Sherry Ibrahim never really wanted to be an actress. In her words, she said “I never wanted to be in this industry”. But as they say, God is the best of planners. Here she is today, standing strong as an incredibly popular actress, and TV host in Malaysia.
Before life in the spotlight happened, she was living her life high up in the skies, working as a flight attendant. At 18 years old, she became the youngest stewardess for Malaysia Airlines. But years after that, one thing led to another and she found herself on the small screen debuting herself as an actress for a show called Dunia Baru, which was already in its second season.
Since then, her face became a regular on television, gracing TV shows and dramas. She was admired by both male and female fans for her beauty and soft-spoken personality. In the social media realm, Instagram alone has garnered her 1.3 million followers. Trust that a single selfie will earn her thousands of likes from her followers. But she deserves just as many ‘likes’ in person if not more as she is equally beautiful inside out.
But what makes her even more likeable is the fact that she stays grounded in all aspects of her life. Tell her she’s got a pretty face and she’ll likely blush as though it’s the first time she’s hearing it. To sum it all up, she’s incredibly nice and down-to-earth.
But there’s a downside to that as well. Her manager and dear friend who was with us during this interview would often chime in our conversation and shake his head every time Sherry doesn’t give herself enough credit for who she is – beautiful, kind and one who succeeds in her fields of interests.
He goes to explain that because she’s just genuinely nice to everyone around her – sometimes too nice – that people would at times take advantage of it. But unlike Joker, who becomes the ‘bad guy’ after being mistreated by people, Sherry remains her kind self.
THE SIDE HUSTLE
Years from building a name for herself in the entertainment industry, the latest thread in the tapestry of Sherry’s career is the launch of her own salon.
Named Khatulistiwa Hair Spa by Hairkunst and located in a prime neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur, the women-only salon offers various treatments and services for women to pamper themselves . What made her expand her skillset from an actress to a businesswoman?
“I never want to rest on my laurels. I mean, I could just be an actress and a brand ambassador for the various brands I work with but I wanted to build something on my own too. I figured, a salon would be apt.
“But I had a lot to learn. I didn’t know anything about starting a salon. This salon is my ‘baby’. I poured my heart and soul into it, as well as my money. All my savings went into starting this business.
“Because I oversee my own company, I need to know the ins and outs of the industry as well as how the beauty products are being used. I attended classes and learned the functionality of each product, how treatments work, what is good for the hair, what isn’t, and so much more.
“I didn’t want to just own a business for the sake of owning a business. I want to walk the talk,” she said.
Being a celebrity, one would think that star power would boost the business’ success, but it was far from truth for Sherry in the beginning.
The salon opened its doors around March this year, but by the third month, Sherry was on the verge of quitting.
“I wanted to give up because I was losing out on money, and it scared me because I had channeled my savings towards this business.
“Thankfully, I had friends and family members who supported me emotionally and motivated me to persevere. I stayed on and hoped for the best.
“Coincidentally, I was due to attend a Spice Girls concert in London. Because my salon wasn’t doing great, I considered cancelling my trip but my girlfriends urged me to just go and have a good time.
“It was hard because my mind was cluttered with problems that were waiting for me back home. Let’s just say out of the many times I’ve been to London – that was the first time I didn’t shop!” she said.
“Alhamdulillah, things worked out for the better soon after that. Our customer range grew and now, I have trusted staff who I can depend on to help run the business when I’m not there.
“Usually in the early days, I would be servicing the customers as well, which I didn’t have a problem with since I used to work as a flight attendant,” she said.
Most of all, growing her businesses not only taught her about the business world, but about herself. “I learned to be more prudent with money.
“When I designed the salon, I spent so much on interior and furniture for example because I wanted everything to be pretty and pleasing to the eyes. Of course, I learned later that buying an expensive lamp just because it’s pretty is unnecessary!”
But even as a businesswoman, Sherry expresses humility. “I never quite realised how nice my salon is until my clients and celebrity friends came over and complimented me on the job well done.
“You see! This is what I’m talking about – she doesn’t give herself credit” – said her manager.
“I don’t want to ever put myself on a high pedestal and think that I’m the best. I prefer to be that way because if I think I’m ‘all that’, then I won’t go far in life. It’s better to stay grounded than to have my head in the clouds.”
During our interview, Sherry shared with us some of her upcoming plans for the year-end as well as the new year. One of it includes releasing a single.
“Before I became an actress, I actually paved my way in the industry in hopes of becoming a singer. But that didn’t work out so I’m going to give that another shot,” she said.
Another project of hers is to release her own brand of scarves called Sher’s. “It won’t just be any normal scarf, it will be a functional scarf made with material that has a cooling effect,” she said.
With all that success, we’re sure the new year will welcome Sherry with more success, InsyaAllah.
Behind the Face of Salam
- Face of Salam : Sherry Ibrahim
- Project Manager & Co-ordinator : Shah Shamshiri
- Text: Syahirah Mokhtazar
- Editor : Ili Farhana
Photographer: Bustamam Mokhtar, White Studio
- Graphic Designer: Asyraf Tamam
- Art Director : Amy Miyake
Stylist: Amy Miyake
- Make-up Artiste : Saidatulnisa Aminuddin & Sherry Ibrahim (for second look)
- Suit: Wanpa
- Dress: MimpiKita
- Shoes: Sherry Ibrahim’s own
- Accessories & scarf: Stylist’s Own