ep75 – Sonya Dove

I’m thrilled to have this person on my podcast this week. She is a Wella Global Top Artist and part of the Ulta Beauty Pro Team. She is a Hairdreams Ambassador, a session stylist, a celebrity stylist, a runway stylist for New York Fashion Week and she worked on such films as The Hunger Games. She was the winner of NAHA’s first Master Hairstylist of the Year, and she received the Leo Passage award for education excellence. She was Haircolorist of the Year two years in a row, and she won the PBA International Icon of the Year. My guest this week is the extraordinary Sonya Dove.

  • This is Sonya’s 40th year with Wella and 43rd year in the hairdressing industry
  • Sonya Dove shares the importance of hard work, determination, and resilience when facing challenges. Learn from your mistakes. Embrace opportunities to grow personally and professionally through experiences like competitions and shows.
  • Sonya still struggles with low self-esteem but she is very passionate about her work. She channels that passion into a willingness to show her vulnerabilities in the hopes that it helps other people in the same struggle.

Complete Transcript

Chris Baran 0:00
How great would it be to get up close and personal with the beauty industry heroes? We love and admire and to ask them how did you learn to do what you do? I’m Chris Baran, a hairstylist and educator for 40 plus years, and I’m inviting all our heroes to chat and share the secrets of their success

Well, welcome to Headcases and I can’t tell you how special this particular podcast is for me because I have not met over an extended period of time spent any real quality time with this person but I really got a chance to meet with her and I have to tell you that give you a little bit of insight she is a Wella global top artist. She’s also a member of the Ulta Pro Beauty Team or the Ulta Beauty Pro Team to give that correct title. She’s also a Hairdreams Ambassador. She is a session stylist, a celebrity stylist, a runway stylist for New York Fashion Week, and she’s worked on films like The Hunger Games. Talk about spending absolutely no time at home. She is a former Intercoiffure Color Council Director for North America. She has been the recipient of the Leo Passage Award for Education Excellence, Intercoiffure Icon Color Award, Wella industry Ambassador Award. She was the first one to win NAHA Master Hairstylist of the Year. She has been the Hair Colorist of the Year, two years in a row. She has been the PBA International Icon of the Year. Wow, there’s a one that really sets you apart. But here’s what I love mostly is most importantly, she’s a down to earth, a beautiful human being inside and out. So let’s get into this week’s head case: Sonya Dove. Sonya Dove, I can’t tell you how excited that I am to have on you. You know, I, I’ve admired you from afar. We’ve said hi to one another. We’ve passed each other in the dark. But I just feel an absolute privilege that I get to have a one on one conversation with you. So welcome to Headcases.

Sonya Dove 2:16
Thank you very much. And actually what’s interesting is, as soon as I saw it was you asking me I was like, oh my god, I got to find out what he’s up to. So it was quite mutual, actually, because we pass each other. Actually it’s normally in kitchens, the back of kitchens in elves and things like that. So thank you for having me. Yeah.

Chris Baran 2:39
Well, you’re joining us from San Miguel in Mexico. Your second home? Yes. I just for everybody watching listening right now. We were changing kind of the I saw that was swinging around with her computer and her home is absolutely stunning. So tell us just a little bit about what prompted the house, the home and Mexico?

Sonya Dove 3:03
Well, actually it was about 11 years ago, living in LA I’ve been inland in LA for about 24 years I’ve lived there. And previously in other parts of the states. We would always go my boyfriend and I would always go to Palm Springs for the weekend or San Diego or San Francisco and he said to me, I know a place in Mexico that I’d really love to go back to I went there to do a photo shoot 37 years ago and it was with supermodels. And he’s a French photographer. He’s back from Paris. And he was shooting Lynyrd Bandula Easter Naomi and Christy Turlington. I know we know who they are. Oh, yes, it was these three models and it was in San Miguel. And he said he would love to go back because he wants to see how it changed my reaction. My reaction was, oh, Mexico, or I’ve been to Cancun and Cozumel. In those big hotels. That’s all you can eat. I’m sorry, Mexico’s Mexico. I don’t really like margaritas or tacos. That was my answer. He said, Scalia. You’ve got to see this place. It’s not your typical Mexico. So we came here on a weekend. Oh my gosh, it’s like Spain and Italy had a baby. No way. It’s Oh, so beautiful is colonial. It’s a historic town. And I thought oh, this is nice. Well, I came back twice a year for about four years and then I thought to myself, This place can only increase in price. So I bought a little small holiday home and that was it. Wow.

Chris Baran 4:53
That’s That’s amazing. And I I just got jealous of it there. But hopefully one day when I actually made make an attempt I have a hard time saying the word vacation. And for the people watching and listening right now, I will tell you I always tell everybody do like have vacations take time off. But you know, unfortunately I’m like you I’m an A type workaholic. And, and somehow I haven’t gotten around to that and I’m just happy that my wife haven’t left me because of it. That’s another another conversation.

Sonya Dove 5:23
I honestly being an A type personality, I get it to the amount of advice I give to people that I don’t do myself.

Chris Baran 5:33
Yeah, no, I’m with you on this. Sonya i I’m gonna bring up something. Yeah. No, I was listening. I was like, I always call it stalking. But it’s called research if you’re doing a podcast. And but I was listening to you and and Patrick Cameron. Cameron. Yeah. Well, I want to get on here one day. You have to put in a good word for me. They, but you you were talking about. And I might be jumping around here because you were talking about when you were going to school. You had a side hustle. And you said you lived on a farm and you and you have worked on a farm? And Devon? Sure.

Sonya Dove 6:21
Yeah. In Devon show in England. Yeah, it was my job. Yeah. What

Chris Baran 6:25
did you do? Well,

Sonya Dove 6:27
let’s take it back to the A type personality. So what happened with so is so this is a long answer to your question.

Chris Baran 6:36
That was a long question.

Sonya Dove 6:39
Yes, it was. But I so I’m the eldest of four siblings. Our parents sent us to the best school in England, so we would grow up proper children. Now, that was a long, long, long time ago. So we all went to school. And unfortunately, we, my parents asked us to do all of the oh, it was called Oh levels English, Max. geography, history, science, the basics. Well, the eldest daughter, me failed at everything completely failed. So I my parents said to me, you’re going to be nothing. You’re going to go nowhere. You know, when your parents tell you tell almost tell you off. But they want to do good. They’re not meaning it maliciously. They’re really not. So they told me that you’re going to work in CVS all your life, blah, blah, blah, no, and my siblings passed with everything. Well, from that point onwards of leaving school, they said, We’re not going to buy a car for you. We’re not going to help you with anything because you failed at school. Well, what does Sonya do? Sonia takes on as many jobs as she can. So during the week, I was apprenticing in the hair salon. And then on Sundays, I would milk cows, because that’s where I lived in England. Devin shows all cows, we have Deb insured clotted cream, and we have fantastic cider called scrumpy. So I would pick apples for the scrumpy and milk cows. So that was my thing, because my parents were not going to pay for a car for me, but they paid them my siblings. And ironically, Chris, guess what’s happened now? I’m 62 years old. Yeah. Now, my siblings look up to me as like, I’m everything because they never did anything with their degrees and everything. Yeah, because it was just pure pressure. And I get on really well with my siblings. But yes, that’s what you heard me say to Patrick. And Patrick knows Devon because he lived in England for many, many years. Yeah.

Chris Baran 9:02
Well, the reason why I brought up that story is because Patrick said that he he had he had milk cows too, but he was milk them with the electric variety. And you had mentioned that you did it the old fashioned way. Yes. And so that’s why I didn’t live on a farm but I was you know, my mom, mom, single mom, she raised me and I would always in the summertime go live with my cousins on the farm. And so I had to learn how to milk cows and so we we already do because and the funny for everybody listening out there there’s wondering what the hell and where the hell is this going? I just remember funny stories that once I learned because it’s a knack to milk the cow. Yeah. But once I learned the where I had the most fun was we had Barn Cats and you used to take and when you can go in the pail and collect milk. You the cats would come around and you would If you would feed the cat by, you know, squirting the milk at the cats and do it all these little kittens that were all just wiped all over their face. So I just thought, anecdotally we share, we share some things as well, we

Sonya Dove 10:11
do these good eight, Chris, it’s good for people to see that how we started, we get asked that question. I know you get asked that question, how you started? Because it was not handed to us on a plate, that’s for sure. There’s nothing wrong if it is handed to you on a plate, it just you have a different base, and a different base of your career personally.

Chris Baran 10:38
Yeah. Yeah. That’s why I take it off to anybody who had to work there took us off, to get where they have have the home they have and like you have, you know, you’ve got your extra home that you have in in in that you worked. Damned hard to get all of that, and you deserve it all. And that’s what I, anybody that’s listening to hear these stories about it. Please understand, the reason why we talk about it is that if I always say it, if Mary Behrens boy, Chris can do it. And I’m sure that Sonya dove can do it. Yeah. So can you, you know, it just said stick to itiveness that you have to have 100% Never

Sonya Dove 11:13
give up, never give in. Or even if you have the worst, worst bad day, just know after having a bad day is only going to be better. And a bad day sort of grows you, you know, I’ve had a lot of bad things. Not in the career wise, I’ve had the most wonderful career. But my personal isn’t the best. But I don’t think we can have everything in life. It’s either one or the other. You know, I know friends of mine that have a great career, great personal life, but they’re not happy with their career. They really know. Yeah,

Chris Baran 11:49
and you know, and I think that’s the, you know, the way that we always talk about in our industry, and especially like yourself, you’re in education, and we always talk about mistakes and how they’re okay, but yet, when you’re making mistake, it just seems like you did a really screw up and you just feel, you know, terrible about it yet. You know, and whether it’s one day, two days, three days down the road, some of all that that emotion that came up and the fear that we had, etc, was never, never quite as, as dramatic as we felt in our brain. So you know, it’s anybody if you make a mistake, just celebrate it, move on, get out there. Yeah. And I’m gonna, I’ll be the first one to go. You know what I tell everybody to do it. But I still have that, that emotion that comes up. But I have to remind myself on that

Sonya Dove 12:36
100%. In fact, it’s so funny with what you just said, is, I just did a show a big show four days ago, and nice big show and everything. And we had it planned to do reels of the models and show them up on the screen. So because we couldn’t have enough time to cover all the models on the stage. So we did all this planning. Lo and behold, when I walked on stage, it was three days ago, that there was a storm, and the Internet was down. So no news could be played. No, it was it was like everything that we planned. Just went out the door. That’s our God, that’s now it just roll with the punches.

Chris Baran 13:30
Yeah, and the funniest thing, you know, and I’m certainly not giving away anything on on how many? Well, I will because I want to talk about it later, you just went through 40 years in the industry. And I want to talk about that after. But we never had that before. So you just had to roll with the punches. And I think that’s the thing that I really got out and I am for all the people that want to get into education. Now. What I love is that they can, there’s hoops that they got to that they might have to go through that we didn’t have to go through because I kind of fell into everything and it kind of landed in my lap. Just because I want to competition. They said hey, you want to get on stage and it was thought I could teach because I want a couple embedded an okay haircut, you know? Yeah. But what do you what did it like? So what did you fall back on? What did you do? That somebody who was relying on that ordinarily might have just went oh my god, I don’t know what to do. What did you do in that situation? I

Sonya Dove 14:28
made a joke a bit based on me. Not a joke on anyone else. I said that. All that idea that I had of doing video so you can see the color working. I said that I would send I would put them on my Facebook or my social media. And later which to be honest, Chris, I’ve got such a backlog of that. And I did say to people it won’t be soon but they will be up there eventually. And I just to own up, let you know you can only do so much. And it go and then I just described every color step by step on the stage. Yeah, you’re just I just made the best I could have it. Well,

Chris Baran 15:12
and that’s all. That’s all they’re asking for, isn’t it? Yeah, yes. You know, yeah.

Sonya Dove 15:16
So it is I,

Chris Baran 15:19
first of all, I just I’m for if I stammer at all, I’m just a little bit in awe right now. Because I’ve always watched your work, and you are so good at what I have. And I mean, this sincerely, is what I love. There’s a lot of people in our industry who I love and I adore. But sometimes there’s a taste level that I go your works amazing, but it’s not my taste. And you know, when I’m it’s subjective, it’s subjective. I get that. But I think that there is across the board. There’s a taste level, like you and Antoinette and Kris Sorbie. And, and Oh, come on, just like that. You all have such amazing taste levels. Wow. You know, so So I think that I first of all, take off my hat to you. And I think that’s why I’ve always been such a big fan. Because all the work that you do, you can just do. I watched you do one little thing where you had this blonde head of hair. And it was just nice little wee hair cut. And it could have been worn down flat. But you just took the front and you kind of judged it out. And you did the same in the back and on the sides. And when that made the hair cut, it made the hair cut, but it all came from your eye. Where did it Where did that come from? How did you develop that?

Sonya Dove 16:41
Wow, first of all, you’re telling me something about myself? That I was not 100% sure about? And for you to put me in the category of Kris Sorbie and Antoinette Beeders oh my gosh, where did I get the I know what, and not 100%? Sure. Maybe it’s personal. I’m trying to figure it out. I tried to figure out the answer. And I’m sort of delving into myself. I do like a particular thing myself. Personally, I don’t like to go second best. Christopher dove who I spent most of my lifetime with being The Doves he had an amazing taste. Amazing taste. So maybe I’ve taken some of that. But I think it’s personal. Like you said about my house earlier. I don’t think anything of my house to be honest. It’s it’s a little it’s a little place in Mexico. But I did everything in here myself. So you’re making maybe I was born with it. I don’t know, Chris, I’m gonna do it. I really don’t know. But I do like a certain thing. I like class. Elegance, the things I’m drawn, drawn to? Like, nice. Feeling Nice. In the touch. Looking nice. I don’t know, I don’t know. It certainly isn’t my parents. I’m gonna own up to that. My poor little parents, they were not very fortunate. They were very, very poor. It’s not Mum and Dad, I don’t know.

Chris Baran 18:34
You know, I kind of wonder because I’m hearing this in you. The beautiful thing that I love about doing this podcast is I get to meet people that I know very Wella and I get to meet people that I know of, and and we get to have these conversations. And the one thing that I find that we all have in common is we’re all afraid that we’re gonna get found out one day, you know, and I get this I mean this in the most light hearted way, whether you call it imposter syndrome, or we’re such a types that we question our work and everybody else says they love it and, and, and yet that we question ourselves, and I wonder if it’s that HUD

Sonya Dove 19:19
maybe it is that because honestly, I have the worst, I have the lowest self esteem on this planet. Like how I can be honest stage and love being on a stage and talking and talking with people. I have no idea with the low self esteem I have. But I’m passionate about what I do. And I love to help others. And I feel if I’m open and vulnerable to the real me. Yeah, it’s gonna help most of the people out there that think they’re not good enough because I struggle with I’m not good enough still now all the time, four days ago. Yeah,

Chris Baran 20:01
you know, you know, here’s something that I had one of my teachers shared with me and said, when you say things like that I’m not good enough. If you just add on the little tag at the end, and you just say until now, then it starts to recycle your brain. Because the, we always say, the brains, the brains, not, it doesn’t know negative or positive. So if you say, you know, like, if I’m not good enough, and your brain hears that, or you say that, I don’t like my work, and then your brain will always say, Well, you don’t like your work, therefore, it’s not any good. But if you can say until now, yes. And then your brain will have a switch. I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist. I don’t know how that is. But I

Sonya Dove 20:47
get what you’re talking about. Because something I’ve always believed in, and I actually do it in my teaching, is I tell people not to sort of come from here to think from here. And I’m a massive person on trying to listen to my gut instinct. I don’t know if that’s the right thing. Or my heart, my gut instinct or my heart. I tried to listen to that, more than my brain, because actually, some news brain only constantly says I’m not good enough. So I like to switch it rather than telling their Hey, you know what, I’m actually not as bad as you’re telling me. So yeah, it’s a bit like that. Yeah,

Chris Baran 21:36
no, and I think I think people can relate. I think everybody relates to that. Because I think part of it’s the way we’ve raised in our society. Yeah. We’ve always been I was listening to an article just the other day where in there, they just said, you know, we’re raised in a society where you have, you’re always striving to be better. Yeah. Rather than if the person would just say and look at if you just work at being ordinary. And you don’t have to worry about all of the stress of trying to be better than somebody else, because then it becomes about you and not about them. Yeah.

Sonya Dove 22:10
And also, who sets the parameters of the goal of being better? The Bible is it? Is it what it like? Who, who sets that no one does. The mission of being better better than what do you? Challenge? Yeah, as you can see, I was a brat at school.

Chris Baran 22:34
Where are you? Oh, tell me more.

Sonya Dove 22:37
I challenge I challenge. Oh, it’s like, yeah, and I was I was at school, I did not. I left with all those failures. Because I hated every moment at school, school for me different into get learning something for what I want to do, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When I was at school, everyone’s learning all the subjects. But knowing what they wanted to do. I had no clue. No clue. Yeah, so I didn’t really jive at school. And I was expelled a few times. How very rebellious actually,

Chris Baran 23:16
what? Well, I want to do I want to find out that just one minute. So don’t I want you to think about what I want to hear what you were rebelling about. Okay. But uh, we another thing we share in common is, I didn’t, you know, I was okay in school, but I was one of the guys that if I got to see that, then my mom was really happy. You know, I did some things well, but most of the things I got to see the mom was really happy. So I didn’t I didn’t like school that much either. Because my the teachers made me feel stupid. Yes. And I think that’s the difference in what we do. And when we educate now, is we’re not about making peel people feel stupid. It’s about helping to grow people.

Sonya Dove 23:58
100% 100% Yeah, because you see, really, when you think about educating, you’re trying to teach a craft, but that part is minimal compared to you’re trying to pay make people sort of enjoy the presentation, come away with something you’re trying to grow their personality from a stage which isn’t easy. That’s why I like hands on. I like looking at like smaller groups where I can get to know the people and have the men just be there for them. So well

Chris Baran 24:36
that’s where that’s where the one on one stuff can happen where you find out what their what each person’s issue is right? What are I you know, with Chris has a problem with doing XYZ with a particular color technique. You can help me analyze that when you’re standing beside me, but you can’t necessarily do it when there’s a stage of, you know, hundreds 502,000 3000 people in the room

Sonya Dove 24:58
100% You’re right. You’re right. And also, it’s it’s a very funny question. Can I ask you what birth sign you are?

Chris Baran 25:08
Um kirpy Capricorn. December 26. Ah, okay.

Sonya Dove 25:12
Oh, I know so Caprica. Yeah. Because you, you’re very grounded. Your Bet You seem very grounded to me. I might have guessed I’m a Taurus. So I’m very two feet on the ground. Very like for me to do something, I have to have the basic knowledge steps First, to do something. That’s why Christopher DuVernay got on very, very Wella a team in the industry. He was a visionary. And I am not a visionary personality. I don’t think I I start with the small steps and I get to the visionary. And Chris needed to be efficiently, but he didn’t know how to start that. So that’s why I asked you because you seem very earthy to me. Yeah,

Chris Baran 26:04
no, I, you know, I thank you. I think everything what I love is I have to know why. And the why is super important for me. If I don’t know the why then I then I then I drift off. But you know, I think you know, like I I always been good at something that was had to do with anything. Art wise, I’m not good artist, I’d like to draw but I can’t draw well, I had I struggled in hair, it took me a long time to become good at it. And I think soons and all the other teachers that I had for the for the cutting part that came along with that. But my my point was, is that everything else that I do that I’ve had to, you know, if you find me grounded in understanding brain understanding heart understanding those things that just from, you know, I pay, I pay coaches to help me, you know, because I don’t, I don’t think you can, you can’t do it on your own. I mean, yeah, you can Google, but nobody can help you personally. One on one, unless you have a coach and I, I pay a lot of money for my coach and I Yeah. And I I love writing that check, because we learn so much, just from having somebody else tell you what you do. And you don’t want to hear

Sonya Dove 27:22
Yep, yeah. Oh, no, I fully agree. fully, fully agree. Yeah. As you have your coach, I have my sort of, let me say my little community, friends, somewhere in the hair business, someone or not that coach me when I’m just struggling. But yeah, I think as humans, we need other humans. We really do. An insula, for sure.

Chris Baran 27:50
Yeah. And listen. We’ve just met formally, what’s it been, like 26 minutes ago. But also understand that I’ve also feel a real close connection to you too. So if you ever need anything from me talk, whatever. Just know that the lines open. Know what stand for is where

Sonya Dove 28:10
it’s very nice. Thank you. Thank you. I

Chris Baran 28:13
appreciate so I want to I want to jump into a little bit more on on on you. I want to know, you’re also a part of the the ultra beauty protein.

Sonya Dove 28:25
Yes. So Oh, sorry. Going? Nowhere. I

Chris Baran 28:28
was just saying I want to know I mean, I am not going to be able to remember everyone but my friends that I love on that team like Sean Godard and Michelle O’Connor, Danielle Keisling. Nick Stenton Stenson and others that are on there. What I mean, it’s first of all, I think when here’s what often when I first saw it, I went, who, you know, we always think of egos in our industry. And when you pick a whole bunch of egos, you put them together. But I know a lot of the people there’s not an ego amongst them. So what’s that, like when you guys get together?

Sonya Dove 29:02
Well, it’s pure math, pure magic. I can tell you that. And it was an extensors idea. And I remember he I was one of the first ones he pitched the idea too. Because with networking for matrix and the house of L’Oreal, he knew the others, but he didn’t know if a Wella person would be interested. So he said about the idea and I thought it was an amazing idea. But I did say to him, I don’t really think it’s possible, because I don’t think manufacturers would let a whole group of people because we’ve got the house of L’Oreal group that you’ve just mentioned. And then we’ve got David from Canberra. I’m from Wella. Actually, that’s pretty much it, Kevin. Well, but I didn’t think the manufacturers would allow it to happen. And they did. And it was a genius idea. For me personally. So, when I approached it to Weller, they were a little bit like, they were interested, but they couldn’t get, like, what I want, why I wanted to do it. The reason I wanted to do it is I’ve been with Wella for 41 years this year. Long, long, long time. I’ve been hairdressing, 45. And I wanted some fresh, nursing my life. And so that’s what I love about it, being around them all doing photoshoots. Shows campaigns, we do lots of things. It’s it’s new energy, because I don’t work every day with them, because we they all work for different manufacturers, and I love them to bits. Especially my sister, Miss Danielle Kiessling. Not real sister so friendships friendship, sister. We’re very, very good friends. And I really love it. It’s a genius idea. And it keeps me enthused by being with a younger team, because I’m the man of the mall. And I love being with young people, young people for me at everything.

Chris Baran 31:17
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Sonya Dove 33:08
And I mean, Nick broke that mold a bit together. So he for me is a visionary, huge visionary. Absolutely to do to do that. Because I remember when I started telling some people they had like you’re working together and then the double double was alter. Yeah, yeah, they say I’m gonna say is is and believe it or not, they, they have salons in all their stores. So all their stores have salons, but it’s the salon at the back. It’s detail at the front and the salon at the back. And they are like they’re doing where they’re trying. They’re trying to figure it out. A lot of hairdressers don’t like Ulta I understand it. I understand. It’s like the sweet business. You know, the Republic, the sola. A lot of salons don’t like the sweets. But the thing is, you’ve just got to embrace it all because it’s, you know, you’ve just got to stick in there because at the end of the day is the same as what you just said we’re all hairdressers. Yeah, that’s it. Yeah.

Chris Baran 34:26
And when you look at what I mean if you look at Yes, you know when you have that a massive talent that you have with the ultra team and you and Sean and all the other teams that are on there, and also doing photo shoots that you can use for PR obviously works for PR but it also works for the artists for the company for you know but your own. You know, there’s something about it i i got involved with competition were like 100 years ago and the You get a bug in it. Yeah. And I don’t know what it is. If it’s the validation, maybe that’s because you and I have this, this imposter syndrome. And when we figure if we can win a bloody award, at least in our own brains if nobody else’s will think that we’re worthy of something. But it No, I want to go back you said that because you really were the instigator. Your award really was either awarded first or you were the impetus that started the master of the master awards for for nah Ha,

Sonya Dove 35:34
yeah, it was the first year they tell them yes. And Christopher and I entered it, not even thinking we would get anywhere. And then we made it to the final. And it was it was the first time I’d been to the NAHAs. And we’ve made it to the final and it was a very grand, very lovely.

Chris Baran 35:57
They had that time just for everybody. They had you had a dinner, everybody. You’d sit at your table with your group and it was I love that grandiose kind of feel they had at the time

Sonya Dove 36:08
he was was an actress because it was very, it was just like going to the Oscars. It was the same as the Oscars. You go down the red carpet, you sit at your table. It was very, very fabulous. And we didn’t think we were going to win. And I was actually I was actually in the ladies restroom. When they said about by award and someone ran in and got me. I had I never thought in a million years. And it was it was really really amazing. The other people’s work was amazing as well. But it competitions and I didn’t realize that you do lots you Your strength is your competition. That’s how you were you started actually I started in competition work. So I don’t really Yeah, not a lot of people know that Christopher and I, we entered all the competitions that could be had in England, and we want a lot it was in a local newspaper. And Wella got in touch with us to see if we would be interested little hairdressers from Devon milking cows remember, if we go to the big city, London to teach a class on competition work. Wow. And that’s how I started my career. So I’m a massive competition person. And sorry, I’m a big talker Chris but it makes me realize that you were saying about having an I think it’s the competition work with find my eye to do get hair looking like so undulated it flowed it had a beginning a middle and an end. And all of that because I’m a competition freak. Yeah,

Chris Baran 38:06
I we were talking this this isn’t rehearsed. But we had actually we had a little conversation before it all started we were talking about this. And I was I’m gonna bring it up again. And for those people watching and listening right now. Yeah, I was saying how I was the first person to win and I this is not a brag thing. But I was very honored by it. But I was like you when we had them in Canada I think they started nah ha first and then or no, I’m sorry. I think they had a Canadian awards first. Then they had na and I was the first person to win the Canadian hairdresser of the year and but let’s I’m going to be real clear on this one. I just thought was a competition and we had always been doing kind of photo work for our salon so we can hang our pictures up on the wall. Yep. And I was I was a wacko when it came to cutting at that time. I just came off all of my system stuff so I can remember on one of the photographs I entered I and none of my collection nothing matched the hair didn’t relate the it wasn’t a collection it the only thing that happened we had one photographer John Hoadley was out of our hometown but I remember had this one girl with a really squared John a really big nose and and like like she did boxing at one time. And but she wanted the wackiest stuff so I did like their hair was blue when nobody was doing blue hair at that time. And and I and by the way I did color at the time but I don’t tell anybody gets my fingernails dirty. But so I did this hair cut where it was like cut straight across the hairline and then down and then steps cut into this ball. And it was it was we thought it was really cool but my work nowadays, it wouldn’t even make the pre they would just go scrub that one it will go to the side but at Think that’s the evolution that you go through. When they first start, you don’t know. And you just do what you do. And

Sonya Dove 40:06
remember, you did win. So there’s something in that, that may do a winner. Though I believe me, I look back on some of the things I’ve done. I’m thinking, what was I thinking? At the right time? It’s that time and place. Yeah, there’s time and place. It’s always a big factor. It really is. Yeah.

Chris Baran 40:34
Yeah. And I want to just jump back in because you were talking about what? But you and Christopher, in your, in your awards and the and the working together, etc. And first of all, I just want to say congratulations, because I think it was what just last in the last year you had your 40th year in the hairdressing industry. Yeah, yes.

Sonya Dove 40:53
40th year with Wella. With with Wella. With Weller, so it was my 40th year with Wella. And then it’s been 43 has 43 years hairdressing in

Chris Baran 41:07
hairdressing. Oh, congratulations. Yeah. And when they did that article, they inside there, that was 40, I think was 40. Questions from Sonya dove on her 40th. Year with Wella. You and

Sonya Dove 41:23

Chris Baran 41:25
I know I love to I just love to know about people in our industry. I think that’s not if you know, the people in the industry, you get to understand who they are, what they’ve done, you grow. Because I think that there’s, you know, there’s things that have been done in the past that I still copy, I still talk about this all the time to people I said, if you want to learn how to do something, take somebody who you love their tastes, copy their work, learn from what you’d learn from the copying, and then make everything your own. Just like a guitarist, you’ve got to learn how to do the song original before you can riff on it. And that’s what I always tell people I learned competition work from copying, you know, Trevor Sorbie, Anthony Mascolo, all my hair heroes. And I would just then I would make changes to it, you know, but I want to jump back because we’re both we both like to talk and I and it’s been an amazing conversation. But I think that where I want to go with this is that that I love how in that article, you talked about that you were talking about heart ache, and you were talking about how one of the biggest heart aches that you had was when Christopher left Wella Oh, and and you knew you and I loved in there how you just opened up about what that meant when somebody left and where you were at? Do you mind talking to that?

Sonya Dove 42:53
Yes, yes. It was when someone asked me that question. What was your big desk biggest heartache? It was definitely that. Because I met Christopher when I was 15. And he was 16. At school. Our brothers were best friends at school. That’s how we met. And then I’d been I was with him for I mean, I don’t, I can’t even remember. He only left Whelan. Like I can’t remember how many years ago, but we were together a good amount of time. A good good amount, a good amount of time. So when he decided to leave, imagine I’ve been with him all this time. He’s the visionary. And I’m the more down to earth person that can make the vision happen. When he left, I literally was like, What am I gonna do? I didn’t even think in my head. There was not a brain cell in my head or heart that thought to stay in the industry. Because if Christopher’s leaving well there, and he’s not doing going to do much to do with hair, which I didn’t know if he was going to do hair or not, I didn’t want to. And then Wella got ahold of me. And they said, You must be mad thinking you’re not going to be in the industry. We will support you in every way. Wow, they and they are honestly Chris. It Oh my god. It was it was such a eye opener for me that the support I had from them to help me build me up because I’m not going to build myself up because I’m not that sort of when I got asked to do my first show. It was a big one. It was the behind the chair. Don’t show that color show that Mary does. And it was she asked me to do it be mainstage as Sonya Dove Of course my answer is no. And she asked again and it’s no no No, then she was smart. She went to Wella. And as Wella tech support me, and well, we’re saying we are. And it was still nose anyway, I did it. I did the show, I put everything into it. But what was interesting the audience, you could not hear a pin drop in the orders, because they were all there. I had no I had to all the people from every manufacturer wondering what she kind of be like without him. Right? I put everything into it. And it went well, it went well. But I heard you got a standing ovation. So it went really well. And it was from that point, you see my as you have a coach, I have my support group, I have some people in Wella that support me see that? Because they can see I can do it better than I can see myself that I can do it.

Give them a shout out who? Oh, just yeah,

just there’s a lady called kalpoe tapped in? Well, she’s Head of Education. She was someone and the CEO at that time, because it was if I was to do it, well, I needed money to do it on a dime. And they supported me with the money. It was the financial support, to say, Sonya, whatever you want, we’ll support you financially. Within reason, obviously,

Chris Baran 46:29
the helicopter, the helicopter was out of the equation, right that they weren’t paying for the helicopter.

Sonya Dove 46:33
They wouldn’t fly me in I was for private jet with models, things like that. But yeah, it was the clothes, it was the music, it was the production that I wanted to do. And I tell you what, it was such a game changer in my life that that show, and it made me stay in the industry, it truly,

Chris Baran 46:57
truly would have been a huge loss of if you wouldn’t have so. And I’m sure you know that now.

Sonya Dove 47:03
I see that now. But I couldn’t see it at the time. I couldn’t see the forest honey. Yeah,

Chris Baran 47:11
well, you know, I think that’s that at that time, you know, when we have those and we talked about earlier, but you have a down moment you didn’t feel right. I think sometimes you have to just have that success. And know you can do it. And that’s what keeps you going and then that’s one thing I really super believe in it. And we we do it in our team, just when we have a very small team that a part of our field group, but also even in the bigger groups that we have. Celebrations are something that’s really really important. So I hope that held that you’ve been celebrating what you’ve been doing and the successes you had because you know that’s what keeps you and for anybody listening the reason why we’re talking about this is if you’re there and you’re doing a great client and you you succeeded on a haircut or or you did a great Bali, or you just you made a great sale or on whatever that might be is, is the more that you celebrate that when your brain will let you take a bigger risk later on down the road. And then you’ll you get you that’s the way you grow you know is you’ll you’re not afraid to do the Bollea you’re not afraid to ask for the sale you’re not afraid to do the hair cut that looks amazing that you you didn’t think she’d want which that’s that’s exactly what she came for. And that’s why I say to you I I so admire you that I hope and my wish for you is that you learn to celebrate when you do something well.

Sonya Dove 48:39
Well at see you just shocked me because I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated anything of them. And you judge it how dreadful is that? I think that is so bad of me. And not from this moment forward. Actually, I’m gonna set start to celebrate some of the past things I’ve done. Pick. It could have been that but nobody

Chris Baran 49:07
really saw what they saw. It is what it is.

Sonya Dove 49:09
It is what it is. But you’re right you need to celebrate because then you’re getting the brain accustomed to celebration that you’re good. Yeah. Thank you for that advice. checks in the mail. Okay, good.

Chris Baran 49:24
Good. Well, I take payments in red wine. You know, over the mail a bottle is better than the glass. And I like to good stuff something over like $4.50 Yeah. Oh, Lord, listen, the I want to just just to talk to now because we just hit on celebrations. What was your proudest moment you think you had in your life?

Sonya Dove 49:53
That was that show. Was that show? It was that show? New Orleans. Be Hi my cheer Sonya, Ivana Rome. I, I was high on that show energy from the audience for at least four or five months and then I got magazines wanting to interview me it became this whole thing. And even though I didn’t celebrate it, everybody celebrated me even though I made it personal. So for me that was such a high, such a high. And then I think another quick one was moving from England to the United States in 1994, permanently sad, but happy at the same time. In what way?

Chris Baran 50:47
What was it what were sad,

Sonya Dove 50:49
leaving my family, leaving my family friends, because it was just Christopher and myself that came over and no one else is in the United States. They’re all both of us have any family there? So that was the sad part. But the career choice and some a couple that really when I think of someone that really helped me along like you have a coach is a couple of goals. Shelton and Linda Ogle and me were the ones that bought Christopher and myself over to the United States.

Chris Baran 51:24
And that the group that are they the ones that had the Ogle schools, yes. Oh, yes.

Sonya Dove 51:30
Yes. So Shelton and Linda are like mine and Christopher’s parents, they are their pure family. They did the green card they bought us over. We lived with them for like months and months. If it wasn’t for Shelton Linda nogle Christopher and Sonya dad tab would not be in the United States. I had so much too old to them begin to cough your members and Christopher lives very near them in Dallas, Texas now. Interesting.

Chris Baran 52:03
Interesting. So listen, the the we’re at that kind of time right now where I kind of rapid fire and, you know, you just given me an idea. I would. I would love one time I’d love to do a podcast and have say, you and candy Shaw and maybe one or other because I know that you guys are best mates. Yeah. Oh. And I love that lady. But it would be really a cool one to do kind of. And guys, maybe if you’re listening and you’re writing in if you’d like to, you know, I know I’d get overpowered. But if I get like say maybe even you and and candy and and we can figure I’m sure we can figure somebody else that will fit in there really well and just have a talk about women in the industry and suffering and the power meant that we could help people with it. That’s amazing.

Sonya Dove 53:02
That’s amazing. Because yeah, I’m just yeah, I’ve got a lot to say about that. But another person Sharon Blaine. Yes, yes. This can be a mais with the three of us about when’s the

Chris Baran 53:16
Trio, Trio Yeah. Love it. Yeah. Okay, so we’re at, we’re at Rapid Fire time, just, you know, first thing that comes to your brain, you know, it’s sort of like I always watch, you know, you can tell the mentality that I have because, you know, I’ll watch game shows. And they’ll say just if you can’t just say pass, but I know that you’re you’re a huge and creativity in the creative process. What turns you on in the creative process?

Sonya Dove 53:48
Oh, gosh, okay. I don’t know. How awful is that? What tends to be on in the creative? Like, maybe just to be efficient? We’re seeing something come to life. Yeah, like start Visual. I’m a visual person. I start to see Yes. Seeing something come to life. Yeah.

Chris Baran 54:11
What an if when you’re stuck in that when you’re in that creative process? Or you’re trying to get into it? What stifles it for you.

Sonya Dove 54:19
Oh, myself. Oh, my own self. I’m my own worst enemy. picking at it. It’s not good enough. Who wants to see that? I’ve done that before someone else has done that before. Right? Yeah, yeah.

Chris Baran 54:38
I was going to ask you, but I know that I can. I’m going to I’m going to ask you this question and I’m going to answer it. Oh, you Oh, yeah. Because the question and you can just tell me if I’ve got it right or wrong. Is the question was event or a show that you love. The first one comes to your mind, but it would it would have been the the one that we just talked about where you you first gig on your own I’m standing ovations, etc. Yeah,

Sonya Dove 55:01
yes. I feel I can remember it here. Here.

Chris Baran 55:04
Yes. Tell me what in life as a whole. What do you love the most about life?

Sonya Dove 55:16
It’s so unpredictable. Maine.

Chris Baran 55:21
Keeps on What do you dislike the books? No, go ahead, get

Sonya Dove 55:24
keeps your new toes unpredictable.

Chris Baran 55:28
And what do you what do you dislike about life as a whole?

Sonya Dove 55:35
I don’t dislike life. It’s a funny. It’s a I can’t. I really don’t even if it’s something bad, like, you know, even COVID got something out of it. Do you mean? So I don’t really dislike life. I dislike some things. But that’s out of my control.

Chris Baran 55:59
Yeah, that’s and I probably should turn that. It should phrase that term better. That did sound a little weird even coming out of my brain. In the industry. What do you love? What do you love most about our industry?

Sonya Dove 56:10
People, people?

Chris Baran 56:14
And what do you dislike about our industry?

Sonya Dove 56:19

Chris Baran 56:21
It’s a damn good place, isn’t it? Is

Sonya Dove 56:23
I’m blessed and grateful for it. Yep. And

Chris Baran 56:28
I’m just gonna jump back to this now knowing of where you are, who you are what you’ve done at the very beginning of our podcast. You mentioned about your parents saying you failed. You’re not going to mount anything. You’re going to be working at whatever. Chemist what what are they? What do they feel like? How do they feel towards you know, what’s it like now? Oh, gosh, it must be super proud. Oh, super,

Sonya Dove 56:54
super proud. So they’re both not alive. But what happened? What happened is they actually said to me separately, mum and dad, that you know what? You did? Well, you did. Well, was acknowledged, acknowledged yet?

Chris Baran 57:14
Yeah. And I’m glad that I’m glad they had that time to say that to you. A living person that you admire the most

Sonya Dove 57:26

Chris Baran 57:28
why? She sets? I mean, we can see it. But what was

Sonya Dove 57:35
it was having distri or not, but no such of Apple. And she just, she stuck to her thing. And she’s 65 Doing this tour of the night. And she’s just kills it. It’s the stage production, the everything. Change. And also she’s like a chameleon. I love the fact that she changed. And I love doing that myself. Just changing. Yeah.

Chris Baran 58:03
And I loved how she they were just talking about in the news the other day how she did a show in Rio de Janeiro for free. And there was a million people there. Yeah, I went oh my god. That’s yeah, I still a person that you wish you could be more than one a person or persons that you wish you could meet. living or dead. Oh,

Sonya Dove 58:23
Princess Diana 100%. Mother Teresa. Net. And oh, I know this person. And I know him fairly well. But I would love to meet him. Now again, is Trevor Sorbie. I’m so be free. And he did so much. Because defend myself. And

Chris Baran 58:48
all of us. I mean, I’m not sure. Yeah, it might have been personal but I mean, this is you know, he’s one of the people that is looked up to and I always give great kudos because I am where I am because of him and how he inspired all of us. Something that people don’t know about you.

Sonya Dove 59:06
I’m a burner, which means I go to burning every year. I have trophies before I was a hairdresser. Because I was a champion of backstroke swimming in England in the WoW in the south of England. And I can I can dance anyone under the table. Wow, I have a fist bump. I am a house music person. And he’s so beloved challenge me to dance off in how you dance.

Chris Baran 59:44
Just that time I go forever. That’s a month off. Where would you go? What would you do?

Sonya Dove 59:51
Oh gosh. Well stay at home and do nothing. Just

Chris Baran 59:58
reach home. Which one, the one that where you’re at now,

Sonya Dove 1:00:02
Mexico. My challenge is time. So a month of sounds wonderful to just just be

Chris Baran 1:00:12
with you. What’s your greatest fear?

Sonya Dove 1:00:17
skydiving. I don’t like heights to mean

Chris Baran 1:00:21
either. Yeah. Yep. Favorite curse word

Sonya Dove 1:00:28
fu CK.

Chris Baran 1:00:29
There you go. And that’s it always sounds so elegant when you just spell it out. To da da your favorite. Your favorite comfort food.

Sonya Dove 1:00:41
Oh, steak. I love steak.

Chris Baran 1:00:43
Oh, I love we can be friends.

Sonya Dove 1:00:46
I’m a big meat eater. Huge meeting. steak medium rare.

Chris Baran 1:00:50
How do you have your steak? Rare? I’m going to cook you a steak one time. One time, because we that’s one of my specialties. Oh, so that’s that. We’ll make that happen one day. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sonya Dove 1:01:07
Low self esteem. I’d like to not be so hard on myself. I’d like to understand the time. I’m not bad. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:01:17
Do you think you could start it now? Yes, actually.

Sonya Dove 1:01:20
I’m going to celebrate after we finished some of the career things I’ve done because I’ve never ever celebrated them. Okay, come

Chris Baran 1:01:29
on. Pick one. Pick one. Pick one. Pick one. We’re going to celebrate it right now.

Sonya Dove 1:01:33
I celebrate being with Weller still being their creative director.

Chris Baran 1:01:40
Good. Right hand up an air big Yes. On three. Here we go. 123. Yes, yes.

Sonya Dove 1:01:45
Yes. Um, if I may say, Chris, I don’t know. But it’s a full moon. It’s a new moon today. And so it’s very important to do celebrations. So thank you for that. There we go.

Chris Baran 1:01:58
Okay, good. The What’s your most I’m wondering if it’s behind you on the couch, but your most treasured possession?

Sonya Dove 1:02:07
Yeah, yes. It’s Bella. Bella.

Chris Baran 1:02:10
Love it. Yeah, for those of you just if you’re listening and not watching, what Bella’s dog,

Sonya Dove 1:02:17
dog, and she’s half Pomeranian, half Chihuahua. And she is the most fantastic temperament you’ve ever had. This dog is insane.

Chris Baran 1:02:30
Well, it’s so amazing to have a chihuahua and she’d been out there the whole time hasn’t barked once.

Sonya Dove 1:02:34
She never barks. Chris, she really likes she she only barks if the doorbell goes. But

Chris Baran 1:02:43
she’s okay. Here’s another one coming out yet something in the industry you haven’t done yet. I don’t know if that’s possible. But you want to

Sonya Dove 1:02:54
I haven’t done a lot of editorial photos. No editorial filters shooting for like Vogue, like the big editorial campaigns. I’ve done the I’ve done the movies. I’ve done different things but editorial. And I’ve done one way hair with Eugene Solomon, but not editorial photo shoot campaign.

Chris Baran 1:03:24
Yes, that’s a wild one. Here’s wild one. Tomorrow, you couldn’t do hair? What would you do?

Sonya Dove 1:03:33
Oh, I would do something to do with mentoring people. I would have to do something with people. So I would still keep it up. Do you know what I know what I would do? Go back to what I originally wanted to do at school. I would be at Go and study to be a nutritionist.

Chris Baran 1:03:56
Oh wild. As long as they tell you not to take steak out of your diet

Sonya Dove 1:04:01
that Oh, I remember is a dietitian eats everything. a nutritionist eats Yeah, yeah.

Chris Baran 1:04:09
There you go. And I’m gonna leave you with before I give you one thing that I want to ask you here but before I do, if people want to get a hold of you book you do something where you go in to do one of your seminars with them. How would they do that? How would they get a hold of you? How would they get you to come in?

Sonya Dove 1:04:31
Okay. Like you can DM me on Instagram. I look at Instagram a lot more on Instagram than the Facebook the Sonya Duff is my instagram or they can get ahold of me I can give you my phone number.

Chris Baran 1:04:47
Well I think let’s get them deep. I don’t want to give the world out your phone number. Let’s let’s let’s give let’s just say just DM you and that you also have on your Sonya dove website. They could get a hold of you there right Oh

Sonya Dove 1:05:00
my gosh, yes, you can get hold of me to my website. My brother took my website because I didn’t have one. And I never think to say about my website. I’m sorry. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:05:11
And guys, if you haven’t been to our website, you should go on it. It’s beautiful. Thanks. So here’s the last question. If you had one wish for industry, what would it be?

Sonya Dove 1:05:23
The people for our industry, okay, no, that’s, well, this is the first thing that came to my mind. For people to understand this industry is the best, best industry in the world. But that’s not for people that are already in it. But if you are already in it, just know, you pick the best career, the right industry, it does not get any better in every facet. In every way.

Chris Baran 1:05:53
I love it. I feel like I’m going to be one of your I’ve already a fan, but I’m going to be one of your new best friends, whether you like it or not. But I I just want to say, Sonya, it has been just an absolutely true honor and pleasure having to spend an hour of time with you. And I just want to thank you for giving that up of your life so that the people watching listening can learn from you.

Sonya Dove 1:06:20
Thank you. Thank you seriously, it’s more my pleasure than your all’s service. Yeah,

Chris Baran 1:06:27
you’re too kind. So listen, first of all, for all those people that if you’re listening and watching right now, I just want to say if you liked what you heard, and because I know that I love this one with Sonya, but if you and if you want more, we would just ask, just show us some love. If you you know want to give us a go to the reviews and give us a five star on there. It would be great on whichever show platform that you’ve been watching this on. And I’m Chris Barron. And it’s been a pleasure having you all on head cases.

Sonya Dove 1:06:56
Thank you

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