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Relatively Speaking: Husband and wife, Jody and Karen

Cutting edge: Karen and Jody Devlin with their children
Cutting edge: Karen and Jody Devlin with their children
Helen Carson

By Helen Carson

Karen and Jody Devlin met through a mutual friend and married in Mexico 15 years ago. They own Rogue Hairdressing Salon in Belfast with their friend Darren Albrighton. The couple has four sons, Dylan (13), Charlie (11), Jude (7) and Joe (5).

Name: Karen Devlin

Age: 41

Occupation: Rogue Hairdressing Salon partner/colour specialist Relationship to Jody: Wife

We opened Rogue Salon 13 years ago after spending years working for a number of different hairdressers in Belfast. Jody and I are joint partners in the business with Darren Albrighton, who is also a hairdresser.

We met one night in Lavery's Bar when the two of us were introduced by mutual friends - he was working at Zakks and I was working at Natural Hair Company. We weren't a couple at first but were very good friends before we started dating.

We just enjoyed hanging out with each other and went to hair shows together. A couple of months later we started going out, and were together for three years when we decided to get married.

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We flew to Mexico to tie the knot 15 years ago. There were 17 of us, and quite a bunch of those were hairdressers from places we both used to work.

During this time, Jody and I worked together in a couple of places, then we decided to open our own salon.

We also knew that I would have to take time off when we had our family, so we set up Rogue with our good friend Darren. It's great to have him as he is very capable of running the business if either of us is not there.

It can be a challenge running a business and working with your husband. We also have four boys at home - Dylan, Charlie, Jude and Joe - so our house can be very noisy, too.

We both have our own roles to play in the business. In the salon, I look after training, while Jody manages staff issues and takes care of the administration.

Jody is more comfortable with that than me - despite the fact I often criticise what he said and the way he said it.

I wouldn't let anyone else cut my hair except Jody, as he is one of the few stylists in Belfast who cuts in the Sassoon style, where hair has to have great structure.

Again, I do tend to criticise when he is cutting my hair, but I always love it when it is done."

Name: Jody Devlin

Age: 42

Occupation: Rogue Hairdressing

Salon partner/


Relationship to Karen: Husband

The decision to open our own hair salon just made sense, especially for two people as creative as Karen and myself. When we were working for other people we were putting out our work under someone else's name. We knew we could make a success of a business ourselves and it has turned out to be a fantastic experience working together. Really, it was a natural progression for both of us in our careers.

We have four boys so when we are not working, one of us is at home taking care of them and helping them with homeworks.

To be honest, Karen and I don't really have chats at work, there is no time. I am wrapped up with my clients and running the business; we are so involved with what is going on we don't really see a lot of each other there.

Karen's best quality is her nurturing ability with our staff. When the girls need to have a chat they want to talk to her, not me.

She almost acts like a counsellor in some cases, and is brilliant at spotting their potential and bringing it out in them. She is fantastic at keeping the staff happy and is a buffer between them and me. That is why she is so involved with training at the salon - she is a great confidante and is really good at encouraging younger members of staff and enabling them to become good hairdressers.

Even if Karen and I have a tiff going into work, once we walk into the salon it's over, and we focus on what we have to do.

Mind you, once we finish at the end of the day and are heading home, the issue is raised again.

Our favourite way to relax is to spend the weekend, all six of us, on Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh where we have a boat. It's a very happy family time and a great way to clear your head, switch off and chill out."

A cut above the rest

  • Jody is now a member of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing, which is the UK's number one professional hairdressing association, and consists of the top 10% of stylists and salons nationwide, of which there are 14,000
  • Rogue hairdressing is an award-winning salon in Bradbury Place, Belfast, and has recently been refurbished to create a modern environment
  • Services include colouring, hair extensions and styling
  • The salon won the 2009 L'Oréal Professional Colour Trophy

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