Marketing | 30 Under 30

Founder, Blo Dry Bar, self-employed branding expert

Devon Brooks was in her second year of university when she launched her first successful brand.

Five years later, that brand, the Blo Dry Bar, has 26 franchise locations across the U.S. and Canada. In late 2010 Brooks left the company, though she remains a shareholder. At that point she started working on a new venture: the brand of Devon Brooks.

She soon started landing public-speaking gigs through the Lavin Agency, speaking about branding, culture and her personal experiences with post traumatic stress disorder. Meanwhile, her business success landed her on list after list of top young powerhouse Canadians, from the National Post’s Worthy 30 to Profit’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs in Canada and Chatelaine’s Women of the Year.

Brooks now takes contract work helping companies build brands. Last year she spent seven months setting up a communications department for the popular website Metrolyrics and this summer she’s helping B.C. artist Martha Sturdy refine her personal brand. After that she’ll brand a top secret boutique hotel in Vancouver.

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation enlisted Brooks as its youngest-ever mentor to assist entrepreneurs building businesses. She has also represented Canada at two G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summits, in France and Mexico.

Vivian Prokop, CEO of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation until July 2011, says Brooks is one of the most effective mentors the foundation has had.

“She goes right into the nucleus of what a customer needs—and even what they don’t know they need,” says Prokop.

“I don’t know how she got all this skill at such a young age,” adds Prokop. “This is an old business soul.”

There’s lots more with the full the 30 Under 30 in the Sept. 10 issue of Marketing magazine.