In this week’s Q&A Kehlan talks with Cathriona Rohan from Cathriona’s Hair Salon in Castlegregory and Tralee, Co Kerry. Cathriona talks about branching out into business and how she became hairdresser and stylist to the stars.
Has hair always been your passion?
Would you believe that it hasn’t. My mum was a hairdresser as well as my two sisters, I wanted to be a chef. So while I was waiting to go to college I did some hairdressing for a while in a salon in Tralee owned by Audette Guiney.
So my training started with her and also the RTC in Tralee as well. So from there the passion grew and I ended up working in salons in Tralee for 11 years before opening up my own salon in Castlegregory in 2013. Now I dream about hair!
What changed you from being part of a business, to owning your own business?
I suppose in anything that you do, the highlight is when you can do something yourself. I think as well that when you’ve worked your way up to being a manageress that it’s very hard to go back from that. I had an opportunity and I took it.
So we opened up our first salon in Castlegregory and later Tralee. I hadn’t planned to open up a second salon but we had people travelling from Tralee who kept asking us to open up a space in the town. People would say they love our work, but the 20-minute drive from Tralee to Castlegregory was always a stumbling block.
We also had four part-time staff working at our Castlegregory salon. Now by opening the Tralee salon I have two of them on full time here and two full time in Tralee. We get more customers, the girls get more hours and business is good. So it worked out for the best in the end.
So can we expect a Cathriona’s Salon outside Kerry?
Not likely at the moment, I think my husband would go spare if I did. Seriously though, it’s not on the cards right now. We are going well at the moment and have added fashion shows and a mobile wedding service to what we do as well.
So how do you end being stylist to the stars?
Well I always wanted to do fashion-show hair. It has tight deadlines and during the shows themselves it’s a pressure cooker. So I contacted the Norma O’Donoghue Modelling Agency and spoke about what we can offer.
Next thing you know we’re doing fashion shows and events through that contact and of course celebrities and stars are coming to see the latest trends. We got introduced to some and it rolled on from there. The fact that we’ve managed to keep them clients just shows how far we’ve come in a short time.
For more info go to www. cathrionashairsalon.com
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