Trudy Hayes


Beauty services on demand? Whether you’re in a hospital, hotel, or your home: the Raven app has your back.

Trudy Hayes knows just how important a small treat like having your nails done is while you recover in hospital.

Almost ten years ago, the Dubliner experienced kidney failure. She spent the ensuing years going in and out of wards, having dialysis, before ultimately undergoing a transplant.

“When I was in hospital attached to a machine for five plus hours a day, I forgot that I was human,” Hayes recalled. “My sister would come in and paint my nails and shave my legs, and that was a turning point for me. I felt instantly better and just fresh again. I really feel that beauty is synonymous with wellbeing. It does something to your confidence, it is important.”

Hayes, a hairdresser by trade, had experience working all over the world before she fell ill. Her journey back to health, building herself back up from scratch as her weight had plummeted to five stone, inspired her app Raven. The genius platform allows users to ‘summon’ beauty pros for services such as manicures, blow drys, makeup applications, facials, and massage.

As Hayes said, money can buy you many things including health insurance - but it can’t buy you health. After her own all-consuming health battle, she was inspired to create a meaningful business that could help a wide variety of people - including those who are feeling at their lowest.

“We do a lot of work for hospitals and hospices around the country,” she said. “This is the reason I set up Raven, as I have first hand experience of how much better you feel to even just have your hair washed after trauma. We do lots of work at maternity hospitals too.”

“The best thing about this is that we get the feel-good factor being around people when they need our services the most. Whether that’s post-surgery, women with newborns, people with disabilities who haven’t been able to make it to the salon, or women post-chemo who still don’t feel confident enough to go out. Even people in hospices at the ends of their lives. You can really see and feel the difference that those appointments make for clients and their families.”

Raven, which means beauty in Hindu, has soared in popularity in the two-and-a-half years since Hayes dreamt it up. The inspirational entrepreneur is committed to promoting the app more in rural areas, as well as expanding overseas to London. Raven has also branched out into education, with beauty courses available in Dublin.

Hayes’ story of relentless determination to not only recover from her ill-health, but to also take such brave leaps in her career is nothing short of admirable. If nothing else, she has used her experiences to propel her even further in the business world - Raven has already been named as Apple’s app of the week twice!

“The first time we made a sale was exciting - I still have the first one in a frame,” she remembered.

“Raven is something I built from scratch with no money, so it’s my baby. I have always worked really hard and loved my social life too. Very often, I would never say no to work or nights out and it often left me burnt out. I have now learned to say no to things that don’t serve me, and not feel guilty about it.”

”You only get one body; look after it,” she continued. “Mental health has a lot to do with how your body and organs work. We have to look after our brain health as well as our bodies.”

Hindsight, she admitted, is a wonderful thing - but she now knows exactly what she would tell her younger self, that ambitious 15-year-old who left school early to see what the world had to offer.

“Don’t be afraid: go for it! Don’t care what people think, and don’t hold importance over material things. Learn to say no and look after your health.”

Here, here.

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