Nick Hooks of Cool & Co. introduces a nuance of panache to the Twin Cities

Nick Hooks of Cool & Co. introduces a nuance of panache to the Twin Cities
Mister Nick Hooks (Photo credit: Jenna Mahr)

When you step out in the Twin Cities and you are looking for the culture creators, look no further than Nick Hooks, better known as Mister Hooks. For more than a decade, Hooks has been the plug in the Twin Cities. A brand ambassador, connector and stylist, he’s recognized for his style, network and legendary events.

The curator of and and the CEO of the newly formed The Cool & Co, a lifestyle brand, Hooks specializes in event planning, hosting, brand representation, styling and connecting the movers and shakers of the Twin Cities.

How did you arrive at this career choice? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution? 

Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway. I believe that’s how I naturally arrived [at] where I am today. I can’t say I knew what my purpose was initially. The universe was always speaking to me and once I got out of my own way, my flow became more clear to me.

What separates you from others in your field? What is unique about the experience that you create?
No one person is the same. What makes me and anyone else unique is just that. What separates people is work ethic and knowing who you are at the center of your being and living in that truth and purpose.

For those considering entering this arena, what skills do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success?
I’m smart enough to know I don’t know everything. I find myself studying people I admired in my field religiously. And, knowing and realizing even more that mastering anything takes time, dedication, focus, communication and being a student of your craft.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?
I’m a student, I innately do something every day that sharpens my tools. I pay attention to trends but I mostly pay attention to how things make me feel.

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success?
I initially start speaking things into the universe, I’ll obsessively think about it. Write it down or use the note app on my iPhone to start generating those ideas. Figure out how to put it into action and hopefully, the stars align.

I can’t say that I’ve measured my success because I really don’t look at it that way just yet, maybe when I’m old and telling my old Al Bundy stories. What I do measure when I curate events or style a shoot is how I’ve made people feel.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see or use as examples to emulate?
I always watch what Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne are doing with Public School. What Kanye and Pharrell are creating. More than that it’s everyday people who express their own creativity who inspire me.

Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.
Sean “Puffy” Combs, Pharrell Williams

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life, yourself or both.
Tupac’s “A Rose That Grew From Concrete”; The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron; The Alchemist; Kanye’s Glow in the Dark Tour

Why do you consider continued learning important?
I believe we never stop growing up. A part of evolving and dispelling ignorance is continued learning.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
“Let it go”; “Live your truth every day”; “Thank you”; “I am”; “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.”

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?
Technology plays a huge role in my day to day. A lot of emails, connecting with people, and building my brand.

What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life or career?

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?
I can’t say I have one yet, there are so many places I still have to go an experience. Thailand is up next, I’ll see how that goes.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Leveling out the playing field for women and people of color.

If you could change one thing about you, what would it be?
I can be extremely stubborn, I would change that to some degree.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status?
I think people give the iconic label to people who have pushed through hate, who innovate, influence and move culture and people from all different walks of life through generations. Michael Jackson is the first name that comes to my mind.

What keeps you inspired?
My family, friends, music, fashion, other creatives, everyday people. New challenges. Being of service to people. And knowing that we only get one take at this stage interpretation called life.

What Scripture(s) are you leaning on?
I have the serenity prayer tattooed on my chest: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

What’s on your playlist?
That’s a loaded question. There are so many different artists on the many playlists I’ve created: Moses Sumney, Goldlink, Rapsody, Frank Ocean, Tupac, Kanye, SZA, Sade, Coldplay to name more than a few.

Where did you vacation this summer?
LA, NYC, Miami, Chicago

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