In our latest collaboration with the iconic U.S. Polo, we chat fatherhood and the business of food with Sherif Artisan and his two beautiful boys...
Serial entrepreneur, globetrotter and father of two, Sherif Artisan seems to be one of those enviable people who have more hours in day than us mere mortals. In the comfort and cool atmosphere provided by Ted’s restaurant – just one of his many successful ventures – we got to hang out with Artisan and his two bouncing boys, Malek and Omar, to get some insight on how he balances home and work-life and how he’s done it all before the age of 40. Other than his family business Artisan Industries, a leading exporter of contemporary Egyptian furniture since 1951, he has also undergone various ventures with Mori Sushi, Tamara, Mince, Fight and Fitness Factory, Connectors Egypt and more. We team up with U.S. Polo Assn. to find out how he does it…
How did having children change your personal and professional life?
Having children helped my professional career by pushing me to excel. They act as my motivational drive because I’m no longer simply working for me. They are the reason I wake up every morning because I have a legacy to leave behind. Now, when it comes to the time I have for myself this is no longer the case...my ‘me time’ is us time. The time I have for myself has been given a different meaning, now it’s the time I spend with my family. But I do manage to find me time when I’m hitting the gym.
If you could go back in time what would you change about your own relationship with your father?
I would listen more often and take his advice and of course spend more time with him. I would go with him to work as well because, the thing is, a father figure isn’t just at home but also on the working level.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from your father?
He always told me you can be master of everything but you need to still continue learning and another phrase he would always say, “Min el sahl tet3alem, bas min el sa3b teb2a m3alem” (it is easy to learn but it is hard to be a teacher.) So he taught me that it is important to continue acquiring knowledge.
How do you keep a balance between work and family life?
It isn’t easy, time management. As time passes by you get better, especially when you get a new member.
Is it more important to play or teach your sons?
I think at an early age you need to play because the teaching comes on its own and in time. Playing with your parents is different than playing with your friends; it’s a different bond. Playing with them alone is a learning process in itself. You expect to learn from your role model rather than play with them.
What traits of yours do you see in your sons?
My older son is obsessed with numbers… anything that has numerals in it, exactly the same way I am! He also looks exactly the same as me; a splitting image. As for my younger son, he is outgoing and never shy or embarrassed.
How important is image in your industry?
As long as you present yourself in a respective manner, that’s what matters most. Image does of course play a factor because first impressions count.
What’s more important for a businessman such as yourself: comfort or style?
That’s a difficult question. They’re equally important. Sometimes it’s hard to find both comfortable and stylish but it’s a balance you need.
Have your sons started choosing their own outfits? What’s their style?
My kids are different. My older son will put on anything, he doesn’t really care. My younger one on the other hand is very picky down to the very last detail.
20 years from now where do you imagine your sons?
I always hope for a better future for my kids, doing better than me.