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New ‘Housewife’ Eden Sassoon Discusses Life with her Iconic Father & her Evolving Brand

picture-8Ten years ago, Eden Sassoon was probably most known as the daughter of iconic hair styling pioneer Vidal Sassoon. Her father may have revolutionized the beauty industry, but Eden has diversified beyond beauty as an enterprising serial entrepreneur. She is extraordinarily humble, dismissing the moniker, and questioning it vehemently.

“Serial entrepreneur! I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, even early on. I was just someone who wanted to offer services I am passionate about, including a business built around my lifelong passion. I’ve learned so much and over the years realized that becoming entrepreneurial was just part of who I am. Initially, I was afraid to own the title of entrepreneur, but now I’m not. It is safe for me and I embrace it. If you had asked me this a few years ago, I would have given you a different answer. But, yeah, I’m OK with you saying that now.”

Today, Eden is a bona fide public figure in her own right and known simply as “Eden Sassoon”. Thinking of her as the daughter of Vidal Sassoon is now more or less an afterthought, if anything. As much as her father’s notoriety and influence may have helped her in business, his clout has also inadvertently created some challenges.

I’ve had the pleasure of following Eden’s exciting career as she has developed her own brand. I suspect that it may be hard to gain credibility and secure one’s own legitimacy when your name was popularized in cosmopolitan culture around the globe before you were even born. However, Eden has navigated brand development and management in a cunning and strategic way, cultivating a following from the perspective of passion and not ego.

As a businessperson, she is known for not permitting ego to dictate how she does business. In fact, for someone of such prominence, Eden is void of excessive introspection and self-absorption. She is genuinely secure with who she is and it is reflective in her parenting and relationships with friends and clientele. It may be natural to think that as the daughter of Vidal Sassoon, she stepped out from under the shadow of her father, but she doesn’t see it that way.

Eden said, “The irony is that my father was caught up in his own shadow of being the “Hair God”. However, she says, “He was spiritually grounded, incredibly astute and very intelligent.” She said his relationship with nature kept him balanced and allowed him to live with a healthy perspective and a world view that was unusually progressive, if not ahead of his time.

She said, “For me, I grew up knowing health and beauty. As we grow, we learn more about ourselves. We become individuals, and we find out who we really are without our parents. The person who I was getting to know was very much like my father. I had no premeditated plan to be like my father or follow in his footsteps. I just evolved organically. It was natural for me to take this course. I follow my heart and intuition. I do only what feels right by me and what seems to make a positive impact on others. “

picture-9There are a lot of successful children of notable people, but when your parent is an icon, it may be much more difficult to break away from recognition by familial association and emerge as a distinct entity, either publicly or in private. In some ways Eden did not fall far from the tree but she has fallen.

I suggested that she must be exhausted as a mom and businessperson and people often ask and assume that her lifestyle must lead to a tiring existence. But Eden looks very much refreshed and relaxed more often than not. I wondered if she had an extensive support network to help advance or diverse business interests.

“I get asked this question a lot. I couldn’t do any of these things on my own nor would I want to do these things on my own. I’m grateful for my team who I love and respect and honor. Together we create and move forward collectively. Each business has its own sort of dance and flow. I learned that with respect to each of my businesses, I have to wear a different hat and for a while, I was wearing multiple hats all at once. My life was not just hectic, it was emotionally “decapitating”. Each business drew from different parts of me. I had to check in with myself mentally and emotionally and approach each role as a business owner strategically, yet mindful of my passion for these industries.

Vidal Sassoon grew up impoverished and spent time in an orphanage. Eden, however, grew up in Beverly Hills, but her father’s early life experiences had great influence on the worldviews of his children. His work ethic certainly rubbed off on Eden and her siblings. Vidal is famous for having said, “The only place where success comes before work is the dictionary.” Eden takes this to heart and walks the talk. She has carved out a niche for herself as lifestyle coach extending her brand to include fitness and healthcare, which help people far beyond the services that are synonymous with her last name.

When I first met Eden, she made it very clear to me that she doesn’t consider herself an expert. She doesn’t see herself that way at all.

Hollywood is obviously not recognized as a Mecca for the humble and authentic, but Eden is an exception. She is open about her struggles and simply comfortable in her own skin. Growing up in the public eye comes with its own stressors. It can hinder the cultivation of a healthy sense of self. And this is considering that growing up is difficult enough for those unused to public scrutiny. She’s quite unscathed for offspring of the rich and famous. Independent, self-aware and grateful, she is known today as “Eden Sassoon” who happens to be the daughter of Vidal.

Her father would be proud, but not surprised that Eden is so enterprising. She owns a very popular salon and a Pilates studio. You could say that she is validated by her success.

Eden said, “I grew up without a voice and literally hid in my father’s shadow or behind his leg. As a child I was exceedingly shy. It took me years to find my own voice and the journey was very painful. It hurt to speak, but when I finally discovered my own voice, it was on. I was determined to take my own path, and nothing was going to get in my way. I realized that the louder I became, the more I could achieve and the more I could heal.

Undoubtedly, genetics and rearing should dictate that Eden knows something about hair styling and hair products, but I wanted to know if her father’s intellect, creativity and drive had more influence on her success than her own passion and experience.

She said, “Initially, my father shaped my development as a child. I saw him as a visionary who was both creative and driven, but also a relentless and powerful force. He was very funny, but also the epitome of constant energy in motion. A child can’t really appreciate or make sense of this dynamic, non-stop energy, which was boundless and pervasive. But I soaked it up like a sponge and it began to take on a life of its own. At the same time, as I grew older I would contemplate my own purpose on this planet and how his unbridled energy would manifest within me. I began to search for my own independent identity.”

Some people never experience success because they are afraid to fail. Eden has experienced success and is certainly not afraid to fail.

picture-10She said, “In the beginning I used to be afraid to fail and very much so. But that is not the case anymore. I finally learned that in failing you discover your greatest strengths. Failing is our teacher. It’s our life lesson and it’s our friend. What does failing even mean? It just means learning. Evolving. Next level shit.”

Curious about the competitive nature of the industries she promotes, I was curious about the egos that influence the world of aesthetics and fitness. She said, “When your ego gets involved, you are regressing and putting yourself in the small box we were born in. Our society permits this and it is something that some people try to break out of on a daily basis.”

I also asked Eden about her mantra. She said, “Have no ego. Look, if you are going to come from a place of ego, you are not going to get what you are looking for. At least I’m not going to. There are a lot of people out there operating off of ego. In my case, I have done a lot of work to let go of it. If anything, I have made a concerted effort to be more self-loving and nurturing and giving of myself. My mantra is F- your ego! Be selfless!! It does take a lot of work. It is a daily practice. Life is hard and I believe, in fact, that we are in a living hell. But it is how we choose to live. We need to accept what is and choose to make the best of it. We can choose our destiny!”

Eden just joined the cast of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I can’t congratulate her enough and look forward to following this new chapter in her life.

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-3-17-46-pmDr. Jordan Carlton Schaul is an American zoologist, exotic animal trainer and professional writer based in Southern California. In recent years, he has combined his interest in celebrity and wildlife conservation for the benefit of endangered species around the globe.

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