Like most young women her age, Julie-Anne Hegarty was a girl with a dream. A dream to develop her flair for acting and one day appear on the big screen (and of course on as many Hello magazine covers as possible). However, instead of clasping an Oscar and delivering an endearing yet witty acceptance speech, Julie-Anne found herself clutching a hairbrush and embarking on a working life in beauty distribution, marketing and PR. And so began a 24-year career in another world of make believe. But Julie-Anne was quick to learn that beauty goes so much deeper than simply looking pretty. “My work has taken me from Northern Ireland (my home country) to Boston (as the US sales manager of Denman, a UK-based hair care company), and then in 2006, to South Africa where I set up my own international beauty brand agency,” she says. “In all these markets, I learnt the consumer’s need is universal; beauty buyers not only want products that make them look and feel better but that actually have life changing potential too - even if it’s as simple as saving them time that can be better spent.”
Julie-Anne set up Shake Your Tail Feathers in March 2016 - a PR company and creative space to market her imported agency brands - so her focus could be shared between her family (three delightful children and two darling dogs) and her business. “My face mightn’t have appeared on the pages of glossy magazines, but my client’s beauty products have, and that always gives me a rush.” And because Shake Your Tail Feathers is owner run and managed, Julie-Anne isn’t just a company director who plays a cameo role every now and then. She’s always part of the scene.
“Shake Your Tail Feathers is a boutique agency, meaning I can work very closely with clients who prefer operating with an individual, rather than with a big corporate team. It’s friendlier that way,” laughs Julie-Anne. Speaking of friendly, when she’s not with the young Hegarty clan or shaking her tail feathers, Julie-Anne is rather social. She plays tennis, is a lively debater at Articles Anonymous dinners (podcasts for literary enthusiasts), and of course, goes to the theatre. And not necessarily in that order.