How I Got My Job: Trudy Hayes, Celebrity Hairstylist And Creator Of Raven App
She started as a Saturday girl at her aunt’s hair salon in Dublin city centre, before rising through the ranks at Dylan Bradshaw and going on to style everyone from Heidi Klum and Suki Waterhouse to David Gandy. Now, Trudy Hayes is putting her knowledge of the hair and beauty industry to good use with her app Raven, a platform connecting high-end beauty professionals with busy women all over Ireland. Win! We chatted to Trudy to get the lowdown on her rise to the top, and to find out what a day in her life is like (hint: it’s VERY busy).
You started hairdressing at a very young age with your first job at 16. Did you always know that it was what you wanted to do?
No, not at all! My aunt was a hairdresser and as a teenager I thought she was so cool. I kind of fell into it that way, starting work in her salon. I thought it was so glamorous, watching the other girls in there getting ready at the mirrors every morning and talking about boys and parties and cool nightclubs. Eventually I fell in love with hairdressing itself and became very passionate about shapes and colours.
You’ve had a very impressive career path since then!
Yes! I did my training in Reds Salon in Dublin, and when Dylan Bradshaw was opening his new premises I moved on with him. I was creative director there for many years doing shows and travelling every weekend, while also doing lots of shoots and editorial work with Morgan The Agency. Then I spent some time in London, while still freelancing in Dublin for clients like Wella, P&G and L’Oreal. I’m still doing lots of editorial work but my biggest project at the moment is Raven.
Did it take time to make a name for yourself?
The industry in Ireland can be quite tight, purely for the reason that there simply isn’t as much work here as there is in London. Creatives tend to stick together which can make it difficult if you’re just starting out. But as with anything, hard work and drive will get you a long way. Even things like networking and emailing people for advice can pay off. All anyone can say is “no.” Once people see you are passionate and reliable work just falls at your feet.
Any particular highlights or campaigns you loved working on?
I always love working with L’Oreal in New York and Paris. Bigger budgets, seriously cool locations and lots of creativity… amazing. Another favourite on my client list has to be Aer Lingus. They always do their shoots on a plane from their fleet, which is definitely a unique experience!
What inspired you to create Raven?
It was actually an accumulation of things. On a personal level, I was always getting home late from work and could never fit in beauty appointments – well, except for hair! I searched high and low for someone that would come and do things like nail appointments out of hours and found nothing. On a business level, there were so many clients out there looking for appointments from me at off-peak hours. Late night appointments for hen parties, early morning appointments before meetings or flights. Things like that made it clear to me that there was a definite need for this kind of service.
Were you nervous about starting your own business and taking the leap into the tech world?
Yes! So nervous. I still don’t sleep that well. There was a big investment needed at the start, and that came with risks. What if people didn’t like the product? So many people told me I was mad, but I love a challenge. The fear just made me more determined. When I made my first sale I framed the invoice for motivation!
How has the reaction to the app been so far?
People love how easy it is to use, especially for group bookings. Bunches of women going to the races or hen nights can get ready together while having a drink and catch-up. I have been lucky too in that everyone that has used it has become a repeat client. That’s a really exciting thing to be able to say at just six months old.
What’s your business mantra?
Keep moving forward and don’t be afraid of failure. At least you’ll know what doesn’t work.
What’s on your desk right now?
The standard things: laptop, phone, pens, notepad. Plus a pile of beauty products – I get a lot sent to me by different companies, which I love! Oh, and chocolate of course.
What’s a day in your life like at the moment?
In my line of work there’s no typical day. I could be on set shooting editorial or a commercial one day, and off across Ireland the next to style hair at a wedding. Then there are days when I’m stuck in the office all day vetting professionals for Raven – I need everyone to be at a very high standard. In spare moments I’m on my laptop or phone, keeping up to date on client emails and invoices, making sure the Raven site is updated regularly and staying on top of new hair treatments and products. I’m generally non-stop all day but I do try to switch off and wind down by 10pm. It doesn’t always happen, but a bath or hot shower before bed works wonders!
Psst! You can download Raven for free now for iOS and Android. Plus, catch Trudy’s Day To Night style secrets in the August issue of STELLAR, on stands now!
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