Trudy Hayes is the powerhouse behind the Raven brand. After working with many leading designers and celebrities over the years as well as with global brand L’Oreal and in some of Ireland’s best salons. In 2015 Trudy set her sights on a connecting hair and beauty professionals to the busy women of Ireland.
Ahead of our Networking Breakfast taking place on Friday, April 20th at the beautiful Marker Hotel, we asked Trudy about her career aspirations, the inspiration behind her successful brand and app, and her love of all things beauty.
You started hairdressing at a very young age, did you always know what you wanted to do?
I grew up in Tallaght in the 80s where heroin use was rife. I went to an all-girls convent school where their only ambition for us was to get us through school without getting pregnant. We didn’t even have science on our curriculum. I left school when I was 15, which wasn’t unusual for my area. I went into hairdressing in my aunt’s salon because it was my only option. I hated it the first year as I was scrubbing floors and windows. But then I got into hairdressing’s precision and clean lines, the science of colour and making people feel good. I caught the bug.
Did it take you long to make a name for yourself?
YES. Beauty is a different animal to any other industry. People need to trust you to see consistent results, want reliability and creativity all packaged into one. The want you to be ahead of the game. I have consistently trained throughout my career and think this is key to success. I have a massive sense of adventure so have tried every area of hair, from film to editorial, education to theatre. I have been lucky enough to work all over the world with my job so by the time I built Raven App people knew I had a wide knowledge of beauty and trusted where I was taking it.
Any particular career highlights or campaign favourites?
I have lots of amazing moments. I have worked with L’Oreal on a campaign in New York on the rooftop of Soho House. Working with Aerlingus on board a plane shooting amazing too, but I’m really proud of the GLAM beauty event myself and my sister organised for Temple Street a couple of years back. It was a huge success in Fade Street and made a lot of money for a good cause, because sometimes it’s not about making money for yourself.
You’ve faced some tough challenges in your life, how did you get through them?
I can honestly say I have never had it easy. At each turn in my life, I have come up against it. From where I grew up to the school I went to, overcoming illness, the recession. I can also honestly say that it has made me more resilient. I have lost everything so I have no fear. I won’t take no for an answer and I believe you get what you work for. I have built Raven App with no money and with everyone telling me it won’t work. My mum always told me “once you have a tongue in your head you will never be lost.” There is always hope if you have passion and perseverance and you ask for help!
What does family support mean to you?
EVERYTHING. I have a great family. As the oldest I thought I needed to already know everything and never asked for help. I got really ill a couple of years ago and all my family stepped up and supported me. Now I carry that lesson into every area of my life. If you ask for help, people are more than happy to part with their knowledge and time. My Dad is my number one mentor, he gives me the most honest advice.
Do you have any mentors or businesswomen that inspire you?
I love Amal Clooney as a Human Rights lawyer. I also love our very own Marissa Carter. How amazing is she to have built her empire all by herself through pure grit?
What inspired you to create Raven?
A long stint in hospital in intensive care after a long illness, the depression that came with losing my hair and hope in life. My sister use to come into the hospital and shave my legs and paint nails and it made me feel human again. I realised there was nothing on the market that would allow people have beauty appointments away from the salon. On top of that, the world and technology were changing. People want to be in charge of their own time, and this affects everything from TV to food becoming “on demand”. I feel the beauty industry is no exception. Raven App was born.
Were you nervous about starting your own business and merging into the tech world?
Yes. Even after 10 years of smartphones, technology is still new, and people are still a little scared of it. The beauty industry is built around people, relationships and trust. They are harder to build online. The way we absorb information and purchase things will continue to change through technology. This is the future, this is how we will make all future appointments.
Do you have a business philosophy you live by?
Don’t live your life on other people’s opinions.
Join us for our next Networking Breakfast!
When: Thursday, April 20th at 7:30am
Where: The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2
*including luxury seat gifts
Book tickets online,
Call 01 271 9687 or email [email protected]