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New Venture, New Haircut - two Londoners get a new look to match their exciting new projects
A step, cut and colour in the right direction
Words: Lucy Sofroniou
Photographs: Sam Rockman
Award-winning hair salon Brooks and Brooks, located on Sicilian Avenue, opened their doors to two Londoners to provide them with a new look to match the exciting projects each are about to embark on. Actor, writer and producer Alice Motta is moving to Lisbon to open ‘Alternative Lisbon’ and Dave Cribbs – comedian, broadcaster and podcast genius from Great Big Owl – has written a show that has been picked up by Comedy Central. Read on to find out more about how their new look has put them in good stead for their inspiring new (ad)ventures.
Manager, Alternative London & Lisbon
What is your new exciting venture about?
Alternative London runs street art walking tours and work-shops. We are launching Alternative Lisbon in Portugal this spring. So, I’ll be moving there very soon!
Why did Alternative London decide to launch in Lisbon?
Gary Means, the founder, always wanted to spread out and have other companies in Europe, particularly with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. There is already a base in Hamburg and the next is Lisbon with other cities in the pipeline too.
“I feel fresh, light and beautiful!”
A tip fron Marlon Hawkins, Senior Artistic Team (Alice’s Colourist)
“It starts with your shampoo and conditioner. Not using the right shampoo can strip the colour away. I’m a massive fan of a brand called Pureology. It’s sulphate-free and made with vegan ingredients, so it’s really nice and natural and you’re also getting 100% colour protection.”
What inspired you to follow this path for Alternative Lisbon?
It was the natural thing to do. I had thought of moving to Lisbon previously. My father is Portuguese, so I do have family and friends there. But Lisbon isn’t a city where you can just move to and pull it off like you can in London. It’s harder to get into the market and find a job. When I was offered the role of running Alternative Lisbon, I thought it was great because I really wanted to work and live there.
What advice would you give a reader who is about to make a change?
You need to listen to yourself. When I moved to England it was all about impulse. It was such a big change that if I had stopped to think about it, I wouldn’t have done it. I didn’t know anyone or speak English very well, but it was okay because it was exciting and felt right. What did you want your new hairstyle to say about you? Half of this is about letting go – for me haircuts are really important when there’s a change in my life such as a break-up, a new job or moving to a new country like I’m just about to do. I want my hairstyle to feel light and summery as I’m going to a sunnier country.
“With men’s hair, I’d use a leave-in conditioner, let it dry naturally and shake it out once it’s dry.”
Comedian & Podcaster
“If i had stopped to think, i wouldn’t have done it.”
What’s your new exciting venture about?
The first one is a new podcast company called Great Big Owl which focuses on comedy podcasts. We started messing around with the idea last year. We make a range of comedy podcasts including Rule Of Three which sees comedians talking about their favourite ever bit of comedy, Friends with Friends in which guests come on to discuss their favourite episode of the sitcom Friends, and Brian & Roger which is a brilliant sitcom starring Dan Skinner and Harry Peacock.
What inspired you to follow this path?
Everything I’ve done I’ve fallen into completely accidentally. When I was at university I started doing student radio and working at the BBC in Nottingham. I started in radio and that naturally progressed to podcasts as the broadcasting world changed. I started in sports broadcasting and then got into comedy. That’s where I landed, and I love it.
I still do radio and podcasts for the BBC and then we do our independent ones. I’ve also got my own comedy show called Amusical where comedians come and pick their favourite songs from musicals and perform it their own way. For one show we had Frank Skinner dressed as Annie in a full dress and ginger wig! It’s just been picked up by Comedy Central.
What advice would you give any of our readers who are considering a new venture?
Just do it! Oh god that’s a slogan… The only ideas that work are the ones where you think ‘I’m going to immediately do this’, obviously that’s easier said than done because we’ve all got bills to pay and jobs to do but there are so many ideas and ventures that I never got around to doing. And then the only ideas that work are the ones where I’ve started them straight away. So call the people you know, get started and nudge forward.
What do you want your new hairstyle to say about you?
I want it to say ‘I can afford a really expensive hairstyle’ even though I’m getting it for free! I just want it to say that I know what I’m doing.
We’ve had Brooks and Brooks since 2001, so eighteen years this year.
What got you into hairdressing?
I was doing a law degree in Sydney before I moved here 28 years ago. I did that for six months, deferred and did an apprenticeship in Sydney and then left in 1990 to come to London where I met my business partner Sally. We both trained and worked at Trevor Sorbie for over ten years.
What made you want to start your own business?
We wanted to create our own shop as we had our own ideas. I think Trevor Sorbie is a fantastic company, but essentially it was just time for us to
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
Show-work, education and working on London Fashion Week. I’ve got a lot of international show work too, and we’ve got trips to China, France and Canada, as well as a few in the UK and Dublin over the next six months. But I also like being in the shop, working with the team and developing the brand.
Why do you think a new cut, colour or style changes someone’s confidence and outlook?
Hairstyles can help someone change the way they feel about themselves, it gives them a stride in their step and
increased confidence. If they’re breaking up with a partner or moving house, people like to make a change to their hair. It’s the one thing about yourself you can change and it’ll grow back, so it’s not too committing.