By Tawanda Blake
“I guess you can call me Gangsta Glam or
Bohemian Chic. I feel like self-adjectives can be pretentious. I like flea market designs and Shop Bop!” Sasha Brookner, is the 35-year-old founder of the Helio PR Firm, based in Los Angeles, California. Sasha’s dream was to become a History teacher, but in my opinion, I cannot envision this as being an option number one because of her mysterious “Lady GaGa” nature, and her “Oumou Sy” haute couture styles. She has too much fire, and zeal, and her qualities do not need any suppressants. These passions have filled any voids in her life that she may have outside of being a 13-year veteran, PR Phenomenon. She is one of the most brilliant trendsetter Fashionista’s that I have ever seen. This mysterious individual brings a completely new meaning to “Sasha Fierce”. In recent interviews, she gives much of the credit for her eccentric taste in earrings to her late Mother, Sherry Brooker. Her pieces are inimitable as well as breathtaking. I can imagine myself going through withdrawals, sitting in my wobbly chair in a room filled with women and men much like myself, gnawing on my nails down to the bloody tips of my fingers while rocking back and forth babbling to my conscious aloud, “I have to get more bangles, more skirts, more, more, more!” This of course would be at my own intervention meeting with the ASBSA, and me being overly generous with information in my own true confessions as an Adult- Sasha Brookner Brand- Shop-Aholic. Sasha is managing her own organization, and stepping out the unilateral box of what a Publicist should do. She does everything that she loves with no boundaries, and she makes it appear to be easy. Sasha dives in to adjust basic wardrobe perceptions, all the while stepping into another field where she carries no title as a passionate writer. She is proving that there is no such thing as part time when you are fervent about your career. Her creative juices flow like blood in a dialysis machine, pumping fresh ideas and new ways to be innovative in and out her veins by the day; she is my “Shero”. Sasha’s firm has catered to well known figures such as, KRS One, Cee-Lo, Goapele, Ledisi, Katt Williams, and Conya Doss. You can view some of Sasha’s writings in The Huffington Post, and she has contributed poems for Oprah’s Magazine. Snooping around the internet blog sites, I found an interesting piece from Sasha featured in the PRN Newser entitled, A Crash Course in Working with Celebs. One of my favorite inscribes is “Don’t be a “yes” person”. Sasha is one hot commodity and has been highlighted in numerous publications, the list is so extensive that Urban Tymes is only able to name a few; Promota Africa Magazine, Cocoa Cure Magazine, Style Caster, Prominence Magazine, and Zen Magazine. Her creations have no boundaries, and her firm has no limitations. Sasha Brookner is a household name that will be around for the next unmarked century.
Q: What does “Helio PR “offer that sets this company aside from other Public Relations firms?
A: I think we’re just more lateral thinkers in terms of our creative approach. We don’t act like news disseminators who just regurgitate release dates and chart numbers. We really develop stories for our clientele, as opposed to waiting on others to do it.
Q: You are a writer, philosopher, and poet, and have contributed to various publications; is this type of inventiveness a passion for you?
You know I go through phases of feeling original and wanting to pen words – sometimes it’s just 3 times a year. It’s not an unyielding passion to put together literature, it just happens haphazardly when I’m in the mood. As far as philosophy, I don’t view that as inventive, mostly all existential questions have been asked and non-answered. Ultimately, you move out of philosophy after awhile with an understanding that you know less than you thought when you entered that realm. You can’t really stay in that space forever, you have to get out on the journey and live your life. It is a passion of mine however to read Sartre, Aristotle, Averroes, Spinoza, etc. They were some of the most brilliant minds in history and we could all become better from standing on their shoulders.
Q: Can you give us a few names of some of the thespians that you have worked closely with, and your experience with these clients?
A: As far as actors, we’ve worked with comedian/actor Katt Williams and actress Elise Neal. That’s about it on the thespian side. Katt always made me laugh, I would fuss at him when he would miss interviews and photo shoots. It would literally drive me crazy until he would stoically get on the phone with me and come up w/ some lengthy rationale justification for why it didn’t happen and I bought into it time and time again.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time with such a full schedule and business that you are devoted to?
A: I love Senegalese dance and I spend too much time on Shopstyle.com than I think is normal. Other than that I’m pretty boring – I go out to dinner and movies with friends. I love going to the beach and living by the water. I have to continue my business endeavors so I can buy that Malibu beach house one day.
Q: What are some of the difficulties that you face in this business, and what are some of the positives that you can honestly say, “Today was good”?
A: The difficulty is always finding really unique/talented artists to work with and figuring out the best marketing methodology. Sometimes you have this great talent and nobody is really interested in hearing about it that day because
they’re consumed with all the other artists saturating the scene. So securing press in the current technology age is sometimes difficult because of the floodgates being open but also there are so many more web outlets today than before. When I first started PR all we had were print magazines and they are slowly becoming obsolete. It’s nice not having to wait 5 months to see an article you put together manifest – online expedites the process. My good day’s really just involve getting everything on my to-do list taken care of and making sure I eat.
Q: When did you get that gut feeling or jolt that indicated that you would be a writer indefinitely?
A:I’m actually not a professional writer. I write press releases when I have to but often I have so much on my plate I commission others to do it for me. Every now and again, I contribute a written piece to a publication or online site but predominately I’m a publicist and just coordinate materials and ideas.
Q: What respect to your fashion, what are areas that entice or inspire you to create the styles that you exhibit?
A: I like colors. I like tribal heels. I’m getting skinnier as I get older so a lot of my clothes are too big for me now. I love Kate Spade bags, Brian Atwood shoes, Armani Jackets, Rachel Zoe picks.
Q: If you could style one famous person, who would it be?
A: I’m actually not a professional stylist either. We usually commission celeb stylists to work with our clients. I pretty much just dress myself.
Q: Do you consider anything to be “out of style” or off limits?
A: You know I hate becoming the fashion police. One person’s fashion fail is another person’s haute couture. I try not to become too obsessive off my own look but I’m pretty basic so unless it’s large peacock feathers on a headband or Ugh boots with a hippie skirt I say go for it. I don’t like to use the word “out of style” because fashion history often repeats itself. In fact I wish I hadn’t given away half of my 80’s gear.
Q: What is your favorite piece to work with?
Q: If you could give words to cultivate readers, and your fans, what would you like to leave behind?
A:I live by Imhotep’s proverbial quote “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we will die”. He was an ancient Egyptian polymath and I think that quote simply means live in the moment. The moment is too important to lose!