My mum's death encouraged me to follow my dream and open my own salon in Cork

He didn’t pursue a career in hairdressing because he was afraid people would think he was gay. Then, PATRICK MURPHY came out. However, he explains that it was his mother’s death that prompted him to follow his dream
My mum's death encouraged me to follow my dream and open my own salon in Cork
Patrick Murphy (right) with his salon staff, from left, Aaron, Aoife, Ciara, Odie (the puppy!), and Donna

EVER since I was a small child, I’ve been obsessed with hair. My mom always said: “Anything that had hair on it, he was obsessed with!”

This included My Little Ponies and Barbies and, if I was stuck, a Troll doll would do me.

Having three sisters, I had plenty of heads to practice on. One of my first memories is from when I was about seven years old. We were all watching Blind Date and I was curly blow drying my sister’s hair. With brushes and a drier. I have no idea how I even knew to do that! But I knew I could make it curly that way!

I remember it so well because I got a brush stuck in her hair and my mom had to cut the brush out. Let’s just say — there were tears!

I always did my sisters’ hair and friends’ hair all through my teenage years. It was really natural to me.

But when it came to my Leaving Cert and choosing a career, I chose college and studied Environmental Science in UCC for four years.

I reckon this was partly because I thought college was expected of me, and partly because I was afraid everyone would know I was gay if I went hairdressing! The logic of a closeted teenage boy.

But eventually, I guess, you can’t deny your calling. And once I was safely out of the closet, I felt free to be me and started hairdressing at Origin Hair Design, where I trained and worked as a senior stylist for many years. I won awards and developed the best clientele I could have asked for.

I always dreamt of having my own salon. But was always afraid to take the plunge. It seemed like the hugest, scariest thing I could draw on myself.

But last year I lost my mom, Eleanor, suddenly to cancer. My family’s whole world fell apart.

I felt sickened that I didn’t open my salon when she could have seen it. She always said “It would be the making of you!”

I guess losing my mom also put everything in perspective. Every kid’s worst nightmare is something bad happening to your mom. You worry about this your whole life.

Patrick Murphy, who opened his own hair salon in MacCurtain Street
Patrick Murphy, who opened his own hair salon in MacCurtain Street

And then your irrational worry becomes a terrifying reality, opening a salon suddenly doesn’t seem very scary anymore.

And a few months later, with the help of my dad and many others, Edit Hair Club was born in MacCurtain Street in Cork city, last October.

I wanted a cool, spacious, urban style that was simple but still homely feeling. I called it a Club because I wanted it to be inclusive for both staff and clients to feel at home in there and with a sense of family.

I wanted absolutely nothing but high-end hair and high-end service, but I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and at ease too.

You know when you have that many ideals in your head, I always think “it will never turn out how you think it will”. But on this one occasion in my life, I can honestly say that Edit Hair Club is everything I imagined it to be and more.

I couldn’t have imagined how lucky I would be with staff. Every single member of the team brings 100% every day. Every single one is so talented and I find myself learning from each of them.

I feel very blessed and I know I have my mom to thank because I know she’s still minding me!

When I look to the future of Edit Hair Club, I get a buzz in my stomach. It’s kind of nerves and kind of excitement.

I plan to keep giving great hair and great service, and keep building our beautiful, lovely clients.

They are the reason the salon actually happens, and I’m so grateful to each one of them for their loyalty and support.

I want my salon to be a cornerstone in the heart of Cork’s Victorian Quarter.

I still have to pinch myself every morning when I’m opening the shutters. Like I can’t believe it still.

But I am so grateful to every single person who made it possible.

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