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Somatology graduate nails it in the beauty industry

Kgautswane hires 20 staff to help run three nail bars

Hannah Kgapane doing makeup at Belleshhh Nail Bar Mams Mall.
Hannah Kgapane doing makeup at Belleshhh Nail Bar Mams Mall.
Image: Thomo Nkgadima

Hannah Kgapane, a somatology graduate, is the proud owner of a beauty products range and several nail bars in two provinces.

Kgapane, 31, from Kgautswane village outside the mining town of Burgersfort in Limpopo, started her journey three years ago after she completed her studies at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in 2012.

She launched her own beauty products brand called Belleshhh Cosmetics last year, which she says has been growing in leaps and bounds. She also runs three nail bars – one at the Mams Mall, east of Pretoria, another at the Tubatse Mall in Limpopo and a third one located at Jabulani Mall in Soweto, Johannesburg. 

"When I struggled to find a job, I took a decision to change my life for good. I started doing make-up and massages on people from the comfort of their own homes," Kgapane said. 

"The determination to learn from my brothers, who are well-established entrepreneurs, helped me to acquire knowledge and experience in running my own business."  

Kgapane told Sowetan her strategy to approach companies and offer to pamper their workers at a reasonable discounted rate worked wonders. 

Her biggest challenge was funding. "My business started small and I worked very hard to grow my business to be where it is today," she said.

"I train my own workers because I struggle to get qualified people to do the job. I employ people who are eager to work and learn. I then develop and train them."

At the moment Bellashhh Cosmetics has foundation powders, lipsticks, eyebrow pencils and highlighters. 

"My future goal is to own my own beauty training academy. I use my own brand to do foundation and lipstick. I have trained and employed 20 workers, responding to imperatives of creating employment opportunities and hope to create jobs for the jobless youth in future," she said.  

"I decided to use my own product not to compromise quality and our product is flying from the shelves and selling like fatcakes.

"Now I provide leadership and entrepreneurial skill. My wish is to add other beauty services like massages, body scrubs and waxing facials onto our services."

Kgapane said that growing up she wanted to become a geologist, but when she applied for the course, she was told admission was full.

"I then decided to study somatology, not knowing it would lead me to what is now my passion," she said.

She confirmed that beauty business is very expensive. 

"Due to unforeseen circumstances such as the Covid-19, economic recession and other various factors, the opportunity that I was waiting for to open branches all over the country has been delayed."

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