a new environment, my skin started freaking out," she says, "It was affecting my confidence as I’ve never really had skin issues. I decided to set time aside to do a mask.” The results were something effective, easy, fun and quick for her to do while multitasking.
“In conjunction with that, I’ll turn it into a spa day,” says Sabine, “Do my nails, do my hair that day, things that make me feel good and feel relaxed.”
Her proactive approach to work, time with family and friends and self-care is nothing short of admirable. It even affects how she eats.
She meal preps (after wanting to start the practice for a long time), which helps her to eat healthier on a daily basis and save money. She didn’t think she had time, but getting into the swing of things has actually saved her time as a result.
“I’m a huge junk food addict, so finding that balance was important," she says, "I want to live longer, be healthy and enjoy life.”
Sabine’s brand of self-love hits all aspects of life. It touches into body, mind, spirit, everything.
“Being Haitian, immigrants, a black woman, not being taught or shown that self-love all the time … It’s never too late to start loving yourself, but I feel so lucky to be able to build that into my life at such a young age. It’s guided all the changes I’ve made in terms of eating healthier, starting to take care of my skin, lifestyle changes, getting ahead of my finances, talking to a financial advisor — things that will benefit me and make me happy."
“Even makeup, I wore it but didn’t play around with it that much,” she says, “It was a stigma to me that wearing a lot meant you didn’t like the way you looked, but when I put on makeup and have fun with it, it’s just fun. I feel happy and joyful with a glitter line or a matte red lip.
For Sabine, self-care and self-love are not optional.
“Focusing on me and keeping myself happy has made all aspects of my life better."
Sabine isn’t a morning person, but because she realizes she needs that extra push in the AM, she sets multiple alarms to get her moving early and help her still be successful.
She’ll follow her wake-up calls with a botanical kinetics skin care starter set for oily/normal skin from Aveda. A consultant matched her with the system and it helped her skin adjust to the climate change after her move out west.
In terms of beauty, Sabine will change up her day-to-day routine. But every time she puts on makeup, she uses Makeover Essentials Shimmer Brush in Bronze for a highlighted glow that she always gets compliments on.
Then she’ll pack her eos lip balm and sometimes a Lip Whip from Beauty Bakerie in Versailles or S’mores D’oeuvres to touch up throughout the day. She carries E.L.F.’s HD Powder to keep her skin looking matte, even in the L.A. humidity.
“I like to drink water in the morning, and I’ll take a shake every morning for breakfast. I’ll get dressed, pack my bag, grab my shake and head out the door. It’s really quick, once I’m up, I get out."
At night, she winds down by spending some time in front of the TV, catching up on her favorite series and critiquing commercials. She’ll relax with a glass of wine and then assess everything, making sure she’s set for the following day. Whether that be writing a to-do list or scheduling emails, she finds that setting herself up for success makes every morning easier.
“I use the cleanser from my Aveda set, wash off my makeup and the stress and dirt from the day before i go to bed,” she says. “I will write in bed before I go to sleep — sometimes a checklist, sometimes just jotting down thoughts for the day, sometimes poems — just releasing my thoughts and energy from the day so I can go to sleep peacefully.
ON STAYING PRODUCTIVE AT WORK
Sabine stays on top of her tasks during busy days by writing a list. It might seem simple, but it’s also incredibly effective.
"I try to do it the night before, but a lot of times it will be that morning when I’ll write out a list for my day of things I want to accomplish. Every time I get to check something off my list, it’s so satisfying. There’s something about the act of writing that’s cathartic for me, so being able to check off my list keeps me motivated.”
Sometimes she’ll even set little rewards for herself, like if she gets her list done by the end of the day, she’ll go to that party this weekend she was debating or she’ll order food that night, something like that.
She knows what works for getting herself motivated, and she also knows how to successfully lead and communicate with her coworkers to make everyone’s day more efficient.
“Something that I’m very upfront with people about is how direct I am,” she says, “I’m very intentional about it. I’m the youngest child of four, so I had to fight a little to be seen. My parents are immigrants and I come from a Haitian household, so living within that double minority and cultural context was a bit stifling. I didn’t express myself a lot, and even if I did, it was such a fight to do it. That part about myself is something I want people to know because it explains why I’m so direct and upfront now. It might come off selfish, but I’m very serious about taking care of myself and making myself a priority. I’m very direct with my wants and needs and how I’m feeling so that I’m heard and seen — in the workplace and beyond.”