Hair Salons can be a dreadful experience for children, and an equally stressful time for parents. Mante Mabuza established a safe haven and wonderland for kids. She talks to Tenacity’s Karabo Maila about opening up Smoochie Kids Salon, Spa and Party in Polokwane and the growth it has experienced over a short period of time.
Please kindly tell us who is Mante Mabuza?
My name is Mante Mabuza, I grew up in Tshehlwaneng, Jane Furse, Limpopo Province. I had a comfortable, happy and lovely childhood. I have amazing siblings and we continue to share a close bond. Our parents shaped my value system and perspective I carried through my life.
Tell us about your educational journey?
My journey started at Maserala Primary School, then I moved to Happy Day Primary School in Jane Furse and Northern Academy in Polokwane. I completed my matric at St Marks College and completed a Diploma in Business Management at Damelin in Johannesburg.
How did you get into business?
I genuinely love working with kids and my passion drove me to start my own business. Through research I found a niche market to provide services tailored for kids. I opened Smoochie Kids Salon, Spa and Party, a kid’s salon to create a one-stop shop and to give my clients convenience.
Why did you decide on the name, “Smoochie?”
The name came during a brainstorming session with my son and nephew. They came up with the name and I fell in love instantly. Smoochie is a brand bigger than just the salon & spa, it’s a kiddies’ lifestyle brand. It also covers the clothing I’m selling. I have a lot in the pipeline around the brand.
Salons are a common business in this province, how do you keep your business ahead of the competition?
Our business provide hair care services and a spa specifically for kids. The spa offers everything from massages, facials, feet and hand pampering. I found a niche market and that gives me a competitive edge and added advantage. I am creating a lifestyle for kids, a place every parent aspires to take their kids to. Smoochie is a wonderland and a safe haven for kids to play and express themselves without having the parents worried about their safety.
Smoochie Kids Salon, Spa and Party attracts a specific clientele, how have you maintained the standard?
My clients have been so loyal and I would like to thank them for such immense support. We have a loyalty program we run for every 10 visits our clients get a free appointment. We are also working to expend the marketing concepts in the business in ensuring our customers get the best experience.
What does your day to day schedule look like as a kid’s salon owner?
I arrive at the store around 7 o’clock in the morning to make sure everything is in place and ready for the day. Hygiene is important, and making sure my clients are in good hands is vital. My employees start coming in around 08:00 to start off the day. Fortunately, I have a general manager to take care of the day to day running, such as answering the phone and taking bookings. whilst I run errands. The Salon & Spa operates 7 days a week and though the parties are welcome throughout the week, they are usually booked Fridays to Sundays.
What are the challenges you encountered in your business?
The main challenge I had was the process of setting up the salon and making sure everything is running smooth before launch. Creating and operating the booking system was also a minor challenge in the beginning and we have since created a system that works. Running a business is a challenge in general but the passion I have for Smoochie makes the job easier for me.
Who inspires you?
My God-fearing mother is my biggest inspiration. She taught me the art of love, grace, faith and being humble. She also taught me hard work and letting me dream as far as I wish. She has been an anchor in my life, inspiring me to be a great mother myself.
How can our readers find you & your establishment on social media?
They can simply follow me on Instagram: @smoochiekidssalonandspa, Facebook: Smoochie Kids salon & spa and Twitter: smoochie Kids Salon & Spa.
Photo Courtesy of Review Newspaper