BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE
An epitome of beauty herself, Veronica Molaolwa, in pursuit of a passion, put aside her Bachelor of Commerce degree to enhance people’s beauty. At first glance one would think she is daughter of the owner of Nailtech and Hair Studio or an employee, but the pint-sized beauty is the Director and Owner. She and her twin brother are the middle children of the late Tshegofatso Molaolwa’s seven children. Raised by a single mother, who didn’t spare the rod to teach her cleanliness, Vero as she is commonly called is living her passion and still aims high. Kgomotso Tshwenyego, sat down with this versatile young woman.
Q. Why did you decide to go into business?
I have always wanted to be a businesswoman. After completing my B.Com Degree with UNISA in 2006, I decided to study beauty therapy, something which I felt I can do better and that can help me start my own business. Botswana was still behind with the new and updated nail systems so I saw an opportunity to get into the industry.
Q. What motivated you to start the business?
My mother was very particular about hands and nail hygiene. She would not eat food prepared by someone with untidy nails. I started paying attention to my nails and always made sure they were clean. Eventually, I found fun in cutting and decorating my friends’ nails to keep them clean and nice. She instilled in me the love and passion for clean hands and nails and it was because of this that Nailtech and Hair Salon was born.
Q. How did you start?
While I was in South Africa, where I studied beauty therapy, my Lecturer saw the talent and the love I had for beauty and decided to give me a manicure table as a gift and she even organized a business space for me to start. I returned home in 2008 and looked for a business space where I started operating from. I used the savings I accumulated while I was operating from Joburg as my initial capital.
Q. What challenges do you face as a young Motswana in business?
The competitors are big and that really needs me to be always on my feet and work hard to attract clients. Then there is the usual issue of finance, without money, one cannot expand as much as they would love to. I must say, though, step by step am moving towards my goal.
Q. Which is?
To open other shops in Lobatse and Francistown and later other villages and towns in the country. I want Nailtech to be big and the talk of the town throughout Botswana. I feel a need to educate Batswana about how to take care of themselves and this I will achieve one day.
Q. Who are your competitors?
Foreigners mostly. They have occupied the industry so much that locals find it hard to progress as much as they would love to. There are other well-established Batswana who have been long in the industry. However, through determination and perseverance, I strive to keep up with all my competitors and be the best I can be. Quality service and products as well as excellent customer service are the tools I use on my way up.
Q. What does Nailtech offer?
Nailtech was born in 2008 as a nails only business. It is from the profit that I made that, in July 2010, I expanded to hair as well. We offer advanced nail systems, manicures, pedicures, massages, eyelash extensions, occasional makeup, eyebrow and lash tints, facial treatments, tattoos, hair treatments and styling. Basically, we offer all beauty services and am confident to say we are the best in the industry.
Q. Give advice to consumers
Go to professionals that will give quality service. Beauty demands quality and if you opt for cheaper quality, it may ruin you forever. Look for beauty services where you will gain knowledge that can help you in future. If your skin gets damaged because you used cheap products, it will be even more expensive to rectify that or worse that may be a permanent thing that you will live with for the rest of your life.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be in beauty business?
We do not make people beautiful, we enhance their beauty and advise them on products to use and how to use them. Beauty therapy, just like fashion, keeps changing, stay up to date, keep learning new things in the market. Business demands determination and perseverance, surround yourself with positive minded people to keep motivated and focused. Most of all, look the part, look like you can enhance a client’s beauty.
Q. Why did you decide to be a sponsor and who are you sponsoring?
I found it in my heart to sponsor some projects as a social responsibility to give back to the community. I sponsor My Star, Miss Botswana, Primetime Live, Miss Earth, Miss InterBanks to name just a few.
Q. What do you benefit from this?
Though it is not financially rewarding at the moment, deciding to be a sponsor was a strategic move to establish longterm relationships with some stakeholders and to also lend a hand in the development of the country in a way that I am able to do best and know how.
Q. Do you think Government should close down foreign beauty businesses?
It would not be fair to close down their businesses because somehow they contribute to the economy and they offer jobs to many Batswana. I would rather suggest they do partnerships with Batswana. By so doing, we can exchange ideas and learn from each other.
Q. Are your employees qualified?
I must point out that it is very difficult to find qualified hairdressers because of the rent-a-chair offer in some salons, so most qualified hairdressers go for this option. Of the thirteen employees I have, eight are qualified hair-dressers, two qualified beauty therapists and three trainee hair-dressers.
Q. How is it having a twin especially of a different gender?
My twin brother, Mogami, is much quieter than me, he loves me very much and I love him much more than anything else. He is a hardworker as well and supports me in my business and always gives the best of what he can offer. As children we used to fight a lot like all other siblings. He is overly protective of me and wants the best for me. When it comes to relationships, he doesn’t dictate what I do with my life but watches closely. Should anything seem to go wrong, he steps in.
Q. Who are your clients?
We service everyone, from students to the working and non-working public, both men and women.
Your last words
I’m pleading with Batswana to give local beauty businesses support. Sometimes when they walk into a salon and realise its owned by a local, there is some element of doubt as to whether they will get good service and I say try us, test us then you make a decision. Beauty services are not for women only, even men need to do manicure, facial treatment or pedicure. I am also appreciative of all those that are giving us support and promise to keep giving the best service they know.
Name: Veronica Mosidi Molaolwa
D.O.B.: 4 November
Favorite Food: Dikgobe
Favorite movies: Comedy
Place of operation: Digitec House, Main Mall
Parent: Tshegofatso Molaolwa (late)
Home Village: Hebron
Favorite music: Depends on the mood
Books: Motivational Books