I’m the proud owner of the landmark Joan Cashman Colour and Image Academy in Cork City. I’m self-employed so it’s all go! Every minute is precious; I need to be super organised and on the ball! Prior to this I held the top job as head of Colour Me Beautiful in Ireland and it wasn’t an easy decision to bite the bullet, take the risk to follow my dream and open my own academy, but that’s what an entrepreneur does, right? – Feel the fear and do it anyway! It’s a decision I made nine years ago now, I dedicate all my time, love and attention to it and am proud I did it.
The downside (if you can call it that) is that it’s very easy to get caught up in the busyness of life – meetings, events, keeping up with trends and taking-on too much all at once. But I’m extremely thankful that my hobby is my job. I don’t really have a typical day – it all depends what’s booked in the diary. Last night I was invited to give a talk about Dressing for Business for a local Enterprise Board. This morning I had a private client for a Colour and Style session and this evening I took a guy personal shopping to build a wardrobe to suit his lifestyle, colouring, build and budget. I need to put the finishing touches to a PowerPoint presentation for a fundraiser event in West Cork later this month and my diary is filling fast with Hen Parties around the country. It’s not easy being self-employed; I think you have to be cut out for it. You can never take your eye off the ball, from marketing, managing to hand’s-on doing the job. Sundays and Mondays are all the same. I run makeup courses over weekends because attendees are either in college or have 9 to 5 jobs so I need to be flexible and work the job to fit demand. Social Media is a wonderful tool in remaining connected with my audience and it’s very important that people know I’m available and willing to support them behind the scenes.
My children are all grown up, educated and living in the UK. I miss them dreadfully when they head back after the holidays… especially after Christmas, that’s tough, but they have their careers and they’re happy fulfilling their own purposes in life. My husband has a great sense of humour and knows how to make me laugh when I get blinded and in ‘the poor me’ frame of mind. There’s nothing I love more than sitting back with him at the end of the evening and sharing the day’s events. Definitely an upside!
Professionally the upside of my day is that I help my clients make the best of their personal appearance and this in turn empowers them to make positive changes and indeed sometimes change their lives. Every day we pull something from the wardrobe or try on something in a store that has life changing potential – The cut of the suit that persuades the interviewer to choose us above another candidate. The red dress that stirs something in a future lovers ask for a 1st date. The power to change people’s lives for the better is in my hands. William James – the grandfather of psychology believed that “serious development of the personality takes place at the closet door” My clients say “If I’m well turned out; I walk, talk and act more confidently”. There is a psychology to colour too – I analyse each person’s colouring so they know which colours suit them best. Some people have a favourite colour that never fails to cheer them up.
So, for me the upside is to help each person develop their self-confidence. It is so rewarding to see the transformation before my very eyes…. Now, you can’t beat a day like that.