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As Panache has closed, several of the stylists have taken their trade to this new salon, which opened on Saturday, July 1, 2017, in the former Jeremy’s at 2969 College Avenue (at Ashby), across from the Elmwood Theater. A grand opening celebration is slated for sometime in August. Owner Maria Manuel, a former stylist at Panache, said that five out of nine other former Panache stylists have joined her in the move. The new business gets its name by combining a lower case ” j” as a nod to former Elmwood retailer Jeremy Kidson and Jeremy’s Department Store, combined with recognition of English stylist Christopher Brooker, with whom the salon takes its philosophical and ethical direction. Manuel said, “I looked at three other spaces but this one just spoke to me. We are in one of two spaces that used to be Jeremy’s, in the former men’s department, and the architecture of the building, the light and the windows of the interior space are just gorgeous. And I appreciate who occupied this space previously – Jeremy Kidson, who brought so much to this community. The Yarn Basket was once here, too, and I love that as I’m a passionate knitter. It just felt right to be in this space.”
Brooker is the former Vidal Sassoon creative director and Manuel plans to follow his ethos. “He is such a talented stylist, educator and all-around great human being and we will carry over his inspiration from the work we did at Panache and expand on it in our own way at the new salon,” Manuel said. She plans to steward her team into building a community outreach program, also inspired by Brooker. “As a group, we would like to give back to the community. In time, we will be reaching out to women’s shelters and animal adoption groups to initiate programs to aid in their honorable efforts,” Manuel added. j. Brooker Studio features the Davines product line, a family-owned company that partners with Lifegate Energy in ecological sustainability and initiatives to support carbon zero and carbon neutral salons worldwide. Yossi Shocron, former owner of Panache on College Salon, said he wishes the new salon “the very best success.” j. Brooker Studio, 2969 College Ave., Berkeley 94705. Tel: 510-984-0389