20 Apr Eden Sassoon
In a candid conversation, Eden Sassoon reveals the inspiration behind the creation of her finishing studio ‘Eden by Eden Sassoon’. She reveals her legendary father, Vidal Sassoon’s, influence, her daily inspiration, charitable causes and her plans for the future of the business.
Edited transcript by Felicia Waldman from an exclusive video interview with Dawn McCoy
Dawn McCoy: Your dad is of course the iconic legend, Vidal Sassoon, and as a successful business woman yourself, along with your charitable endeavors, you are making quite a name for yourself.
Eden Sassoon: It’s evolved from a really organic place from becoming a mother and sitting across from my father and him saying, “So what are you going to do with yourself?” And I looked at him and I’m like, “I’m a mom!” And I left that house and literally I went to therapy the next day, and I was like, excuse my language, “S#*t! My dad asked me what I’m going to do with myself, what am I doing with my life?”, and I thought being a mom was that, I’m done, and I sat back and I’m like, One; I’m in therapy which means I got some problems, of course, its life, but they need to be worked on, Two; what am I going to do? Being a mom for me is not my everything. I love my kids and I can do all this, so I at that point, where does my passion lie? And, I found it. At that point in my life it was pilates. I was there every day, and I was, obviously because I’m single now, unhappily married, and pilates was my safety, it was my home. I went to bed looking forward to that next day of my journey, my physical journey and how I was gonna get through it, and just finding myself. And through that, there was a divorce, opening the business, and so much that came from just Dad saying, “What are you gonna do with yourself?” Coming from him, really it was very clear to me because he’s a man, there’s no B.S., there’s no joke, he looks you in the eye and its like “who are you? And what are you going to do? And how are YOU going to make a difference?” And he and I are very much alike and I’m like, “Oh G-d, ok here we go!” And that’s’ exactly what I do now. So that’s how Pilates started. Changed my whole world.
So you had a vision and how did you put it into action?
I think everything that I do comes from an organic visualization – I have a connection with what I call God, people call it higher power, whatever it may be, the universe; for me its my God – and I get this immediate gut feeling and all of a sudden it’s very clear what I have to do. And then you take the steps. You make it happen. You find the right team. That’s one thing my father taught me is you are only as good as your team. So if I don’t have that team around me that’s gonna build something, I can’t. There’s no way I can do it all myself. But I do a lot of things and I’m like wow, at the end of the day I’m like, I’m like Superwoman, [laughing] I mean it feels sometimes I’m superwoman. I mean sometimes I take it for granted but I just get up and do it again! And I just think, alright! [looking up and pointing to the ceiling] I’m listening to you, and how am I gonna make a difference in someone else’s life. That’s it, that’s my goal. It’s not anything else. I’m gonna build these businesses, it’s gonna come natural, but the intention is, how am I gonna make a difference in someone else’s life?
THE SASSOON LEGACY
You are already making a difference in so many people’s lives – your charity work on top of your two health and beauty businesses…
I will go out carrying on his legacy. He, (Vidal), said to me one day, “You know, I wonder if it will be forgotten, or if I’ll be remembered.” and I’m like, “Uh, are you kidding me?” And it’s not because of hair, and it’s not because you’ve come up with an original idea, but, it’s who you are. You take the time, you stop, you talk, you listen….he was blessed. And he followed through. And you know, growing up as his daughter, he was my dad. I completely took him for granted for who he was as a man. He was just my dad. He wasn’t Vidal Sassoon the man. I didn’t get it. When he died I had to rearrange my thoughts, and look at him as Vidal Sassoon the man, and like…[choked up] that doesn’t happen, you know, he was blessed with this life, and really every day made a difference in so many ways. And not just the beauty industry. To me, those are the stories that keep going on and on and on in history, and they come from that place of love. I’m like sweating now [laughing]
It’s wonderful you are continuing your father’s legacy, and taking it in your own direction, creating a beautiful legacy for your own children.
I think if you’re just real and you’re organic and you’re not afraid, and for all the things that I’ve been through in my life, I’m willing to share them. You know, I’m a single sober mother. That says a lot, those words right there: “single, sober mother at 40”. Ok….why? Where did that all come from? I’m not afraid to show all that and you know in losing people, my sister overdosed, and blah blah blah we all have a story, but people don’t share. People don’t express; how did you overcome that, why are you where you’re at now and that’s what they need to hear, you know?
EDEN BY EDEN SASSOON
How is Eden by Eden Sassoon different from other salons and blow dry shops? What sets you apart?
What sets us apart is we don’t call it a salon, we call it a finishing studio. Here’s a little story. So dad had an episode, ICU, etc, he thought he was going to die. “Eden, Can we go to lunch?” “Of course.” At lunch, his favorite restaurant, “You know this time I really thought it was it, and at some point you’re gonna be given a gift, and since I’m still here, I want to see what you’re going do with it.” Ohhhhhh, here we go again! [laughing] So, here we go and you know “what are you gonna do with yourself” again. Wait a minute, so now I’m a mom, I have a pilates studio, now you wanna see what else I can do. ‘Coz he knows there’s more to me than what I’m just giving. So, [smiling] I’m on another journey saying, [sighs] ok, one passion: fitness, I got that. What else is there? And at this point I’m at a blow dry bar, I’m not gonna say the name, in Beverly Hills, and I’m sitting there and I’m looking around and I’m thinking, this place is gross. Really in my head I’m like, this place is gross. And these people are rude! I’m getting no feeling of….I’m getting nothing. I want to get out of here. Can you finish blow drying my hair so I can get the hell out of here please? Excuse my language, but the energy was just way off, way off. So, it’s coming to me and, wait a minute…..I want to change the world. I love health, I’ve already done that, I’m a Sassoon! Hellooooo….I got it, I got it… Here we go. These blow dry bars are taking off. I’m going to do something different, I’m going to do it my way and I’m going to do it better.
“What do women want?” A finishing studio where you can go you can get your nails and toes done, you can get your face done, and your hair done at the same time. You’re basically finished for an event, for the day, For whatever it may be, a date? Fast. Most importantly, it’s your experience that you have there. You don’t feel like you are in a salon – because I grew up in a salon, and I didn’t want to have that feeling anymore. So I built it out as sort of a Malibu, comfy, chic, exactly like my home. It’s relaxed and you immediately feel at home like this. With photos on the wall of my family and old pictures of my dad and my mom, it’s just very…inviting you into my life and my family. And people love it. If you’re going to work for the Sassoon brand, the “Eden Sassoon” brand, then you need to come from the same sort of heart space that I do. Otherwise, we don’t speak the same language.
What’s next for Eden by Eden Sassoon?
Everything. We are building… when I say carrying on a legacy, that means carrying on a brand as well. So, the Sassoon brand, and Eden by Eden Sassoon, will be everywhere. Products, The Finishing Studio definitely will grow fast. I’d like to go international. And everything for the greater good. A product isn’t just because people need another product. No. If we come up with something and we put something out there, then there is something behind that to give back. And more and more companies are doing that, thank God. So there is always thought behind what the next thing is going to be but there’s a lot. And it says it in the name, Sassoon is one thing, but Eden is another. And I always wonder why they chose “Eden”. I believe there’s a reason for everything.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS
Outside of your Pilates and Finishing Studio, what keeps you going?
Being sober, going to meetings, talking to people who inspire me or maybe need my inspiration…. waking up, taking the kids to school saying, “get outta the car so I can get to SoulCycle,” and sweat, and know that in my mind at that moment, ohh, what goes on in my mind in THAT class is like wow…is 45 minutes for myself.
It’s a spiritual thing for you then?
OHHHHH my God. Wow. There’s nothing else like… its pretty close to like the top. So I just keep going. I’m like this battery that just keeps going.
What’s one word that describes your current state?
Joyous. But the real meaning of joy. I think everyone should find their own real meaning of joy. But to me its way beyond, Oh! I’m joyous! No…no, it goes deep. If you don’t come from that joy, everything doesn’t come from that joy. You know, you’re kind of just hitting the surface.
You are not a very surface person?
No, [laughing] it would be hard to date me…I might be single for a long time.
Well usually those are the people who have the most gifts to offer.
Well we shall see. The love story will unfold. It’s hard to fill THOSE shoes
Is there a quote, mantra, passage, or just a line that guides your life right now?
“This too shall pass”. Everyone stays stuck. And I unstuck myself… in every moment, is every moment. Be very present, and very involved. and then you just kind of live this life.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
You know one would think I’d say my children first but I’m not going to.
It’s been over a year.
Thank you. And the addiction’s been lifted. But it’s the work and the truth and the honesty that I put into my life – but I always have. You’re not really truthful if you’re still, you know, kind of masking an addiction…so I think sobriety is a big thing. I think without that, for me at least, things don’t evolve as planned. The way that I live my life is very clear, and for people to say, wow. She’s no joke. That’s it. There’s nothing to cover up, there’s no pills, there’s no grabbing for alcohol, there’s no smoking… you know you might find me going to two classes at SoulCycle or taking an extra pilates class, or maybe indulging in pizza. A friend texted me the other night and said, “how are you doing?” and I said, “Amazing. In loss we evolve.” and he’s like, “in loss???” And, in losing my father and my relationship at the time, I could have gone any which way possible. I sometimes think how does that happen? I know exactly how it happens, and I know exactly where I am today, and I know exactly how to get through something like that. And anything’s possible.
I did it. And I did it, and I did every day, and I chose to make the right decisions, and I moved forward, and I did it at the time when I was also opening the business, and having the kids, and breaking up with a relationship, and deciding to stay single, and stop drinking, and get rid of smoking. I mean, I made all those decisions. And it comes back to that one thing that he tried to teach me all the time. Discipline. Period. End of story. Because you choose and then that’s it. How do you want your life to be? Every single day.
In addition to being your dad, he was also your mentor…
One hundred percent, my dad is my mentor. He is, hands down in every way. Which is kind of odd, but who he is as a man, I aspire to be every single day of my life. And pretty much live up to it. I really just let go, and be present in the moment, and of course its a daily, you know…Its going to be my lifelong journey. So I’m blessed to be given him as a father to be given those gifts.
You are, and it sounds he also felt very blessed to have you as a daughter.
I was reading some bits and pieces of his book today and he was going through the kids, no disregard to my brothers and sisters because they are amazing, but he would go into each kid and there was my sister, then my brother, then… “and my darling Eden…she’s the most like me.” [teary].
There’s no higher compliment. If your dad was here with us right now, what do you think he’d say about you, or to you?
One of the last things he said, I went over and I was crying and I had this fear, and he said, “Wait, I didn’t raise you like this. Go get ‘em. You can do this.” And I said, “What if I fail, what if I lose everything?” He said, “Then you start over.” I’m like, arghhhh, you make this and then this, and now this?! [laughs] Ok. I got it dad thanks.
EDEN by EDEN SASSOON
8600 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
T: (310) 861-4660
Mon-Fri: 9am – 6pm
Sat: 9am – 6pm Sunday: 9am – 5pm
About the interviewer: Dawn McCoy is the founder and editor of BeautyFrosting. A former makeup artist for Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown and Giorgio Armani and former personal shopper for Barbra Streisand.