Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophia Torres.
Sophia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My path to hair and wellness was not linear, but I knew from a young age that I loved making people feel beautiful and inspired. It started when I was 10, I would do my sisters’ hair and my friends’ makeup as a hobby. I continued to do hair and makeup casually, and although I loved it, I never took it seriously as a career because I felt societal pressures to find a more lucrative career. I remember commonly hearing the question, “How much money do hairdressers even make?” I put my dream aside after graduating high school, deciding instead to pursue psychology and work in a restaurant full time. I was on the path to stay in the restaurant industry long term until my opportunity to move up in the restaurant ranks was unexpectedly given to someone else. I realized that I was wasting time doing something I didn’t feel called to, and it prompted me to start hair school two weeks later. School flew by and before I knew it, I was a stylist-in-training.
As soon as I got onto the floor and started taking clients, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Cutting, coloring, styling, and vibing with my clients…it felt so organic and natural to me. Being on the floor for the first time was one of those AH-HA moments that I’ll never forget. I was extremely comfortable behind the chair. I always told my clients that I play with shapes and colors for a living, viewing hair as a visual art form and way of self-expression. It was less technical and more visual for me. Within a few weeks at school, I was booked out two months in advance and working 60 hours a week. I took all the positive energy and put it into building a loyal clientele.
During that time, a lot of people told me I was crazy, that what I wanted to do wasn’t possible, that I was working too hard to “just do hair,” that I had to work a 9-5 and make minimum wage, that I had to be someone’s assistant before going solo, etc. All that disbelief motivated me to take action and put in even more work to be successful. I trusted my craft and above all, I trusted in myself. I took what I call “educated risks” and pushed the limits. People did not like that I ‘broke’ rules and did things the unconventional way, but within a year, I was fully booked taking clients at hair school and started taking friends and private clients for hair appointments at my parents’ home. As soon as I got my license, I moved out on my own and opened my first live/work creative studio in the North Hollywood Arts District. In 2016, I became known by my clientele by my artist name, Sophia Soul. My vision of being an independent small business owner came to fruition. Over the years, my business has grown and transformed into a wellness space where hair and plants meet at the crossroads.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have faced a lot of external doubt and disbelief from people who didn’t believe in my journey, but my determination to manifest my dreams has always kept me going. I have always felt a really strong connection to the universe and its’ plans for me. Fighting for my vision and encountering challenges is all part of the process. I am grateful for the struggle because I believe growth comes from pain, and on the other side of that is usually a person’s best work. I also have to shout out my family, close friends, clients and incredible social network – without them, my success would not be possible.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sophia Soul – what should we know?
When my business first started, my main focus was fostering an inspiring and fresh space for my hair clients to feel beautiful and uplifted. I wanted it to be personal, something you couldn’t forget and something you’d go and tell all your friends about. Hair was the original catalyst behind the space, but it has since evolved into a multipurpose studio blurring the lines between hair, plants, wellness, and personal connection. What started with a few pieces of art and a couple of plants to enhance the space has now transformed into a full-fledged hair styling and plant-selling business.
My studio is known for its greenhouse aesthetic, zen vibe, and curated art collection, mostly featuring pieces inspired by my Latinx heritage and LA culture. I have refined my hair craft and now specialize in hair color and dry cutting techniques for diverse hair textures. In my space, you can get your hair done, buy a plant, soak in the healing properties of the studio plants and art, and leave with rejuvenated, inspired energy. It truly is an experience. I am proud to have built a business that’s purpose is inspiring beauty through self-expression, love, and community. I am proud to provide a safe space for people of all backgrounds and experiences.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My parents are my backbone. They were the first ones to tell me I could do anything, they saw from a young age how big my ideas were and how passion and determination flowed through me. The way they believed in me set a standard for what kind of people I wanted to surround myself with. My sisters and closest group of friends let me do almost anything on their hair…how they instilled their trust in my creative process, really allowed me to trust my craft.
My mentor Kelsey, she always took the extra time and effort with me. She was patient, smart and saw how my brain worked. She knew I needed more answers than what the simple curriculum was attempting to teach us. Over the past four years, I have grown an organic clientele that is special to me. They keep this business growing and allow me to do what I do. The network I have around me has shaped this entire business and for that, I am forever grateful.
- Address: 10838 W Magnolia blvd North Hollywood CA 91601
- Website: SOPHIASOUL.com
- Phone: 8185997090
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Thesophiasoul
Photographer Vanessa Bevins IG: lilnessyvonne; Photographer: Anaiah Simons IG: @papayashotthis; Creative Director: Taylor Jade IG: JadedProductions