With the unsettling scarceness of jobs in the country, many South Africans are relying on small businesses to survive. Among them is recent make-up artist graduate, Snenhlanhla Buthelezi (31) who decided to utilise her talent and start a nail technician business.
The Nongoma born and Kwa-Hlabisa raised mother of two tells the Ngcobo Empire of how her obsession with nails developed.
“During my high school days, I would improvise and cut open an empty 2 litre plastic bottle and create nails out of it.”
It was after graduating from her Public Management studies in 2014 that Buthelezi was faced with the challenging task of job hunting. After the disappointment of being unsuccessful in a job interview, her sister persuaded her to consider pursuing her passion for doing manicures and pedicure, at a cost. In May that year, Buthelezi negotiated for space to rent in her friend’s salon, and with success she was finally able to have her own platform to run a business.
Even though she is now enjoying a strong and loyal client-base, she admits that it was not easy when she started. Like in many small businesses, the owners are confronted with a wave of challenges and hers was no exception.
“During the first few months, I literally had no clients so I came up with a strategy to call people I know to do their nails for free, that way I managed to get a few appointments from people who were walking past or coming into the salon,” she explains.
Buthelezi started off as a self-taught nail technician and later decided to take on a course with Planet Nails in order to advance her skills. Her business management skills have also grown, as she now believes in effective communication between herself and customers. For this reason, she always emphasizes that her clients make an appointment before arriving at the salon; so she is better prepared for them.
The confident nail technician says that what sets her apart from others in her line of work is that once she does your nails, you will not want another technician to touch them again.
When asked what advice she would give to young people who want to start a small business, this is what she says: “You don’t get tired if you put love in everything you do. Even if you are faced with challenges, it is easy to get up and do your business. Plus love conquers all.”
This year, Buthelezi has plans to grow her business by adding other services that are beauty related, as she is now a qualified make-up artist.
Visit the salon, which is based in Durban South Beach across Coastlands Hotel, next to Adam and Eve Salon, or contact +27 62 515 9082 to make an appointment. Alternatively you can interact with her on these social media accounts:
Facebook: Sneh The Exclusive Nail Tech
~ Thabile Shange