24 Hours with … Sophia Bush

Actress, activist, and co-founder of Detroit Blows
Sophia Bush and Nia Batts
Sophia Bush (right) embraces her beauty bestie, Nia Batts, who she met at a social impact conference years ago. // Photograph Courtesy of Sophia Bush

Most may recognize her as Brooke Davis from the cult-favorite television series One Tree Hill or from her roles in films like John Tucker Must Die, The Hitcher, or The Narrows. But actress and activist Sophia Bush, recently took on another role as co-founder of Detroit Blows — a beauty salon she opened in October 2017 with her best friend of 10 years and Detroit-based entrepreneur, Nia Batts, along with another co-owner Katy Cockrel.

Detroit Blows, located in downtown Detroit, provides services like blowouts, manicures, and lash extensions, and donates $1 from every blowout service to microgrants that support female entrepreneurs in the city.

Based in California, Bush therefore, finds herself in the city up to three times a year. When she’s not furthering Detroit Blows’ philanthropic mission, she’s looking at other charitable projects in the city, trying new restaurants, or seeing a Pistons game. Here, she shares a typical Saturday with Hour Detroit.

Lights twinkle in The Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel. // Photograph by Joe Vaughn, Courtesy of the Apparatus Room
First Things First

“Generally, when I land in the city, I’ll head to meet Nia at The Apparatus Room at The Foundation Hotel. It’s a really central spot where so many of the people that we work with tend to be. So, we’ll have a brunch meeting there. That usually will roll into a second meeting, over coffee as we move through [business] things.”

“Virtually every time I’m [in the city], my trip coincides with a sporting event or a concert.” — Sophia Bush

Neighborly Love

“Nia and I try to prioritize time with organizations that are impacting the community positively. Last time I was in town, we went to visit the team at Empowerment Plan to see what they are doing with their sleeping bag coats. When we visited, we got to tour their warehouse space, learn about employee training and the sewing process, and met a group of the employees. They have such an inspiring story of helping to lift people out of homelessness, provide job and financial training, and focus on employee wellness.”

Viewers enjoy the modern art at the Library Street Collective // Photograph by Sal Rodriguez, Courtesy of the Library Street Collective
Getting Artsy

“I always pop in to see what’s happening at the Library Street Collective. They’re the art gallery just down the street from us. They’re absolutely fantastic. I’m also a bit of an architecture nerd, so I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Shinola Hotel since they broke ground on it. The design build there is so gorgeous! I can’t wait to be Eloise and pretend that I live there.”

Into the Night
Detroit power forward Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons makes a layup at Little Caesars Arena // Detroit Pistons Photography by Chris Schwegler/NBA Photos

“There’s so much good food in the city! Sometimes we just wind up hanging with friends and eating at our pal JJ Curis’ house. If Nia decides she’s going to have people over we’ll all cook there. Sometimes we’ll go out to Standby, as it’s just down The Belt. That’s what really fun about the neighborhood where the salon is, there’s amazing food everywhere. It’s so hard to name a favorite restaurant. It’s like if you ask a parent to pick their favorite child.” 

“One of the things that’s so much fun about the city is that virtually every time I’m there, my trip coincides with a sporting event or a concert. We’ll go see the Pistons play. Last time I was in town, Elton John was playing at Little Caesars Arena, so we went to see him. That was just outrageously fun.”