Maria Macklin (50) from Carrickmacross, Monaghan is a former primary school teacher who went to seek her fortune in London and returned to Ireland 16 years later as the Head of Marketing for a large multinational.
Having cast aside her corporate role, today Maria’s role as a stylist with House of Colour means she is making a difference by helping others to gain confidence in themselves and is now being talked about by many as Ireland’s next colour and style guru.
“After teaching at a primary school for two years, I quickly knew that it wasn’t for me. There were very few other opportunities in Ireland at the time as we were in recession and so London beckoned. My plan was to stay in London for a couple of years, however, career progression meant that I stayed for 16 years instead. I had completed a post-grad in marketing and when I returned to Ireland in 2004 it was as the Head of Marketing for a large multinational. In 2009, in the midst of another recession I had the chance to apply for a redundancy. As a mother of four small children this was a good time to take a step back and reinvent myself once again."
"Although I had my colours analysed many years ago, one day I was describing the transformational experience and the effect it had on my life with such passion and in so much detail to a friend, that she told me that I should look at actually becoming a colour analyst."
“I applied to House of Colour before I could talk myself out of it and my business is now thriving particularly because there is a hole in the Irish market for colour analysis and styling for men and women wanting to look their best, whilst staying true to their personality."
“My own experience of having my colours done was in the mid-nineties, when I attended a House of Colour talk at my workplace in London during one lunchtime and they used some of my colleagues for demonstration purposes."
“ I remember seeing Pauline, a lovely bright red haired receptionist being draped in a green which lifted her face and enhanced her features. I booked a class based on that and we discovered that I am an autumn leaf. One of the consultants, also an autumn, was dressed in olive green and mustard."
“I remember being really unimpressed that I too would be wearing these colours but when the consultant put on my lipstick and I was draped in my right colours it was so obvious that I looked far better. I had lots of corporate grey, black and navy in my wardrobe – three colours which drained me and which I now avoid completely."
“The compliments began to come almost immediately and I am lucky because they have never stopped; consequently, I have never looked back.”
“The real eye-opener though was when I had my Personal Style class. I have since replaced all the wrong styles with ones that are me through and through – neat, fitted and quirky. My wardrobe is now working hard for me – every piece is my style and goes with several other pieces. I have great flexibility and choice but never have ‘nothing to wear’."
“I loved the impact the process has on me and I wanted to pass that on. What’s more, the whole process is absolutely non-judgmental – it’s about allowing us all to be who we are inside and out. I believe that everyone has the right to look and feel valued and beautiful. It is something that everyone can achieve and the transformation is usually tremendous. We are judged everywhere we go – whether we like it or not – so I want my clients to love who they are and be the best they can be.”