Brands spend a lot of time, money, and thought into putting on a live performance and presentation. They have an idea and expectation of what the audience will witness and take away and work diligently on ensuring their end goal is achieved. But what happens when they leave all the power in the hands of one person?
That’s what Wella did when they gave Sonya Dove pure creative freedom to bring a 45-minute presentation to the Intercoiffure Fall Atelier Gala. We learned a lot about that in Sonya’s Embracing My Creative Freedom blog post, but we wanted to get an audience perspective on it all.
Lucky for us, Sonya invited us to take a peek at her backstage process and Wella invited us to sit at their gala table to witness it as an attendee. Contributing Editor Erin Hundley was on hand to take it all in and in this blog post, she will share with all of you what the overall message was and more importantly, the unique takeaways and thought-provoking questions that kept her mind playful dancing and reflecting on Sonya’s presentation and process.
A few months back, I was rustling through the pages of the August issue of Vogue and read a mini excerpt about Burning Man.
I’ve heard of it and have seen photos, amazing ones to be precise, on Instagram using the #burningman hashtag, yet I never truly understood the significance of Burning Man.
That was until I was given the opportunity to witness Sonya Dove’s Intercoiffure Fall Atelier presentation titled “Burning Dreams.” Sonya personally invited Industrie backstage to witness the presentation come to life, and I happily obliged to attend and immerse myself into the experience.
The day of the Gala, I entered backstage late in the afternoon to see a petite woman bumbling about, bouncing from one space to the next, working diligently on a project that was all her own.
As I approached, she greeted me with her warm smile and welcoming spirit and shared with me some backstory on her overall vision and mission. Sonya shared with me that Wella asked her to do a 45-minute presentation at the gala and walked me around and shared with me her vision for “Burning Dreams.”
“There is so much negativity in the world that I wanted to create something fun and light with a lot of love. ‘Burning Dreams’ is a deep desire to create a community built on love. I just want to try things. I don’t want to die not being fulfilled. Unfortunately, I have spent so many years of my life thinking I was fulfilled and I actually wasn’t.”
Sonya used to create shows and presentations based on what she felt people would like to see. Two years ago, she realized she needed to start having fun with her shows. She expressed how badly she would get her knickers in a twist and get very stressed out, but as soon as she decided to build inspiration and concepts around what she does and loves, the inspiration got greater and the stress diminished.
A fun fact about Sonya is she finds her creative space when she sits in the quiet. “Even if I get a thumbs up or thumbs down at the end of it all, I love what I’m doing” she shared. “So many years of looking good and now it’s about me, enjoying myself!”
It takes guts to put it all out there. I admire her sense of self. She encourages woman power and it emanates through her work. It’s no wonder why her characters are heroine-like. They represent strength, admiration, nobility, and courage.
“I admire women that do what I do who also have children,” she added. “I do not, which allows me to be a workaholic.” As Sonya and I spoke more candidly we began speaking of how we as a people are in need of healing. In this moment, we both got chills. We both agreed there is an underground movement in the world, and that people are fed up.
I cannot express enough the honor it was to attend such an event. Being able to watch Sonya in her element and unravel her process was amazing. I learned so much from her. She is demure and proper, yet alive and free. That kind of persona can only come from someone who has lived and breathed the professional beauty industry from her core.
I have come to realize as creatives, we are spiritual beings. We have the honor of working with the 6th (3rd eye) and 7th (crown) chakras. We are healers, lovers, fighters, innovators, and deep down we are flower children. We are all children of love. We love love and desire peace.
Because deep down we know that although we are different, we all want the same thing, and that is to be loved and embraced for who we are without judgment.
This is what Intercoiffure did for me; this was the rolling message I received all night long. I experienced nothing but pleasantries and welcoming arms from all who were in attendance.
Sonya Dove’s presentation was authentic and a fusion of mysticism, wanderlust, imagination, freedom, love, strength, anew; it was like a rebirth of joy. It was the pinnacle of self-love. I think that was truly the meaning behind her show; being able to love yourself enough with no limits.
She taught me that a limitless, infinite love of self is the key, and is the end all be all. This limitless, infinite love is what heals; in order to truly give your best of anything you must self-care first.
Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on what everyone else wants/expects of us we forget about ourselves. It doesn’t matter; the only person that is important is you. Once you are okay with you, then you can give love and healing to others.