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In the latest instalment of our new series, Managing Director of Ruby Seven Image Consulting, Mary Holmes talks life, career and fashion with RSVP’s Jane Haynes.



Your path into the industry…

Following a degree in International Marketing and Languages from DCU, I spent 13 years in different marketing roles in IT companies, but I was never happy or fulfilled by my job. From an early age I had always experimented with clothes and different looks, so I decided to take an Image Consulting course at Limpert’s Academy, through distance learning, while I continued to work my marketing day job. While I was only on my second assignment I got my first paying client and things snowballed from there. Once the Ruby Seven website was up and running, it became impossible to continue working full-time while trying to set up Ruby Seven so in December 2007, I took a career break to allow me to focus completely on the business and I never went back. There were slow times due to the recession but I’ve managed to keep my head above water and seven years on Ruby Seven is still going strong.

Mary doing a colour analysis at a demonstration

Your typical day…

As a mum to a five year old, I have to work around primary school hours, so I find myself working a lot of evenings and weekends to suit my clients’ lifestyles as well as my own. Typically I will meet a client directly after the school run, either for a private consultation or for personal shopping. If I’m working with a company, I will make child care arrangements for after school. I also like to run and go to the gym if I get the opportunity during the week. School pick up is usually 1.15pm so then my real job starts! And then I may go out in the evening to meet clients or work on presentations at home.

Mary balances her hectic career with being a mum to 5 year old Zoe

Your greatest achievement…

I have two: firstly, setting up my own business and making it work, secondly, my daughter – and not in that order!


Your style…

Eclectic. I do dressy very well and go all out with heels and accessories but I like my jeans and leggings too. I’m always keen to keep my look fresh by incorporating trends of the season into more classic looks. I’m a big fan of print and colour and rarely leave the house without accessories. I firmly believe that footwear can make or break a outfit, so shoes and boots are high on my agenda. Body shape is equally important. I think that once you dress for your shape you will look well regardless of what’s in fashion. Style is more important than fashion in my mind. Style is timeless, fashion is of the moment.

Mary pictured wearing her favourite wardrobe piece: a Lily Allen-designed gown from Lucy in Disguise

Your favourite wardrobe piece…

My all-time favourite dress is a Lucy in Disguise floor length gown designed by Lily Allen, which I wore to a certain big birthday of mine. I wish I had another occasion to wear it to any time soon.


Your ‘me’ time…

I love spending time with my daughter but for total stress elimination, I love to run. I only started running in my 30s but I’ve done 3 marathons and countless other distance runs. I’m just coming back from injury now, so I’m finally at the point where I can enter a race. Otherwise I love eating out, trying new restaurants, yoga, reading, movies, travel to a point.

Mary counts running as her ultimate stress buster. Here she is pictured running her first marathon

Your favourite holiday destination…

For the last 7 years my family has holidayed in the same town in Spain, Moraira on the Costa Blanca, as we absolutely love everything this place has to offer. This year, we have decided to try camping and are heading to Lake Garda in June for our new adventure! Favourite non-family holiday destination would have to be Dubai. My husband’s company is based there and I have been lucky enough to have been able to visit Dubai many many times and have wonderful memories from there.

On holidays with her family

Your favourite restaurant…

My favourite place in the whole world for a romantic dinner is Pier Chic in Dubai. Difficult to beat. For authentic Italian in Dublin- Pinocchio’s in Ranelagh, for fine dining, l’Ecrivain, for tapas style eating Fade Street Social, for organic luxury, the Strawberry Tree, Macreddin village, Wicklow, for brunch, Mrs Robinson’s kitchen, Greystones, for pizza, Milanos, best sushi, Yo Thai Mount Merrion…I could go on all day!


Your style…

I’d say I have a good eye for colour and fabrics even though I have no interior design training. I used to be good at art as a child so I suppose that creative streak has stayed with me.

photo 10

Your favourite part/ piece of your home…

My bed, because it’s huge and comfy and I’m a big fan of sleeping!