We’re not sure if you’ve heard of him, but he’s someone who should be on your radar. A quick browse through Unik Ernest’s Instagram, will reveal this Haitian American’s star-studded life, where he rubs shoulders with the likes of Oprah, Rihanna, and Sean “P-Diddy” Combs. But there’s more to this entrepreneur than what you see on his social media. Ernest has turned a job as promoter to a full-fledged career connecting top brands like Nike, Diesel and Valentino to celebrities.
You started your career as a promoter. There are several party promoters in the Haitian community, especially in the “bal” scene. How were you able to grow this into a lucrative career?
To be honest, I started my career as a busboy at Chris Blackwell’s Marlin Hotel in South Beach, Miami. I became a promoter by chance after going out one day after work. I also had the honor to meet several party promoters in the Haitian community. I used those opportunities to learn from them and advise them.
I knew since day one, however, that this was a platform would not last forever, so I made sure to get financial guidance and nurture the contacts I made through my nightlife ventures.
Staying FOCUSED with an exit strategy was paramount. I also made sure to stay sober in an environment that encourages drinking and smoking.
How were you able to distinguish yourself in such a competitive industry like entertainment and hospitality?
Believe it or not, being Haitian was what distinguished me in this competitive industry. We are authentic and we bring a good vibe in all that we do. That sincerity and authenticity is exactly what people are looking for.
Your social media is star studded with posts with big name celebrities like Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, Rihanna, and Oprah. What are your followers not seeing? My followers don’t see my holistic life — the way I eat, my devotion to the gym and my alone time. For example, I like to wake up on the weekends and go to Central Park or spend the day at the spa.
How has your Haitian background impacted your success and work?
My Haitian background has played an impactful role in my success and work. As I mention, we have a European/island swag and this is not something you find in the circles I travel in.