We love celebrating strong, successful women here at The Caviar Spoon, which is why we’ve created ReBelles. These are the women who are working it and owning it in life, work, and everything in between. Our newest #rebelleboss is Suman Jalaf, founder of SumanBrows and known around the world for her precision in brow artistry.
Perfectly shaped, shaded, and symmetrical brows can seem practically unattainable and all too intimidating at times. Tweezing, threading, waxing, microblading, tinting, tattooing – the list goes on. And then once you’ve figured out what treatment you want (or need), you then have to do your research about who you’re going to trust to do it! (We’ve all heard at least one horrifying botched brow story, right?)
This is where Suman Jalaf comes in. The London-based Queen of Brows has been trusted to work on some of the most well-known names and faces around the world, including model Kate Moss, actresses Goldie Hawn and Emilia Fox, and Bollywood star Deepika Padukone.
When I discovered Suman’s cult-like following and read the rave reviews about her brow work (especially microblading), I was hooked. This woman had gone from threading eyebrows as a teen to becoming the go-to for everyone from red carpet regulars and high-flying magazine editors to PLU (people like us) who just need someone to save us from bad brows.
Suman was a #rebelleboss through and through so of course I had to see if she’d do an interview with us. Not only did she make time for that, she also enthusiastically jumped on board with one of our #caviarcollabs in Dubai – details to be revealed soon!!
In the meantime, read through Suman’s interview below to find out what truly makes her a #rebelleboss, what it’s been like to work with the stars, and the one bad brow habit that she wishes people would quit!
As Suman is known to say: Brows are the fragrance to a woman’s spirit!
Ed. note: some answers have been edited for clarity
Please provide a brief background and career to date.
Well, since discovering my talent at the age of 12 when I was threading my classmates’ brows, my career began! I always had a desire to do more and after working in some of the top locations in London and around the world, I discovered myself professionally and opened up SumanBrows Beauty Atelier in June 2018 as the ultimate beauty destination in the heart of central London.
Offering a host of luxury services under one roof, treatments available include facial aesthetics and IV drips with Dr. Pam Benito, facials with celebrity facialists Michaella Bolder and Clare Marie Peters, a dry styling bar, manicures, pedicures and more. Your one-stop shop for all things beauty!
What makes you a #rebelleboss and why?
From a young age my inner Sagittarius was evident as I always delved away from the ‘norm’. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I’ve worked since the young age of 13 – even from an early age I knew that I needed, and more importantly WANTED, to carve my own way in life.
There was no help from my family or other people – I 100% invested in myself in all respects of the word. There are moments in my career that allow me to truly reflect on this decision and how it has saved me from a possible life of depression and when I won the Best Brow Specialist in 2017, well, I allowed myself a congratulatory pat on the back.
What’s been the biggest reward to date being a businesswoman and entrepreneur?
Meeting so many amazing people from all walks of life, hearing their stories, and accelerating confidence levels to new heights. Love is priceless and that will forever be rewarding.
And, the biggest challenge when setting up SumanBrows?
Believing in myself and taking that initial leap. Daring to be different and jumping into the unknown was and is the best thing that I’ve done.
The biggest learning lesson since founding your business?
To not be so hard on myself.
Over the years I’ve allowed people to dull my sparkle because I’m too trusting and unfortunately this has been taken advantage of at times. Only recently have I learnt the importance of ‘me’ time – even if that is something as simple as having a silent 5 minutes to enjoy a cheeky ‘cuppa’ in a quiet room. Always remain true to who you are as a person. Always.
If you could turn the clocks back what is the ONE thing you would change straight away?
I would change the doubt that I had felt in the initial stages of setting up Suman Brows…that was overwhelming on so many levels but it certainly kept me on my toes! However, it is important to say that I’m a firm believer of everything happening for a reason as we are all keys to our own destiny.
Business tip: how to maximise your client base at low or no cost?
Always treat people the way that you would like to be treated. Having empathy towards people is the best tool in any job – acting as the glue to establishing a continuous level of rapport. My mother would always say, “Manners cost nothing and mean everything” and she’s right. After all, the best things in life are free!
What is YOUR purpose? Why was Suman put on this planet?
To make others believe in themselves! The newfound confidence that people have when their brows are complete is simply euphoric. This can be from a single mother who doesn’t want to leave the house without pencilling her brows in for fear of being judged at the school gates by others to people suffering from alopecia. Suman was put here to make a difference… whilst ensuring an epidemic of fabulous brows falls in her wake!
How have you set your brand apart from the hundreds of others? What is your USP?
Prestigious quality throughout every aspect of my work. I live and breath SumanBrows and that necessity of oxygen pumps continuous motivation through my veins. Always willing to go the extra mile for my fabulous clientele.
You’ve worked with some big names, including Deepika Padukone, Goldie Hawn, Amy Jackson, and Emilia Fox. How did SumanBrows grow to reach this level of clientele? What was that path like?
Humbling! All of my ‘big’ clients have always heard of my work authentically which warms my soul as I’ve been taught that no salon will do well if it simply focuses on just its services – it’s always more than that. It is showcasing your personality and bonding with someone regardless of their job title or role.
Brow Tip: if someone isn’t ready to make the leap to microblading, what’s one thing they can do to keep their brows looking good?
To see their regular therapist to allow their brows to be perfectly groomed. It’s all about maintenance! I’m a firm believer in threading and since the hair is removed from the bulb follicle, which exfoliates the skin at the same time, this lengthens the timeframe of your hair growing back.
What’s one bad brow habit you wish people would stop doing?
Tweezing! People should go with the hair – not against it. You should always do it after the shower when your pores are open and your hair is soft. The actual tweezers are at the very heart of this process and people need to be educated on the correct use of this technique.
Also, eyebrow pomades…I’ve seen far too many clients’ hair fall out because of the strong gel and harshness to be a fan. I’ll be launching my own tweezers amongst other products next year to cater for all bad habits – we’ll leave them in the past, ey?
In 24 months’ time, SumanBrows will look like this…
Launching a variety of products alongside an academy that will teach MicroBlading. This acceleration of education will be through the process of hands-on lessons to enhance knowledge of techniques, formulas, products and tools so that there is a standardised beauty approach to brows.
When the going gets tough, you…
Lose the plot! I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t go through the stress levels but I always persevere. I have my down days like everyone else and suffer from anxiety. That’s the joy of being human as I find myself being more appreciative and fixating on the good things in life.
A healthy work/life balance is different for everyone. What does balance look like for you?
It doesn’t. I could and should be trained on this! I need to listen to people more and make more time for myself. However, since leaving a toxic relationship I find myself reflecting more on my growth as a person and an entrepreneur rather than that old negativity that once hindered me. Any free time I have I always try to spend time with family and friends; however, I network all the time which gives the perception of a social life.
What do you do to unwind, refresh, and recharge?
I travel on work trips and that’s my respite. I ventured to Antigua recently and I can honestly say that this was the best trip I’ve had in a long time on so many levels. I’ve already had clients booking up for London due to word of mouth from this escapism! I met some lovely people along the way, devoured amazing food, and bathed in some much needed Vitamin D. Oh, and my swim with the stingrays was my ultimate highlight. It did my soul good as I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I have been known to retreat off to detox camps around the world where I shut off for days on end. I’m truly a mixed bag of personalities!
3 words to describe your clientele
Fun, fabulous and frustrating
3 words to describe you (your brand)
Personality, integrity and love.
One woman in business who deserves a shout-out and why?
It would be Ego Iwegbu-Daley who owns Miss Salon London – she has now become a good friend of mine after working with her. She has published two books – “Open Your Own Salon…The Right Way” is like truly having an experienced mentor always at hand – when you need it the most.
Also, I need to mention my best friend Errol Douglas MBE who has guided me through so many things in my career and life with his talent and his love. I owe a lot to these two inspirational legends.
Your motivational quote
A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.
Your business mantra
Brows are a girl’s best friend, so forever be kind them!
305 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2DY