For April Tina O’Mahony opening her new salon in Mitchelstown is a dream come true for the local woman.
The Glenahulla native has been doing a busy trade since opening on Lower Cork Street. This week she spoke to The Avondhu about how her aim in opening a new hairdressing business – April Tina’s Hair Salon – was to bring five star treatment to Mitchelstown.
At just 21, April Tina is one of the town’s youngest business owners but don’t let that fool you, this is a shrewd business woman with plenty of experience having started working as a teenager.
“My mam, Sinead, has always been a hairdresser and I have always had a passion for hair dressing. I never had a doubt that I would always do hairdressing. My childhood dream is that I would own a salon of my own. It is a huge achievement to see people coming in here and the fact that I have been booked out as well all this week is great.”
It is clear that the influence of her mother’s business is a guiding light.
“My mam was a hairdresser with her own salon in Douglas for years, so everyone is delighted to see a salon in the family again.”
April Tina began her career as a teenager but when she left school she went to work and train in Sobe Brown in Cork. She then sat her hairdressing exams. She paid tribute to the people of Mitchelstown who helped her realise her dream.
“I started when I was 16, but then I finished school. I am only 21 and I wanted to do it here, in town, in Mitchelstown – to open my own salon,” she said.
“There is an awful lot involved in getting a salon up and running. It seems an awful lot easier when the idea is in your head. I think finding a place was the hardest, it is very difficult to get a place signed over to you on the lease. So many places are dormant.
“I was very lucky with this salon because a local man recommended it to me, to come in here. The footfall is fantastic outside, I wanted it to be Lower Cork Street and I wanted to get into a place where I could be long term.”
April Tina learned some valuable lessons as she worked in Cork city – chief among them was the idea of making a salon a welcoming place for customers.
“I think sometimes a salon can be stand offish to younger people or to men. I have a lot of male friends and I wanted it to be very welcoming and open. I think I’ve achieved that. I want to create a totally different experience for people.
“I felt that when I was in Cork I was meeting a lot of people who were coming up from the country, especially from Mitchelstown, so I felt that I wanted to bring back something for them. I wanted to achieve that for people, they should be able to get the five star city service.”
She also had some words of gratitude for the business community in Mitchelstown, who have offered their support as she launched her new venture.
“Every business here in Mitchelstown has wished me well. Everyone is so open, so bubbly, there is no competition because everyone is coming together as one. Everybody has been so supportive.
I always believe in the little details, small things like providing people with a coffee and other touches. I have created a quieter area at the basin as I found people can feel a little awkward there.”
April Tina is not just offering hair styling, she has also taken on an expert in make-up services. She is open Tuesday to Saturday with a late night on a Thursday.