Papatia Feauxzar is my pen name as I would like to stay modest and keep myself anonymous. I have a science background (Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Accounting) but I love writing. It has always been a secret passion of mine. I am a woman and a work-in-progress individual. To knowledge insha’Allah! :).
Jazak’Allah Khair for reading,
Author, Barista, Blogger, Publisher, Sufi
Author of Fofky’s Kitchen : Easy Ivorian Recipes for Traditional and Street Foods.This cookbook is the first Ivorian Cookbook in English.
Quotes by Moi
“Most stories that are easy to write are those already inside us; our daily lives, our challenges, etc.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“Supernatural events (good and evil) occur to those who believe; religious or not.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“Nobody invents or creates anything. He chooses who to give the idea to. We get inspired instead.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“We are slaves and servants to Him. Those who were bonded knew who their true Master was.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“The best job for me is writing. I get to be anyone I want to be via my characters. How cool is that?!” —Papatia Feauxzar
“If Allah didn’t test us and gave us jannah al-firdaus easily, those denied jannah would cry ‘favoritism’. So let’s own up to our trials with a head high insha’Allah.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Saying, ‘We need to improve the race’ is blasphemy. Allah made the creation in perfection.”—Papatia Feauxzar
“The way I see it, some of us are friends to the Creator. Some of us are beloved of Him that his friends don’t particularly fancy while He can be our beloved but we (the friends don’t fancy one another). And life goes on. You do you and I do me.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“Remember this : People can ignore you all they want and don’t pay attention to it because you only need to impress HIM. Besides, at one point you will become too big for them to ignore you any longer. Plus you get less nazar-evil eye.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“One becomes successful when the success of others doesn’t bother you.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Every writer is a name thief.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“I’m a tiny girl with big dreams I intend to bring to life insha’Allah. DREAM BIG TOO!”— Papatia Feauxzar
“When people make dua for you, you cannot stay behind walaye!” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Genuine good deeds win people over.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“When people stop speaking to me for no apparent reason I can think of, I like to brush it off thinking ‘Oh, I must be shining too bright for them’ or ‘I put them to shame’. Conceited huh? Haha! I know. I’m not perfect. It keeps the whispers at bay trust me.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“I’m a unicorn; a horse with a pointy golden crown. Alhamdullilah. I might look nice and enchanting. But screw with me and I’ll bite your head off!”— Papatia Feauxzar
“Stop competing. Look at a bookshelf or a library. Its beauty comes from its diverse repertoire. You don’t only see books written all by the same author.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“When opportunity knocks at the door, answer the door. Always be ready to execute the answers to your duas. You might call that impatience, I call that seizing the moment. You have to have an eye for opportunities that will never present themselves again.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“Faith is your best weapon!” — Papatia Feauxzar
“All I’m doing is trying to follow the footsteps of our predecessors like Khadijah Al Kubra, Fatima Al-Fihri Al Quraysh, Nusaybah bint Ka’ab and Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with all of them) in the way they supported the ummah with their sweat and wealth. I love doing Allah’s work and bidding in dunya alhamdullilah. I also love giving back to the ummah. May Allah purify my intentions, ameen.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“Cheating is not good. I rather fail in the eyes of His creations instead of His.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Petty people stay petit(small) . Don’t mind them and don’t look back. Keep going!”— Papatia Feauxzar
“I remain a mystery because I have many hats and hearts ;). Wouldn’t you say it’s hard to truly know anyone?”— Papatia Feauxzar
“All the mistakes I’ve made in my life taught me something. So therefore don’t be affraid to make them or of people seeing them. They make you grow. They make you better. They make you perfectly human.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“My ancestors were off-line traders. That path lead them to Islam. I’m an on-line trader and I still discover Islam in these outlets. Trading is in my blood alhamdullilah.” Papatia Feauxzar
“My greatest peeves are when people don’t return my salams or think they are more busy than me and others. Simply put, they don’t respect my time and effort.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“I’m not an artist. I’m a hoartist*. Yes, I came up with that. So what the heck is that? I’m a person in between an artist and a hoarder.” —Papatia Feauxzar
*Austin Kleon says, “The artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively. They only collect things they really love.” There are things I don’t love but I collect anyways because my gut feeling tells me I will need them at one point or another and I usually trust that feeling. Why? Because the meaning of these things reveal itself later, and I see why I collected them in the first place. That is why I call myself a ‘hoartist’. —Papatia Feauxzar
“Business is like a marriage, the founder of the first corporate company I work with said once. It’s true. They will be good days with employees and they will be bad days. You just go with the flow.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Sophisticated people drink coffee and tea. But they drink more tea ;).” Papatia Feauxzar
“If I can talk to Allah without stop, why should I be afraid to talk to ‘high profile public figures’?” —Papatia Feauxzar
“When inspiration hits, run with it!” —Papatia Feauxzar
“To be successful, you have to be ready to be in the service of others. Their success lead to your success.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Do not grieve over people’s words. Instead, let them witness your greatness.” —Papatia Feauxzar
“Allah gave us all have privileges. For instance, white privilege, men privilege, financial privilege, creative privilege just to name a few. It’s what you do with those privileges that defines you.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“Many uneducated Muslim women make it life a hell for other open-minded Muslim women out there. Men are at fault too because they create and support the environment that thrives on uneducating women while they live life freely. When people say it’s a men’s world. I often agree. Men and women experience dunya differently with no boundaries on them or expectations of them. Smdh!”— Papatia Feauxzar
“i (lower case intentional) was destined for GREATNESS insha’Allah. i’m leaving a legacy and my legacies will go GREATER heights than I did bi’ithnillah!”— Papatia Feauxzar
“I’m a visionary. I’m a dreamer. I’m many things alhamdullilah.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“Not everything displayed in a store is meant to be sold. Some items are often there to make a subtle statement ;).” — Papatia Feauxzar
“Likes and shares don’t translate in sales. That said, don’t get it twisted. People will often like your posts not because they agree with you. They often like the person you’re featuring or respect what you have to say while still disagreeing with you.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“We were created out of chemical particles. This is how scientific Islam is. Therefore, pure souls are literally allergic to artificial chemicals whether ingested or applied on the body. The pure body will naturally reject such abominations. Think about it.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“You can’t be a community servant and also lead a lofty and luxurious life. You have to pick one, invest there and be content with it. Your perfect life is awaiting you in Jannah al-Firdous insha’Allah.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“If you want to be protected from a scandal, don’t try to portray a perfect lifestyle. People will get what they see with you already if you embrace your strengths and flaws. Don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes for people to see. Own it! We’re humans and meant to err.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“I know a big and real game when I see it. I also know a fake one. I always see the bigger picture alhamdullilah. I am ‘IT’; the big game and I keep a low profile masha’Allah alhamdullilah.”— Papatia Feauxar al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Normal people can’t do extraordinary things. You got to be weird, crazy, and extremely manic to do so. I’m all of those with a kind heart alhamdullilah.” Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Taboo subjects like ‘djinn, sex, ect.’ contribute to the mis-education of the Muslim.”— Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“If you pray to Allah so that Shaytan doesn’t get between you and your spouse and he still does. Be sure to know that he will get between you and your friends regardless.”— Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Don’t mistake my smiling face for dumbness. I know EXACTLY what I’m doing.”— Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Do your small thing and do it well. The big wig will come find you insha’Allah.”— Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Your private support needs to match your public support. Note to myself first.”— Papatia Feauxzar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“I can pass the smell of good smelling coffee.”— Papatia Feauxzar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Time and time again, I see the same trend in my life. People trying to hijack my career and livelihood. What I think it? Shaytan is always busy and he lives around. He never cease to visit people to use them to throw wrenches in the works. C’est la vie!”— Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“Many people are writers. Only a few are true storytellers.”— Papatia Feauxar Abdul al-Mutakkabir wa al-Haseeb
“What you seek is already in front of you. Quit looking somewhere else or searching far. It’s staring back at you. Just look closely.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“The soul knows. When someone gives you pause, it’s either because the soul knows what you don’t see about that person; whether it be greatness or great evil. The soul simply knows.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“Every successful person in dunya is a worshiper of something. I worship Allah because He is My Creator. He has promise success to those who listen and act better. He is the source of EVERYTHING alhamdullilah. Other worship the devil, things, people, etc. May Allah always guides us, aameen.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“When you have many names or screen names, you get to see the many faces and shades of people because they don’t know they are talking to the same person.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“To mess with algorithms, haqq up (true-up) the platform. #accountingnerd”— Papatia Feauxzar
“Many doors you will knock at won’t open for one reason; there are too small. Allah intends you to go knock at the biggest door made just for YOU. Keep looking it’s out there.”— Fofky
“Don’t bite at the bait set by repeating narcissists, rude people, manipulators, and ingrates. Simply put, be noone’s fool.”— Fofky
“When a djeli dies, a nation’s history gets erased to some extent.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“The key to financial freedom is not covet what’s not yours or written for you. Publishers don’t owe you a thing. Your Writer Colleagues don’t you a thing. Readers don’t owe you a thing. Customers don’t owe you a thing. Vendors don’t owe you a thing. NOBODY owes you a thing. Depend and rely only on ar-Razzaq, and He will decide what’s your rizq.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“The expertise in Blackness doesn’t belong to one category of Blacks around the world. We (Black people everywhere) all hold a piece of truth and as whole we have the final piece and full puzzle up.” — Papatia Feauxzar
“There are several types of people on social media; those who hate you and find you insufferable, those who are are neutral about you, and those who love you anyway and either way. The first type, block them and unfriend them quickly because their evil eye will make your affairs stall. The second group, mute them if you can. They usually act like they don’t see your posts. You don’t need their likes or shares, they just need to see that you have an-Nasir in your corner at all times. The truth is you actually inspire them at times but they can be entitled so they will sometime actively boycott you because they want to make a point; feature them and they can’t touch your post because they can’t explain how they only saw a post where you’re featuring them and didn’t see a post when you weren’t featuring them. The last group; cherish them and stay loyal to them. Above all, make dua for all these groups of people. May Allah always purify yours and their intentions. Aameen.”— Papatia Feauxzar
“We were created to worship Him only not scholars and teachers; though learning is recommended. Please respect the student’s private time. Don’t assume people are at your disposition and don’t have a life outside of school. Teachers who disregard my personal time have been my greatest pet peeves in both secular and Islamic schools.” — Papatia Feauxzar
More on me…
Interviewer: What gave you the idea to start your business?
PF: I want to say that I’m a merchant by birth. Any woman in my tribe is considered a salesperson and there is a word that signifies that title; Dioula Mousso. It literally means a woman from the tribe of the Dioula. The Dioula are a subcast of the Mandinka who are known to be Muslim and West African merchants. But when someone calls you that in a conversation or even refers to you that way, it means, you’re a business woman.
Since, I earned the rights by birth, it was natural that I start my own business from home alhamdullilah. That said, the minute I became pregnant I knew that staying home with my son would be a possibility. So I thought, “Why not go back to the roots? I’m a merchant after all. I can do this and stay independent insha’Allah.” There is a saying in my native language that says that every Dioula Mousso, meaning also Mandinka woman can turn a penny in more money. And it has a lot of wisdom behind it masha’Allah alhamdullilah. I truly believe these words.
How did you deal with people who told you it can’t be done, or you wouldn’t make it?
I answered like my character Hanifa would; they don’t know greatness when they see it, *laughs!* I can be conceded but I try to keep it in check. The smile on my face is often mistaken for idiocrasy and make no mistake, I know exactly what I’m doing. It’s actually good for people to underestimate you so you can test your real limits. Then, you can prove them wrong. I like to prove people wrong and I do it with a lot of patience for someone who is not naturally patient *smiles*.
I have noticed that people like to project their own limits on others. We are the same human beings but we all have different capabilities. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has favored us in different ways. I even have to remind myself of that when I am inclined to tell others they can’t do something. I always tell myself I can make the change I want to see. I’m not too small to make a difference. Why can they?
How did you begin? What did you need to research? How were you funded?
It all started at my first accounting job. My former coworker is married to a writer who helps other writers get published. I made contact and he helped me. I did a lot of research on the internet too so that I didn’t have to ask him all the times. I was a bit conscious of the mahram rules.
When I was young, I wanted to go into business. Then, my uncle who raised me married a Doctor. Then, being a Doctor or a Pharmacist became possibilities. But I went back to Business and specifically Accounting because it required less time to accomplish the degree and required less money to invest; I received scholarships. To fund my businesses, my accounting job helped a lot, my savings and a small business personal loan helped. I’m grateful to the rizq Allah bestowed upon me.
What advice can you give to someone who would like to begin a business but doesn’t know how to gain funding?
I think they should seek funding from the ummah first, then the bank. I have a personal finance degree so that’s helpful in making decisions.
What are your tips on how entrepreneurs can best manage their money?
No business is immune to road bumps. If you’re in the business and accounting field, you will come across tons of companies that are successful but still having issues to manage their funds better. So, when it happens to you, know that you are not alone and that you need to persevere. Have an accountant or at least be a good book keeper of your accounts. Invest where necessary.
What skills that you already possess helped you? What skills have you gained from your business (both specific to your business as well as more general)?
I handled concession inventory. I handled pharmacy inventory. I’m a good bargainer, see haggler *wink* alhamdullilah. I have watched the women in my family do it for years! I also have an accounting, business, finance, tax, and marketing background. You can’t graduate from business school without having to dabble in these areas. I faced a lot of real life situations in those class projects that set the basis for my own business. I was already a frugal person but the business made me even more frugal. I hope that’s a good thing. Allah will not bless me with more if I’m wasteful, that’s my take.
Have you ever been in a situation where some aspect of business required you to go against your own ethics? How did you react? What would you advise someone in such a situation?
Yes, all the time. But I remind myself that I’m a Muslim business person and that I should act with integrity. But there are times when it’s a grey area. For instance, as a small press publisher I’m the director, the producer, and the actor of the show when I have to put an author in the spotlight. Is it hard to do all these without thinking that perhaps I’m a little too bias or playing the audience a bit? Yes. But, if I’m not their number one cheerleader, who will be?
But if there is a critical decision to be made, I make dua or istikhara and let the answer come to me. I pay close attention to the smallest details in my personal life and that usually is a good guidance key. Allah manifests Himself in so many ways and we have to really open our eyes to see it.
What is your formula for setting boundaries so that you maintain your personal life apart from your work?
I force myself to stop working and relax with them. I force myself to seize family time opportunities. If it’s the weekend, the only time that the whole family can spend some beneficial time together and that I have a pile of work and that it’s beautiful outside, I forget all of it and enjoy the moment. I think to myself, “The next sunny and beautiful weekend is not going to show on Monday morning when we are all busy again. Let me take advantage of this lovely time now to connect with my family now. I will recharge and perform better as a result.”
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is to know what and how to prioritize business events and not let people play me. I don’t fall for mind games or the cold shoulder. Everybody needs to wait his or her turn to the spotlight. There is only one of me and too many people to attend to. Allah does it with ease and I’m human. I don’t have the same capabilities. I’m His creation.
Tell us about a time where something you tried failed. How did you emerge from that failure?
I’m constantly trying and failing at things. I see it as a test. Of course, many people don’t see the failures. They see the success that is the iceberg. They have no idea of what’s happening behind the curtains and closed doors. Another reason, you can’t envy people. You don’t know what their real struggle is. To emerge out of my failures, I always make duas and recite the names of Allah that will help and inspire me to find the solution I’m currently facing. And usually, it hits me and I run with the idea to solve my issue walaye.
What has been your biggest reward?
My biggest reward is my lovely son masha’Allah. He is my greatest accomplishment alhmadullilah. Me a mother, I can’t believe it subhanallah.
What is your definition of success and have you achieved it? How do you recommend entrepreneurs gauge their own success?
For some people, success is just being known while others it’s monetarily. For many writers that I know, it’s to leave a legacy or to do sadaqah juwayriyah as writing is maroof, a good deed. Many are just happy as just being published since it’s an accomplishment and success on its own. Every entrepreneur should gauge success with their personal definition of the word ‘success’.
Where do you see your business in the future?
I want my businesses to be centralized and containable as a control freak *laughs*. I have no intention to contribute to the corporate greed. I want my business to be a good size and manageable insha’Allah.
What is your number one piece of advice to emerging entrepreneurs?
Go with your gut feeling. It’s usually the voice Allah has brought you to dunya with that you need to listen to. You know yourself better and the outsider. Also try to always find competitive prices. There is a saying in Dioula, “If you haven’t shopped in two markets, you can’t know the price of an item.” Remember that. They can also check my finance tips on my blog and an article published in Issue 13 of Hayati Magazine here. Just be aware that my voice might have upgraded since then *laughs* but insha’Allah you will find that the tips are timeless *wink*. Finally, have successful habits. It takes a lot time, commitment, effort, and a lot of self-determination to shine brightly. Nothing is handed out. You have to truly work for what you want. Overnight success is a myth!
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Copyright © Papatia Feauxzar 2011-2019
P.S. Unless, the pictures listed on my blog are my book covers or avatar, I don’t claim the pictures I used in my posts as my own property. The copyright mark is for the words I am sharing with you and what I truly own . Thank you for your understanding.