Ronan Mitchell pictured above winning Irish Beauty and Hair Salon of the Year in 2019.
Why I Love my Job by Ronan Mitchell of Hair by Ronan
Ronan Mitchell is a 23-year-old, self-employed hairdresser from Caherdavin. He is one of the youngest self-employed hairdressers in the country and has won three major awards, two in Cork and one in Limerick.
Ronan was only 18 years old when he opened his own salon after renovating his parents’ old garage and he has recently just celebrated the fifth birthday of his salon on September 15. He left school at sixteen and went on to train in Belissimo in Limerick and was the youngest trainer they had and have ever had.
Ronan is a highly decorated hairdresser, having won many awards in his five years as a self-employed hairdresser. In 2019, he won the ‘Limerick and Munster Hairdresser of the Year’ at the Irish Hair and Beauty Awards in Rochestown Park Hotel. He also won ‘Limerick’s Most Stylish Hair Salon’ at the Cointreau Hi Style Awards in the Clayton Hotel in Cork.
Ronan recently celebrated the 5th birthday of his business!
We chatted with this young entrepreneur to get to know more about him and his ever-growing business.
What makes you a proud Limerick man?
Limerick is a vibrant city and has had many popular television personalities born here like Terry Wogan, RIP, and Richard Harris, RIP. We have amazing musicians like The Cranberries with frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, RIP, and Emma Langford and many other rising stars. We have other amazing people who do so much charitable work for people such as JP McManus and Linda Ledger from our local St. Munchins Community centre and of course we have the many sporting personalities such as Paul O’Connor from Munster Rugby and Shane Dowling and Declan Hannon from Limerick GAA and of course our beautiful Celia Holman Lee is an amazing ambassador for our city. We have the amazing Limerick Panto Society of which I am a member of. When I am asked where I am from, I love to state that I am from a city with all these amazing people.
Tell me about your job and what you love most about it?
My job is very rewarding; I love to see my clients come to my door. They trust me to make them beautiful. When my clients leave smiling and recommending me to their friends and family, I know I am in the right profession. I work with a lot of Brides and Debutantes and I love to see the sheer delight on their faces after I have completed their new look. No two days are ever the same – I have clients of all ages from all over Limerick and beyond who come to me. Platinum extensions and the twelve-week blow-dry are very popular. I also specialise in wash and blow-dries, cut and colours, highlights, and balayage. I love a challenge and I welcome any ideas my clients may have. I will work with my clients to the best of my ability to give them the results they want.
What have been the greatest challenges facing your business?
Covid-19 has certainly been very challenging trying to sort my clients so there is adequate time between each client so the salon is sterilised. I have a fogging machine that enables me to sterilise my salon once a week and this lasts for the entire week. I’m lucky to have a small salon in my parent’s former garage and so cannot have a large clientele in at any one time. My clients are very understanding and have been amazing. I have noticed some of my regular clients are not coming as often as they were, some because they are in fear of being out and contracting Covid-19, and others because they have money worries so it has been a bit of a rocky road but we’re getting there!
How did your business cope during COVID?
Like any other business owner, Covid-19 was very hard on our mental health. I kept myself busy by doing online courses i.e. the Barbacide course and by watching Youtube videos of famous stylists doing colour corrections and up styles, etc. I kept in touch with my clients on messenger and by text. Some of my clients rang me weekly too which was very uplifting. It was very difficult when clients were ringing asking for their hair to be done even when they had nowhere to go. Even my own mother didn’t get her hair done during the lockdown. Confidentiality is a big part of my job – everyone talks to their hairdresser.
What work achievements are you most proud of? Ronan Mitchell
I have a lot of achievements I am most proud of – one being that I was the youngest trainee ever in the Bellissimo Academy in Limerick at just the age of sixteen when I qualified. I began the course on April 2 in 2013, the day after my sixteenth birthday and I did my final exam on March 30, 2013. I was also the youngest hairdresser on the Queen Victoria Cruise Ship at age 19. I won three prestigious awards last year – the first was in the Irish Hair and Beauty Awards in Rochestown Park Hotel where I won the Limerick and Munster Hair Salon in Limerick at the Cointreau Hi-Style Awards in the Clayton in Cork. These awards were based on voting done by my amazing clients for whom I am eternally grateful for letting me do what I do best every day.
Who is your greatest inspiration in business and life?
A friend of mine Niamh Cusack asked me to do her hair for a fashion show with Ursual Stokes while I was still in school. Her aunt Lisa Cusack and Mary Gough were owners of Karma Hair Salon in Corbally and asked me to help in the Salon doing up styles and general duties for Christmas in 2012 when they were busy. I was doing my Gaisce Bronze award in Bobs N Brows on the Ennis Road where I also helped when they were busy. While I was doing my work experience in the transition year in Villiers School, Lisa and Mary encouraged me to train in Bellissimo Academy as they saw the raw talent I had. They convinced my mother that this was the career for me and the rest, as they say, is history. School wasn’t for me, so I was delighted that I was able to pursue my career in hairdressing at an earlier stage because they believed in me.
What advice would you give to other Limerick people in business?
You get out of your business what you put into it. No two days are ever the same – If you have a bad day just think of all the good days you have had and the amazing clients that make you work worthwhile. Nothing is permanent, I think this year has brought this to light. Don’t take anything for granted, tomorrow isn’t promised – be the best you can be and help as many people as you can.
What’s your favourite thing about Limerick?
I have so many favourite things about Limerick – I love the love of sport where everyone is everyone’s friend at all the matches. There is a great social life in Limerick, and we have so many amazing places to visit, e.g. King John’s Castle and The Milk market. We have the amazing University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, and LIT, these colleges bring so many amazing people to this amazing city. I love Christmas in our city and especially when the panto season begins. I was also delighted to be sponsoring one of my best friends Laura Hogan for this year’s Miss Limerick which took place on September 27 in Dani’s Closet. Ronan Mitchell
We at I Love Limerick wish Hair by Ronan a very happy fifth birthday and wish him well for the future of his business!
For more on Hair by Ronan go HERE
For more Why I Love my Job stories go HERE