Caroline Quinlan has worked in the beauty industry Ireland for nearly 20 years and admits to thoroughly enjoying the journey it has brought her on. Beginning her career in beauty therapy with focus on continuous training, career & personal development, she has also worked as lead trainer with one of the world’s leading salon software companies and is now employed in a Digital Marketing executive role in Dublin, read more of her story here…

When did you begin working in the beauty industry?

20 years ago, this year in 1998 I started on my beauty therapy career after studying at Kilkenny College of Beauty Therapy. I went on to further study in holistic therapies, training and marketing. The Industry is full of opportunities and good people. I’ve been very fortunate, and have seen a lot of change over the years as a result.

What Changes have you noticed within the beauty industry in Ireland in the past ten years?

The last ten years in the beauty industry has been most exciting, and the industry has evolved massively. I believe customers are more educated and savvy about treatments and products researching online ahead of coming in through the doors! This has forced therapist to step up their game and embrace even more post graduate education ensuring they are equipped for the more technical questions customers have. I think we are starting to see higher standards in both treatments, products and overall customer experience because of this drive on further education.

I also have noticed more of a focus on the online and technology which is key for managing your online presence. Clients as I mentioned are researching in advance so what they see online about you and your business is vital in impacting if they choose to walk in your doors. If you maximise your online presence you can increase your customer base and increase sales and services and I think the beauty industry in the last 10 years are really capitalizing on that fact and seeing growth as a result.

You have changed your career path from beauty therapy to marketing, why did you decide to move into this area and how did you go about it?

I always feel you must adapt and embrace change to move forward and often do things outside of your comfort zone to surprise yourself. I was never a very technical person and as a therapist I didn’t need to be as I often used a manual appointment book! I went to work for a company called Phorest a salon software company and many of my friends laughed saying you and computers… I ended up becoming head of education for Phorest training thousands of salons and staff on the system including its marketing features and that’s where my appreciation of the power of technology in growing business began. I then went back to college at night time and studied social media and digital marketing to further my knowledge and gain a qualification. I love the beauty industry, so it was never an option to leave so I focused on looking for marketing roles within the beauty industry, so I could use my existing knowledge and stay within the beauty industry.

What is your advice to someone who would like to change their career path?

Only you have then power to change your path, so you need to believe in your own abilities even if other doubt them. You may get rejected for a lack of experience in the area or lack of a certain qualification but if you truly want it you can’t let it stop you. The right type of companies hires attitudes if you have the right one and can convenience them you are worth taking a bet on that’s all you need to get started. Changing career is not easy because you are starting at the bottom again, so you will need to work on the qualifications and skills needed harder than others because you will have something to prove but it will be worth it!

Tell us about the company you work for, and what your current position involves?

My current position is digital marketing executive for a company called Chleo Enterprises who distributes brands including ARTDECO, MISSLYN, SOTHYS, PERRON RIGOT, DMK AND Diego Dalla Palma products across Ireland and the UK markets. The company has been around for over 30 years and is an Irish family business that prides itself on excellent customer service. My role involves designing adverts, writing editorials and blogs for trade and consumer press. I manage the social media across Facebook and Instagram for all the brands. Look after customer marketing support and internal sales support materials and I work with bloggers and influencer’s in promoting our brands and lots more. Its very dynamic and interesting and I am constantly learning as technology changes, so I am kept on my toes!

Who Influences you?

I don’t have one person in particular that influences me it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I love business and motivation topics so people like Richard Branson, Sophia Amoruso, Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins are my top favourites. I often read their books or watch clips of their presentations on YouTube to get me pumped before a big meeting.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love reading a good book currently I am reading #Girl boss  Sophia Amoruso. I love writing and write a beauty page for the Carlow Nationalist every fortnight on all things beauty. My ultimate favourite thing to do is spend time with my family especially my 4 year old daughter who is always reminding me of the simple pleasures in life and what’s really important she keeps me grounded.