Noxolo Mcwabeni provides one-stop grooming service

LEARNING CURVE | Motherwell beautician thrives on transforming clients’ looks

Beautician Noxolo Mcwabeni runs her salon Beauty by Nox in Motherwell. Mcwabeni is working on her client Noluvuyo Bacela in the salon
Beautician Noxolo Mcwabeni runs her salon Beauty by Nox in Motherwell. Mcwabeni is working on her client Noluvuyo Bacela in the salon
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

Combining beauty and business has always been part of Noxolo Mcwabeni’s dream.

The 31-year-old owner of Beauty By Nox, in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, has always loved bringing into reality the look that her clients desire.

The one-stop beauty shop owner believes there is purpose in beauty.

Please share some background about yourself and how your business was started.

I grew up in Motherwell, where I have spent most of my life.

Since my early childhood days, I have always been drawn to business and the beauty industry.

For me, the ability to bring out the look a person desires for themselves is something that has always captivated me.

After matric, I studied at Total Concept Beauty & Skin Care in Port Elizabeth, and that is where I got to improve my skill and be the beautician that I am today.

What is your core service?

We provide customised pampering, from nails, make-up and hair, and we facilitate relaxation with a variety of body massages to revive and uplift the mind and body.

What makes your business unique?

We are a one-stop shop, we cater for all our clients’ beauty needs.

If someone wanted to copy your business model how would they start?

They should acquire financing and get lots of business advice.

What are some of the biggest inhibitors your business faced before getting off the ground?

Finding the right location to set up the business was a challenge, in getting off the ground.

When Covid-19 hit, the challenges related to it really hit us hard.

Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs or new business owners?

Like any other business, you need to have a solid business plan.

It is also important to set clear goals and also do a lot of background research in your line of work.

What are some of your biggest challenges in day-to-day business operations and your particular industry?

Managing client’s bookings. Making sure clients are punctual for their appointments is very challenging in our industry because a few late clients can affect your whole booking schedule.

But we love our clients, so it’s a difficult twist.

Running costs are not for the fainthearted.

The beauty industry is very dynamic with new trends coming up each year, and keeping up can be a headache.

What is the best advice anyone gave you on success?

Your clients make you.

How do you measure or define success in your business?

I define my success by making my clients happy, and when we have good sales.

What are some of the best practices that have made your business successful?

Providing a good client experience, ensuring that my clients come back.

What kind of advertising do you do?

Facebook ads and word-of-mouth.

What is your company’s vision?

To provide my clients with the best beauty experience.

What is your target market?

Women and men of all ages.

What have some of your highlights been in running your business?

The warm messages we receive from our clients, giving us feedback on the treatment that we have provided them with.

How important is social media and an online presence for your business?

It’s our lifeblood. It’s very important.

How many people do you employ?

Four people.

Do you have any plans for expanding the business, and how would you go about this?

Yes. We would like to spread the business into more townships by looking at where new clients may require our services.

We would then try to open up new and similar high-end shops there in future.

How did you acquire funding for the business?

I used my personal savings and also partnered with a silent investor who shares the same vision as myself.

What is the biggest lesson you learnt from your business journey so far?

A solid vision, determination, solid partnerships and a can-do spirit can make dreams become a reality.

What have been the greatest challenges and advantages of running your own business in a city like PE?

PE is a small city, so it takes a while to build up a solid clientele base, which can be challenging.  

The advantages are the freedom to experiment with your ideas on your clients, and above all, being my own boss.

What do you believe are the three key traits of a successful employer?

  1. Putting clients first. They are the core and heartbeat of your business;
  2. Employee satisfaction — A happy employee goes the extra mile to make clients happy. A win-win for business; and
  3. Always track your finances, plan ahead and bring new exciting developments to your clients.

What do you wish people knew about your industry?

It’s a highly dynamic industry. There are constant changes in the beauty industry and you have to consistently go through training and learn new trends.

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