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Julie-Anne Hegarty is the founder and owner of Shake Your Feathers, a boutique PR agency she started in March 2016 after two decades of a career spent in the beauty industry. Having worked in distribution, marketing and PR, Julie-Anne was quick to learn that beauty goes so much deeper than simply looking pretty. While her career has been very much international, and took her from Northern Ireland (her home country) to Boston (as the US sales manager of Denman, a UK-based hair care company), it’s South Africa where Julie-Anne ultimately set up her beauty “shop”. “In all these markets, I learnt the consumer’s need is universal; buyers of beauty 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.”

Running a boutique agency means Julie-Anne isn’t a business owner at arms-length; “I work very closely with clients who prefer operating with an individual, rather than with a big corporate team. It’s friendlier, more connected, and of course far more productive that way,” she enthuses. In fact, Julie-Anne is all about being productive. A working stage actor, she professionally juggles her business life as Shake Your Tail Feather’s managing director, and her time spent in the theatre. And these two worlds collide rather beautifully.

“I’ve always believed that you should do what makes your heart sing,” explains Julie-Anne who lives by a quote from US author Marianne Williamson: “Your playing small does not serve the world”. Both my work and acting passions serve each other wonderfully as the disciplines aren’t unrelated at all – they’re essentially both communication professions, she explains. “I love observing human behaviour and have a genuine interest in why we make the decisions we do – that not only helps me as a marketer and publicist, but also as an actor convincing an audience of my character.”

Currently, when not in her MD’s chair, you can see Julie-Anne performing in The Revlon Girl this November at the Theatre On The Square in Sandton.