The partnership between Lorraine Martin and Fiona Waters has brought something new and exciting to Parnell Place, Cork City – REVO Hair & Beauty!

Managing Director Lorraine Martin ensures all clients receive the first-class salon experience they deserve, while Creative Director, Fiona Waters has a hairdressing career of over 14 years and has worked at the highest level with some of the very best in the hairdressing industry.

Together these ladies are a force to be reckoned with and a fountain of successful business info!

What attracted you to the industry?

Fiona: I’ve always had a passion for hair. I love challenges. It’s so rewarding and it has its glamourous side also, which I love!

Lorraine: Having started as an apprentice when I finished school, I quickly learned that it wasn’t the actual physical part of doing hair that made me happy but the meeting, greeting and organising of the salon. I made a decision to go back to college by night to do computers and management before taking a position with a trade union for 14 years. Having been made redundant during the recession, I took a part-time position as a salon receptionist before working my way back up to management. My passion and love for the industry was back and I haven’t looked back since!

How did you get to where you are today?

Fiona: I always put 110% into what I do. My clients are what is most important to me and my career. Without their continuous support I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Lorraine: Having managed teams of over 14 in the city centre salons over the past few years and having built trusting relationships with stylists and clients, I decided with the close partnership of my business partner, Fiona Waters, it was time for me to take that leap of faith and open my own salon.

What do you love most about what you do?

Fiona: I love my clients and our regular chats, meeting new clients and listening to their stories. Everyday can be very interesting but at the end of it all, what I really love most is the confidence or excitement I give them after doing their hair.

Lorraine: I love opening the door to our premises every morning and seeing the team we have built around us. My energy and passion to please every client that enters our premises pushes me on each day to make our business bigger and better with each passing month.

What’s the most difficult part of what you do?

Fiona: The most difficult part of what I do is there are never enough hours in the day. Time is everything when doing hair. It is not to be rushed!

Lorraine: As any business owner knows, starting a business is a daunting task and you constantly question yourself on whether you have done right or wrong, would you have been better to stay safe as an employee etc. I think the most difficult thing for us in this industry is to stay prominent, trendy and to always give a service that pleases your clients.

What’s the best piece of style advice you’ve ever received?

Fiona: The best piece of style advice I was ever given was, “always pay attention to detail”. I learned this from the very early years of my training.

Lorraine: I think the best piece of advice I personally have been given is to realise long hair does not suit me! As much as I wanted the long, flowing, curly blow dry, it looks awful on me and short, funky cuts suit my face shape.

What’s the best piece of style advice you can pass on?

Fiona: The best piece of style advice I can pass on is to “always pay attention to detail” and never accept the words “it’s okay” after doing someone’s hair. Try teaching them and give them an experience of using words like “wow, it looks amazing!” These words are more uplifting and will make you feel fantastic. If your hair is not right, no matter what, you will not feel right.

Lorraine: We should go with what suits us personally and not what is on-trend to a certain extent. I suppose the same applies to your wardrobe.

Who is your style icon and why?

Fiona: From day one it has always been the late Vidal Sassoon. I get a lot of inspiration and continue to follow in the footsteps of their craft. They are very inspirational and talented at what they do. I love their theory on hair and fashion.

Lorraine: My style icon is Pippa O’Connor! I love how she dresses her age but stays on-trend. She’s classy but edgy and mixes between affordable and less affordable for certain events. Her hair is always on-trend and healthy and glossy, while her makeup is minimal but makes the right impact.

Who is your business icon and why?

Fiona: From a business point of view, I feel it would be still have to be Vidal Sassoon because his legacy to deliver amazing hair has continued from the early sixties. He has a lot of learning academies and very successful business around the world. His name will live on forever in the world of hair and fashion.

Lorraine: Some might laugh at my business icon but because of the behind the scenes stories, I would have to say Cristiano Ronaldo! Coming from a very poor background and leaving his home country, he pursued his career and passion and now has a multi-billion fortune. He gives back to poorer people and is involved in so many behind the scenes charities. It might also help that I met him in a hotel in Portugal and he was more than polite and pretty gorgeous!

What plans do you have for your business over the next 12 months?

Fiona: My plan over the next 12 months is to watch my business grow. I will be completing my masters in colour, which I’m very excited about and continue attending courses with my team, making us the best we can be to deliver nothing but the highest standard of hair in the industry.

Lorraine: Our plans over the next 12 months are to steadily grow our business and get ourselves out there. We want to enter into as many hair competitions as possible, and enjoy our time as a team.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Fiona: In five years’ time I see myself with a bigger team, growing as we go, and continuing to deliver amazing hair with some winnings under our name after competing in the fantastic hairdressing competitions and other entries.

Lorraine: Hopefully in five years I will be surrounded by a happy team, who are comfortable, motivated and happy to upskill with each turning season. For me, my main focus will be maintaining a five-star salon service. I also hope I have carried on upskilling in my own makeup career, having retrained in the past few months.

How do you stay motivated?

Fiona: I absolutely love what I do! Hair is part of me now. I am consistently learning and finding new ways to improve. I have a lot of support around me, a fantastic business partner and crushing team! I believe in staying positive as much as we can and take the good with the bad.

Lorraine: Growth and client feedback keeps me motivated to stay on track and keep going, even on a dismal day. As everyone knows, a new business doesn’t happen overnight! It takes work, and more importantly, it needs a good team and loyal clients who get five-star treatment.

What advice would you give young people who want to break into the industry?

Fiona: Advice I would give is it’s a very rewarding career to take, it is not easy but you have to love what you do to make a good stylist. It has to be in you. It’s not all about the glamour!

Lorraine: For me, as a salon owner, and especially as I interview a lot of young people wanting to start in either hair or beauty, it’s a tough career that takes time and a lot of effort at the start especially. Low standards are no longer accepted, so if your heart is not truly in it from the beginning, then it’s not for you! As I say week in, week out, it cannot be a job for money; it must be your passion with a career at the end.

REVO Hair & Beauty
10 Parnell Place, Cork
021 424 8966