Industry News

Women of Style: Sue Pemberton

October 7, 2011 | 2:54 PM


Colorist, Violet Hour Salon at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Joico International Vero K-Pak Color Artistic Director

Licensed: United Kingdom Clarendon College "City & Guilds Certificate" & "Guild Certificate of Hairdressing" in the 80s. I also have California and Nevada licenses.

First job: Stylist in a salon in the UK
Clients per week: As my education schedule permits, I work sporadically in the salon with VIP clients, usually 5 to 8 per day.
Price point: Highlights: $195, cuts: start at $95

Milestones: Graduating beauty school; moving to the U.S. and building a clientele; working for a manufacturer as a platform artist and ultimately artistic director; NAHA winner and five-time nominee in the hair color category

Big break: Sid Cook saw potential in me 19 years ago when I first started working for Joico as the Vero Color Manager and he was Vero K-Pak Color Director. Sid, who is now VP of International Sales & Marketing, pushed me to do platform work. I will always be grateful he believed in me, even before I knew I was capable of doing this myself.

Career advice you’ve received: From my Dad, who said to me: "You work 8 to 10 hours a day and sleep 8 hours, so the majority of your life is sleeping and working. So make sure you love what you do."

Career advice you’ve given: To educators who want to become platform artists, I say "Remember where you came from and don't let your position go to your head. Stay humble and remain yourself."


Your mentors? In hair: Vidal Sassoon, Trevor Sorbie and Vivienne Mackinder; in fashion: Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Ann Demeulemeester; in art: Claude Monet, Wassily Kandinsky and photographers Ansel Adams, Steven Meyers and Adam Jones.


You mentor: The Joico International Artistic and Education team, and many salon professionals over the past 19 years.


Are there benefits to being a woman in beauty? I think women get better opportunities now, thanks largely to women I admire for their tenacity, like Annie Humphries, Vivienne Mackinder, Kris Sorbie, Jo Blackwell- Preston, Gina Khan, Ann Mincey, Sonya Dove, Lucie Doughty, Linda Yodice, Stephanie Kocielski, Lois Christie and Beth Minardi, just to name a few. Like me, they worked hard to be where they are, and it certainly has paid off.

Sacrifice and lesson: Relationships can suffer when you are gone all the time. But I am working on getting the relationship I want, now that I have more balance and have learned that if I put the same amount of effort into my personal life as I have into my career, there should be no reason why I can't have both.

Risk and reward: I take a risk every time I come out with a new collection, idea or format for a class, but I like to push myself and that's what I like about my position.


To follow in your footsteps, a woman would have to: Know her craft, have a passion for the art, and treat her models and team as well as she would her clients and salon team.

Famous woman you would like to style: Pink, because she would let me do something fun and she is not scared of hair color.

Next change to my personal style: I just decided to go blonde again.

Reading: A book I can't mention, because it is attached to a new idea, and I don't want to reveal the idea just yet.

Playlist: Adele’s "Rolling in the Deep" and Far East Movement’s "Rokerteer"

Every day, just for yourself: Love my family and cats

Working on: Two major projects!

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