Gemma Crossan originally from Collooney, Co. Sligo took the brave move in 2009 to open Hot Head Hair Salon at the age of 23 in the nearby village of Riverstown. Now four short years later, Gemma calls Riverstown home, has a loyal base of clients, highly trained staff and is making a name for herself in international hairdressing circles. Hairdressing since the age of 16 and growing up seeing the family business Crossan Hair and Beauty Cosmetics thrive since 1976, Gemma always had ambitions to be her own boss. Since starting Hot Head Hair Salon the business has grown steadily and caters for clients in Riverstown with regular clients travelling from Tubbercurry, Carrick on Shannon and Manorhamilton.  Her loyal clients return home from college at the weekend to avail of the Salon’s stylists. Hot Head Hair Salon’s clients range from babies getting their first hair cut to ladies and gentlemen of all ages. We stand out from the competition for our award winning team of stylists and community involvement. Gemma and her team decided to showcase their style and talent at the Irish Hairdressing Federation awards in 2012 and this began a host of decorations and awards for Gemma and her Salon culminating in Gemma achieving the All Ireland Senior Ladies Champion in Belfast this April. A fantastic accolade for Gemma and her growing Salon. 2012 was an extremely busy year for the Salon, Gemma became a finalist in the Visionary Awards, two categories in the Irish Hairdressing Photographic Awards and achieved 7th place in Ireland in the Revlon Style Masters Awards. Eimear, a senior stylist, achieved a 5th, 6th, 8th placement in Belfast in April and a top six placement at the Irish Hairdressing Federation Awards in Dublin in 2012 and 2013. Gemma has achieved 3rd and 6th place in the Irish Hairdressing Federation Awards in 2012 and 2013. Gemma fantastic achievement gaining the title of All Ireland Senior Ladies Champion was achieved after combining her results/points from three categories – 1st place in Creative Day Style, 3rd place in Goldwell Colour Trophy, 4th place in Bridal Style. Gemma was also delighted with a top four placement in Creative Fantasy at the awards. Gemma was delighted to be selected for the Irish Team for 2012 and 2013; she is looking forward to travelling to Moscow in September for the world championship. Hot Head Hair Salon is a stockist of the latest products from Revlon, Keune, GHD and Joice and has the latest trends available in the Salon including 12-Week Blowdry and Colour Placement System. The owner Gemma qualified as an English hairdressing lecturer with City and Guilds and saw the opportunity to run teaching classes in the Salon on Monday when it was closed. The classes are fully booked on each occasion and it is now becoming one of the leading hands-on training centres in the North West.

Where do you see the company in 5 years?

How are you going to get there?

In five years time we would hope to have expanded the number of salons to three, increase the number of award winning senior stylists while setting up an apprenticeship programme for the business in conjunction with my training programme. We would like to continue completing in national and international hair dressing competitions, bringing more trophy’s back to Sligo and providing the Irish team with a host of stylists to choose from. Expanding the salon’s training facility potential to provide additional courses while facilitating our senior stylist the opportunity of becoming lecturers. There is a demand for short day courses and evening courses for stylists to up-skill on a continuous basis during their career and this is a market which we are in the process of developing to its full potential. We are enthusiastic users of social media to expand our client base and we are in the process of developing a new website with e-commerce and training booking facility. We work closely with a local photographer to record all of our awards and styles. Through the use of online advertising, our website and social media the possibility to reach wide audiences is at our fingertips in the near future. We hope to continue providing our clients with the leading international trends in hairdressing.

Why do you feel this business is worthy of an award?

We feel our business is worthy of the Best Rural Business Award as we are based in the small village of Riverstown. We started the business in 2009 at the height of the recession and have built a thriving business in a rural location. We provide employment to 5 people. Rent retail space, which rejuvenated the centre of Riverstown. We rent space to Sligo Lashes Beauty Salon, which employs two people and brings an additional client base into Riverstown and Hot Head Hair Salon. Gemma after opening the business settled in Riverstown and purchased a local residence. The team actively participates in community events and charity fundraising activities on an ongoing basis. We believe we deserve to be considered for the award and would be delighted if Hot Head Hair Salon and its owner female entrepreneur Gemma Crossan were honored with this award.