If you haven’t kept up with what’s going on over here at The Cowe then you’re missing out! We’re so excited to welcome Devon Brooks for a raw Q&A with Halla and I for our first Coco Con: Startup event on Tuesday June 26th at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
Devon is the co-founder of Blo, the world’s first and largest franchise chain of blow dry bars. In 2012, PROFIT Magazine named Devon one of the top 30 entrepreneurs in Canada and in 2017, she was named one of Business in Vancouver‘s Top 40 Under 40. Devon is currently the CEO and co-founder of Sphere, a world-class wellbeing tool that will completely transform the landscape of personal growth. Read on to learn more about how Devon has built a reputation for herself by continuing to challenge the status quo.
It would be appropriate to start with asking; how did you startup?
I had a gut feeling that I had to follow. And I had the gumption, community and support to take that path.
What was it that originally inspired you to start Blo?
My mom and I really were looking for an unmet need. We had tons of ideas over the years about what to start together but didn’t pull the trigger on anything. Until a conversation between my mom and I on the phone one day, while I was living in London going to uni. We realized that there was no concept servicing fast, affordable, catwalk quality hair styling outcomes like the way there was for nails. We saw an opportunity to take blow drys, a service that had been underserved, undersold and under leveraged, and inspire a new way women would think about and experience it.
How did you make the transition from leaving Blo to launching your own platform, Sphere? Tell us a little bit about the platform.
There were a few years in between departing Blo and starting Sphere (I have like 10 thick grey hairs now). I fell in love with my partner, Shea, became a registered yoga teacher, dove into myself, we had babies, we had ten addresses. And because we were moving around for his CFL career, I kicked off a totally digital advisory and coaching practice. It was the most organic next step for me after my experiences leading and developing teams. I ended up pretty much exclusively generating my part of our household income from it. Sphere is the one-click-wonder for accessing and delivering guidance. We make it easier for Seekers (clients) to grow as people and for Guides (coaches) to grow their practice. Sphere is the app that will actually support change in your life. Because we are connecting you with real humans: the Guides who are right for exactly who you are, where you are, and what you are seeking to explore. Sphere is out to transform the personal development landscape. Growth is for everyone.
What pushed you to take the leap and launch Sphere?
It was my dream tool!!!!! I remember sitting in my bed one cold December night thinking about growing my coaching practice digitally. Because, I believe this is the future of work and it is the way people are connecting today. But everything available to me was subpar. I was going to have to become an SEO (search engine optimization), CRM (customer relationship management) queen, and spend time and money and resources on business development, maintenance and management. UGH – not me in my magic. I just wanted to do the good work and get paid – with ease. I wanted my clients to benefit from smart technology to enhance the experience of each session and deepen their ongoing self-inquiry. I wanted to do for clients and coaches, something like what Airbnb did for guests and hosts.
What is the impact you want Sphere to have on your audience?
We are on a mission to scale the impact of Guidance around the globe. I want growth experiences to feel more accessible, more convenient, and more personalized for more people. Because at Sphere we believe that a deeply curious world is a conscious world.
What advice would you give someone looking to launch their own business?
Don’t wait until your idea is perfect to start actualizing it. Don’t keep it to yourself. Test it. Talk it out, figure out what resonates, canvas your target audience and see what they think of it. Respond and iterate from there. You are not supposed to have all the answers. Seek out high-impact conversations that challenge you. Get unbiased insight.
What are you most looking forward to at Coco Con?
The energy. There are few things I dig harder than a bunch of people in a room together thinking about how to grow.