“Phenomenal” doesn’t even begin to do justice to one of Devon Brooks’ earliest and most formative experiences.
How do you top spending Grade 11 sailing to more than 35 countries around the world?
“I actually got off that ship and slept and cried for about a week and a half straight,” said Brooks, founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar, Sphere and Babe Rally. “You don’t recover from an experience like that. All it does is just plant this insatiable curiosity in you to continue to uncover the world and the people in it,” said Brooks.
Brooks has turned that curiosity into a string of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Her first was persuading the owner of Pure Nail Bar to let her set up an eyebrow and makeup stand in her Los Angeles storefront. Brooks kept the clients in the salon’s waiting area happy, and offered the owner a cut.
For Brooks, who hadn’t yet turned 18 at the time, it would be just the first of many successful ventures.
One of her biggest was formed at the London College of Fashion. After two years of brainstorming business ideas with her mother – and co-entrepreneur – Judy Brooks, she developed a business plan for Blo as part of a class assignment. It launched in 2007 as a modern blow-dry hair salon, and the brand has since expanded to more than 95 locations across Canada, the U.S. and the Philippines. (Not surprisingly, she got 98% on the class assignment.)
Brooks’ latest ventures include Babe Rally, a platform she hopes will be a thoughtful, dedicated space for survivors of sexual trauma.
She is also working on a digital platform called Sphere that offers individuals digital coaching and guidance experience. The idea came to the wife and mother of two while lying in bed at night, reading through emails and text messages she knew she wasn’t going to be able to thoroughly answer, despite genuinely wanting to advise and support others.
“My life started to look different,” she said. “I just sort of looked at myself and my computer and my phone and I realized that over the last decade I’d become a coach.”
Where you live now:
Highest level of education:
BA (Hons) in communication at London College of Fashion
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Currently listening to: FKA Twigs
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:
Profession you would most like to try:
Leaving my first company, Blo
Advice you would give the younger you:
If a system needs to be broken, break it
Oh, absolutely everything. I’m just getting started
Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty Under 40 Awards January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info, visit: http://www.biv.com/events/40under40.