SUNNIE BROOK + HAIRDRESSER
Sunnie Brook and I have been friends since childhood. Like elementary school childhood. Way back to the days of Grover Beach City. Living only a couple houses down on the same street, we use to hang out and run around like wild animals with her brothers all the time. We grew up together and like most creative people living in a small town we sought to see what else was going on in the world. Sunnie Brook took off for England to study hair with some super famous legit people. I started a shooting photos and moved to SLO. A year or so down the road we crossed paths again, and I did one of my first fashion shoots for the salon she opened up in town. Fast forward we both made the move to LA. We were actually neighbors once again. Then we wised up and both moved to the east side after the our leases came up. It's rare that I get a chance to see and hang out with Sunnie Brook; she's bicoastal these days, and incredibly busy.
For the first time in what feels like years, we sat down and took a moment to catch up and talk about what's going on. It's amazing how some people you may loose touch with, in what feels like a lifetime but over a cup of coffee it's like no time has passed at all. This is the part where I tell you about all the cool stuff she's done, the rad places she's traveled to, the awesome talented people she's worked with... you get the idea. But honestly you can check that out on her site, I really just want to focus on how proud and happy I am for her. I mean talk about coming from next to nothing and making not just something, but the top 1% of the best of the best of something. I'm not one to get star struck or ooooh and awww over celebrities, however I do respect the talent, hard work and dedication that goes into being the best and rising to the top. I'm blessed to have a moment to sit down with Sunnie Brook and talk about what that's like, how it happened, what she's learned along the way and where she's headed in the future. If this doesn't make you want to go back to school, intern at that dream job you've always wanted, or just spend your days off honing your craft; I don't know what will. Thanks SB for the chat and photo sess. Enjoy the read.
JOSH: Tell me who you are and what you do? SUNNIE BROOK: Sunnie Brook. I brush hair . . .
What made you decide to do hair? Was there a specific reason or desire that led you to hair? Growing up my Dad would always ask me what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that being creative and helping people made me happy. It was my Mom who suggested beauty school after noticing the long hours I would spend doing my dolls hair or my little sister. I thought my passions would go well as a counselor for young women but after going to beauty school I soon realized that I could be creative and help people.
Who are the majority of your clients? Tell me about that? Most of my clients are celebrities, musicians, photographers and brands.
What are the pros and cons from transitioning from being a salon owner in SLO to being a freelance hair stylist here in LA? As a salon owner I had a responsibility to my clients on a daily basis but also to my staff. It taught me great people skills and how to really listen and learn what people need and desire. A lot of the tools and experience I developed behind the chair I still incorporate into my daily styling sessions with clients since moving to LA.
You’ve worked with some pretty legit professionals, from high end magazines and publications in the fashion world, to celebrities on the red carpet for primers and award shows, to headlining bands and beyond. Talk to me about that. Who have you worked with? I've worked with Chrissy Teigen, Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons, Lisa Kudrow, Hannah Davis, Kellan Lutz to name a few . . . The first time I worked with Alanis Morissette was an epic day. Jagged Little Pill was my favorite album as a teenager.
Craziest moment on set? Every day is an adventure :)
Who are your role models? My role models range from icons in my industry such as Eugene Souleiman, Guido, and Odile Gilbert to strong business women in the beauty industry like Lisa Eldridge, Hilary Kerr, and Jen Atkins.
Palm Springs or New York? Both
What do you do with your time off? Working with my hands always makes me happy so I like to garden, have meals with friends and good conversations. I’m alway reading a new book or researching something I’m curious about. Bike rides, hikes, and traveling to new places are down time pleasures too.
Talk to me about starting out in the industry, trials and lessons learned. The simplest and most helpful thing I have learned is you don’t make mistakes you make discoveries. This has helped me to step out and try new things. To risk. It took the fear out of the unknown in this industry that is constantly changing and evolving.
Dream client? I’ve worked with some of the most creative kind people. From those that saw me for years in the salon to the celebrities I currently work with. But I have Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts on my dream lists . . oh and Cindy Crawford.
If you were to get a pet today, what would you get? Frenchie
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Everything around me. Art Galleries, textures and colors in fabrics. Traveling is a big one for me. It gets me out of my routine and exposed to new things and people. People inspire me too. Every time I work with a client I discover a new way of doing things, wether with their hair or how to understand and support them in their life.
You won the lottery. What would you do? Thank God!!!
What makes you laugh? Puppies and babies and witty humor
Who are your favorite people to follow on Instagram? Currently I’m tired of instagram and having much more fun on snapchat. It feels more real and relational.
Guilty late night fast food? Grilled cheese or pizza . . I make a mean grill cheese.
One do-over what would it be? Not worn such short crazy magenta hair in my early twenties . . . wow those photos!
Are you a morning or a night person? Both. Depends on the time of year. I love waking up to sunshine. But I also love a night out dancing with good friends.
I love your snapchat, what’s your favorite filter(s)? The dog licking one is pretty funny. I also like the one that makes you sound like a chipmunk. Makes me laugh every time.
Coffee or Tea? Cappuccino’s most days . . although I created beauty teas for my online shop that are incredibly good for you.
Worst meal you’ve ever had? Probably one of the experiments I made in my own kitchen hahah
Who are you favorite brands/labels to wear? Zara, Chanel, Reformation, Redun Denim, Alexander Wang
Do you collect anything? Good people:) fashion and art books
Any advice for someone just starting out, or looking to take their career to the next level? Find a good mentor that you can assist. You will learn a ton.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your unbelievably busy schedule to hang out and snap some photos. Cheers.
Check out more of her work, and get to know her here:
all photographs and interview questions by joshua caine