I could be driving along somewhere and Ronan Keating might come on the radio singing about life being like a rollercoaster and every time I hear him singing that song, it reminds of the last 20 years of Hair Square in Longford.
Talk about stepping aboard the carriage with no idea of how the journey might turn out to be… that’s exactly how it felt 20 years ago as Hair Square opened its doors for the first time at the Market Square in Longford. The thrills and spills of the last 20 years really have made for a rollercoaster ride!
Longford has been good to me and more specifically as someone who has depended on the loyalty of our clients, the people of Longford and Leitrim and Roscommon have been good to me since I first came here to town at the age of 15 to train as a hairdresser all those years ago.
Now as Hair Square celebrates its 20th Birthday, I look back with a deep sense of gratitude both to all the people who trained me down through the years and also the people who have supported me through good times and bad. Hair Square would never have reached this far without you, so it is great now to have the opportunity to publicly acknowledge your kindness and support that have made us who we are today.
And more than anything else in all my years hairdressing around Longford, that is what has made it all worthwhile, the people that I have met along the way.
One of my distinct memories as a young hairdresser was a catch phrase often used by someone who has become my lifelong mentor as he would often say to me… “always remember Colette, hairdressing is a vocation…” I never really got that until recent years because it is only now as I get older and I see how the world is, that I am beginning to understand how hairdressing can be a vocation – because it is far more than simply cutting someone’s hair… it is about listening to their story as they pour out their heart to me… it is about sharing someone’s loss at a time of family bereavement… it is about reassuring a bride on the morning of her wedding… it is about smiling with a child as she gets ready for confirmation… it is about the privilege of walking even a small stretch of the road with someone who just needed someone else to listen… that’s what my life mentor must have meant when he suggested to me the idea of vocation.
Now as I look back, how right he was… it really has been an incredible privilege to share the joys and sorrows of those who have sat in my chair, a burden shared, burden halved, knowing that everything that was said would never be repeated again… client hairdresser confidentiality….
So now, as so many people have been so good to me down through the years, I hope that even in some small way, as well as styling someone’s hair, I have been good to them too, quietly trusting that as they leave Hair Square they are a little lighter on their feet and even a little happier in their life for their time with us…
It’s the way my own parents, Theresa and Peter, have lived their lives and how they brought us up when we were younger. Now I try to live out what they taught us. They really are the best of teachers and my greatest supporters so I am very clear that they are the foundation on which Hair Square has been built over the last 20 years.
They would tell you that they don’t know too much about the world of business but their wisdom of the world and their kindness towards others are the pillars which have guided me to where I am today in Hair Square. I am so delighted that they are sharing in our birthday celebrations these days because they just love seeing Hair Square still going strong after all these years. Along with my parents and my siblings, this journey would never have been possible without the love and support of my wonderful children Jane and Anthony.
A rollercoaster journey up to now, who knows what the future might bring? So it is always lovely when some of the former Hair Square team come back in to say hello, from all parts of Longford… from all parts of Ireland… indeed from all parts of the globe… I like to think that there is a little bit of Hair Square in all corners of the world!
Wherever you all are in the world right now, reading this “stroll down memory lane”, thank you for everything that you did for others during your time with us here in Hair Square. Emma, Mary, Jill and myself carry on your great team tradition here in Hair Square so like before, the team here now are the ones who create such a fabulous atmosphere here in the salon for all who drop in every week.
The Hair Square team has just been incredible down through the years and as I look back now, I marvel at the many charitable causes and fundraisers that we reached out to over the years. My own life has been truly blessed so I have always tried to do whatever I could to reach out to others who might have needed a helping hand in one way or another and Hair Square has been the heartbeat of all that.
And now as I look forward to the future here in Hair Square, I also look forward to continuing my retreat work with young people through throwfire.ie. I really get such a kick out of helping young people along the road of life, just to bring a little light into their darkest moment.
The world is so different now to 20 years ago but these days as we celebrate so many fabulous memories here in the salon, I am still clinging on tightly to the roller coaster of life, with great hope for all that might be, as we fly around the next bend… and as we hurtle down the tracks, the thought flashes through my mind as it so often does… how blessed am I?
Love to you all,
My journey from Finea in Westmeath into Longford every morning is one of the simple joys of my life because even as a little girl I always wanted to be a hairdresser so joining the Hair Square team over eight years ago was a great move for me!
I really do love all things “hair” and no person’s style is the exact same as the next person so more than anything else I have taken extra level professional training in colour because that’s what I really enjoy in the day to day life of Hair Square. The people who come to us really appreciate the efforts that we go to so there really is great job satisfaction for me seeing a happy customer step out the door.
Colette often talks to us about working as a team and more than anything else that’s what sets the tone of the salon and why so many of our clients value our professionalism and our care. We really are there at the key moments in people’s lives.
Hair Square has been a real joy for me and I am so looking forward to the years ahead… it’s more than a job and I am very grateful to Colette and all the team here for giving me that chance. Here’s to the next big birthday!
Longford town has been such a central part of my life and so it was great over the years to work with such great people in their salons and then to join the Hair Square team just late last year. I can’t believe that I am hairdressing around Longford for nearly 30 years now and like the other girls here, it has been my loyal and kind clients who have stuck with me down through the years that make it all worthwhile for me.
I love the work that I do and it is great when my clients are so happy with their styling as they leave the salon because that makes me feel good about what I do. My clients have been so good to me over the years and as many hairdressers would tell you, it is more than just a job, it really is about the relationships we build up with the people who come to us.
Hair Square really puts high value on these relationships we have with our client base so I am really happy to be part of the great team here at the 20th birthday celebrations! Thank you once again to all our loyal customers who are so appreciative of all we do for them.
I know from many of my friends that Colette will always give someone a chance in life so when Colette asked me to join the Hair Square team for the summer months, I just jumped at the chance. I know I am still a teenager but already I have learned so much and I just love it here. I have met so many different people, young and old, male and female, and it is great to hear the stories as I play my small part in their experience of the salon.
There is just a great buzz in the place with people coming and going and so many people are so thankful, especially now after the lockdown about what we do for them. There is no sitting back with Colette so l love when my teenage friends come in, the lads and the girls, and with Colette guiding me, they are willing to let me cut, style and even colour their hair!
They think I am so lucky to have a summer job like it… how cool is that? So even though I am the newbie here and I am whacked at the end of every day, it really has changed my whole summer for the good and I love being a working girl!
Hair Square, Market Square, Longford. Tel: 043 33 42768
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