Joan Cashman, Image Consultant
Former accountant Joan Cashman is not what you expect from a fashionista.
Outgoing, chirpy and with a constant smile on her face, she is worlds away from the sulky pout of Posh Spice or the icy glare of Anna Wintour, but Joan’s business has been making women look good since she first stepped away from ledgers and accounts books. And she’s a great advertisement for her own services.
Married to Connie, who’s retired, and mother to Caroline (24) and Paul (22), Joan first trained as a colour consultant and stylist as something to do when, as a young mother, she had given up her job to stay at home with the children.
From Newmarket in County Cork, where she still lives, Joan began working for Colour me Beautiful as a colour consultant during the 1990s. She became well known as the friendly face of fashion, and women from all over Ireland – and Europe – began to avail of her services.
Soon, she was training colour consultants in Germany and the UK, and found herself climbing the corporate ladder, where her refreshing take on promotion – “Sure, I’ll do it until you find someone better” – saw her take the top job. It’s not surprising, given that she says her motto is to work hard and to be down to earth.
After working as the Irish head of Colour Me Beautiful for a number of years, Joan soon found herself wanting to get back to basics, and retreated from the company to focus on her own business, Joan Cashman Colour and Image Academy.
These days, she trains make-up artists all over Ireland and does one-on-one consultations with women about their colours, shape and image.
Her passion, she says, is getting inside the person and establishing a relationship with them, in order to sort out what’s on the outside.
The first impression we form of any person is done in the first seven seconds, according to Joan, who also has a qualification in philosophy. That isn’t a lot of time to say anything, so between body language, clothing and grooming, it’s up to your appearance to do the talking for you.
A full consultation takes approximately four hours, and includes personality testing, shape analysis, colour analysis, a make-up lesson, and recommendations for what to wear in the different aspects of all our lives.
Well acquainted herself with the business world, Joan is a firm believer that women need to take control of their image and dress appropriately for whatever field they work in.
At her discreet city centre premises, Joan looks after the needs of everyone from a mother of the bride seeking an age-appropriate outfit to a young professional entering the workplace for the first time. But that’s all she’ll tell you about her client list. We suspect that a lot of well-known people have climbed these steps in the past, but with a twinkle in her eye, Joan stays mum. She doesn’t believe in making her clients do the work for her – and is so loyal to this principle that she will avoid speaking to them in public, if necessary!
Name: Joan Cashman
Occupation: Image consultant
Location: Newmarket / Carey’s Lane
Favourite thing about Cork: The friendliness
Least favourite thing about Cork: The rain