Name: Áine Browne

Age: 26

Lives: Castletownroche, Mallow, Co.Cork.

Job title: Proprietor and Manager of L&A Hair and Beauty Salon, The Square, Castletownroche, Co.Cork

Salary bracket: Pays the bills and I am able treat my family!

Education background:  Shanballymore National School and Nagle Rice Secondary School. I completed my training in Dublin and from there I attended Cork College of Commerce to qualify in Beauty Therapy.  

Hobbies: On my days off I love exercising, reading and listening to music. 

Describe your job in five words: Sociable, rewarding, energetic and always learning.  

Describe yourself in five words: Motivated, hard working, determined, kind and a perfectionist

Personality needed for this kind of work? You must have a passion for the Hair & Beauty industry, you must have good people skills and good at multitasking  

How long are you doing this job? Since I was very young! 

How did you get this job? I firstly started in this line of work years ago. My mother Lorena has over 30 years’ experience in the hair industry. I started in the hair industry by helping my mother in her salon by making cups to tea and coffee for clients and making sure everyone had a good read! I remember watching my mother in awe at and that is when I grew a love and passion for the industry. I loved when customers came back time and time again and getting to know them so well. I loved the buzz in my mother’s salon, it was like every little girl’s dream! 

After my Leaving Cert I decided then to enter the Hair & Beauty Industry full time. I completed my training in Dublin and from there I attended Cork College of Commerce to qualify in Beauty Therapy. I then decided to travel to New Zealand where I gained more experience working in both fields.

On returning home in 2013 my mother and I joined forces and we set up L&A Hair and Beauty in Castletownroche. We have been so fortunate to have a fantastic team of Hairstylists and Beauticians who work great together. We recently re-designed the salon to accommodate our growing customer base. We also launched our website which got such a great response! This was our first every website and we are thrilled to be reaching out to a wider demographic area. 

Do you need particular qualifications or experience?

I would advise anyone who is interested in this work to firstly get experience in a salon. Get a feel for what day to day is like in a salon and that it is something you know is right for you. Then have a look at the different courses available and qualifications. 

Describe a day at work:

I arrive into work before the therapists or hairstylists and I do a check on all the areas of the salon. I then check the diary and schedule of appointments for the day. I also check to see if there any enquiries that have come through our website overnight. I greet customers as they arrive into the salon and I show them to where their therapist or stylist is waiting for them.

It is gas I am still that girl who makes sure everyone has a nice cuppa and a good read! I love this part of the job. You can do all the qualifications in the world but making sure your customers and staff are happy is key to running a successful business. 

How many hours do you work a week? I work Tuesday to Saturday inclusive so on average 40 -45 hours a week. When you have your own business you put in that extra bit and you must be one step ahead. 

What do you wear to work? Comfort is key. I like to look professional. 

Is your industry male or female dominated? It is female dominated but some of the top make-up artists and hairstylists are male. 

Does this affect you in any particular way? It would be great to see more and more men working in the industry. 

Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10:  7

Do you work with others or on your own? I am proprietor of L&A Hair and Beauty with my mother, Lorena Lynch. We have a fantastic team of 8 Hairstylists and 2 Beauticians. We are so lucky to have a strong versatile team. 

When do you plan to retire or give up working? Not for a long time. As long as I am able to I will be working the beauty and hair industry. I get such a buzz out of it I don’t see myself giving it up anytime soon!!

Best bits: Seeing a bride ‘walking on air’ as she leaves our salon after getting her hair and make-up and she is ready for her big day. 

Worst bits: Storm Ophelia! 

Advice to those who want your job? Go get experience in a salon. Never stop learning. On the job learning and experience is vital for progression in this industry.