Thursday, July 30, 2009

A snip for these hair times

"If we can make it work in a recession, then we can fly when it gets good."


Amanda Finn, on right above with her colleague Serena Kelly, doesn't have any illusions about how hard it is to set up a hairdressing business in these financially testing times. But she knows enough about the business to figure she can make a go of it while waiting for better days to come. Thus the recent opening of ‘The Hair Emporium’ beside Bernard Berney’s Chemist shop.

Amanda comes from a family in the hair care business and has trained and worked extensively in other salons in Dublin and Kilcullen. But her wish was always to open her own business in the town.

“My mum had a salon here for ten years, Cross Cuts, and when this shop unit came up I grabbed it with both hands.”

Serena Kelly, who trained with Robert Chambers in Dublin but has really got tired of the commute, also came on board Amanda’s project. The third member of the team is Alice Geoghegan.

A most unusual idea is that ‘The Hair Emporium’ opens on Sundays through the summer, from 11.30am to 3pm.

“That has been really great for us so far,” Amanda says. “I think mums are probably able to come out more easily on Sundays because the dads are home to mind the kids. They can come in and chill out. Also, a lot of family events like christenings happen on Sundays, and it gives them a chance to look their best on the day.”

The style of the premises is elegant, and that was a deliberate choice of Amanda’s. “I wanted a quiet calming atmosphere, different to what most salons are.”

In addition to looking after customers’ real hair, The Hair Emporium stocks hairpieces by Stacey Hannon, recognised as at the top of the field and winner of this year’s ‘Bridal Design’ award for hairpieces.

The other key hair care products on sale are by Renken and L’Oreal, top of the league.

Brian Byrne.

(This feature was first published in the Kilcullen Page on last week's Kildare Nationalist - the only paper that gives Kilcullen its proper space.)