When Brooke Marston╌Founder, Creative Director and Editor-In-Chief of the blog, Charity Girl Problems╌isn’t out making the world a better place, she’s lighting up every room she enters. With beauty, brains and an incredible heart that continuously gives back, she’s one of the most giving people we know. And now, we’re excited for you to get to know her. Read our exclusive interview with this Paul Mitchell Insider here:
Paul Mitchell: How do you define your personal style?
Brooke Marston: My style is pretty simple, casual and girly. Since my days are always different, I like items that are versatile and can be adapted to whatever the day throws at me. I like pieces that can work in an office, but can be jazzed up with heels and jewelry for after-work drinks.
PM: Describe a day in the life of Brooke.
BM: We’re given a finite amount of time in life, and it’s the one thing we can never get more of or earn back, so I try to cram as much in a day as I can. My life is a constant battle between say yes to everything and enjoy the adventure and pick something to focus on and give it your all. The say yes to everything side usually wins, so it definitely keeps things interesting; like a choose your own adventure novel!
PM: You seem to always be on the go and doing good for others. How do you find time to relax and unwind?
BM: I really like being around people and hearing their stories╌being around positive, inspirational people re-energizes me. I’m not the best relaxer; I get a little stir crazy thinking I might miss out on a learning opportunity or being a part of something great. I do appreciate a good glass of wine shared in the company of good friends, though.
PM: What is your go-to hairstyle? Any tips for getting this look?
BM: My hair is naturally curly, which I love, but it isn’t practical for my everyday life. It takes a lot of work (and time!) to keep it from looking like I stuck my finger in a socket. My go-to everyday look is simple, straight hair with lots of layers.
PM: What are your favorite Paul Mitchell products?
BM: I am obsessed with the Super Skinny® Serum. Obsessed. It is a magical potion. With all the heat I submit my hair to, the ends get super dry. So, I run a bit of the serum through my hair once it’s dry and the ends are transformed into soft, shiny, healthy hair again. I also love Tea Tree Lavender Mint Shampoo™ and Conditioner. The scent makes me feel like I’m at a spa every time I wash my hair.
PM: Where do you draw inspiration?
BM: I draw inspiration from the people around me. Every day I get to meet so many great, talented people doing amazing things. Everyone has a story to tell, I’m lucky life has set me on a path to be in a position to help share these stories. Some are heartbreaking and sad to hear, but even these stories are motivating. People are more resilient and kinder than we give them credit for. For many, their motivation to give back exists because they were once in a place where they needed an extra hand and someone was there for them. The amount of generosity and kindness in the world is what keeps me motivated and inspired.
PM: Tell us a little bit about your blog Charity Girl Problems and how it got its start.
BM: Just over five years ago, I was laid off from what I thought was my dream job. To keep busy, I started volunteering, which taught me so much about what it is like to truly connect and be present in life. The more involved I became, the more people started reaching out to ask how they could volunteer or to ask where they could find an organization that addressed an issue important to them. I came to realize there are so many people out there that want to give back, they just didn’t know where to start or they believed the notion that giving back required a lot of money and/or time. I started Charity Girl Problems to redefine what it means to be a modern day philanthropist. There is no right or wrong way to give back. All you need to do is find your own individual style of giving back. The first step is the hardest, but once you start, it’s addicting. There’s no better high in life than doing something for someone who might not ever be able to repay you.
PM: Have you had any memorable interviews or moments you’d like to share?
BM: There are so many memorable moments, it’s hard to pick just one. I loved Jasmine Dustin's story, she started keeping extra dog food to give to homeless individuals for their dogs when she came across them. Now she runs an organization that not only feeds the pets, but helps their owners as well. Emily Kubin constantly makes me feel like a slacker given that she founded an international charity before she applied to college, but definitely keeps me motivated. Emily Breakwell is the first person I was bold enough to reach out to over Instagram. I loved her confidence and honesty. She spent a year challenging herself to accomplish major tasks, all while doing it in a dress to raise money to educate girls in Africa. Bianca Hadzic is also doing amazing work with Syrian refugees, getting books and educational materials into relocation camps so the kids living there don’t fall behind in school. These women fill my social media feed and push me to keep going.
PM: Why is volunteering and giving back so important to you?
BM: Volunteering and giving back is an amazing way to connect with people, make a difference and leave behind a tangible legacy. Your actions cannot be measured by digital likes. Instead, you’re doing something that will live on in the memory of someone else. One of the greatest advantages we have in this digital age is the access to information, on demand, at any time day or night. We don’t even have to learn it, we can always look it up again and our devices will remember exactly what we want to find. That much access can be crippling, but it also creates so many opportunities to make a lasting impact on the world. I always ask people, "What do you want your legacy to be?" The answers are usually variations on the notion that people want to be remembered and loved. When it comes to volunteering and giving back, the recipient may not always remember or even know your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel. You’ve left an imprint on their timeline that they’ll always carry with them.
PM: Fill in the blank: Giving is my style because _____
BM: It’s more satisfying to share and bring joy to someone else than it is to keep it all for yourself.
Consider us inspired! Thank you for making the world a more beautiful place, Brooke.
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Angela Hauk is Paul Mitchell's Brand Advocate Manager. When she's not conversing with the Insiders or sending them swag, she enjoys painting, writing, and exploring new places. Someday she'll own a card shop where her obsession with quotes will be put to good use!