Lifestyle | 29 Jan 2018 | By Sun International
The Business of Beauty at Carnival City Spa
AERCT and Carnival City awarded Uluphiwe Mnisi and Ruby Booi with a 2 year bursary in Somatology (Beauty Therapy) and Hairdressing. In addition, these ambitious young women were offered the opportunity to work for the leading global spa brand Steiner aboard their international cruise ships.
Following their return this dynamic duo decided to make their dreams come true by opening their own spa at Carnival City, called Precious Rubies.
After their grand spa opening that took place on 3 December, we caught up with the 2 inspiring women to find out more about their exciting journey from beauty therapists to entrepreneurs.
Q: You were awarded with a two-year bursary in Somatology (Beauty Therapy) and Hairdressing. How did this opportunity come about?
A: Ruby Booi (RB): I was afforded the opportunity to study Somatology and Hairdressing shortly after I had completed my diploma in Business Studies.
I couldn't find any work at the time and it was one of my lowest points. I then heard of the opportunity and quickly sent my motivational letter. I was then called in for an interview and before I knew it, I was enrolled at the Rene Institute of Beauty and Therapy.
Q: What was the most valuable aspect of your studies?
A: Uluphiwe Precious Mnisi (UM): Learning that we are all beautiful in our own unique way.
RB: I met my business partner Uluphiwe Precious Mnisi at school and this is where my love for the Beauty and Therapy industry grew and was nurtured.
Q: When did you realise that there was an entrepreneurship opportunity for your skill set?
A: RB: I have always wanted have my own business that's why I enrolled in Business Studies after matric. I've always believed that there are business opportunities in each and every industry in South Africa. So when I was sponsored to study Beauty Therapy, I knew that I would one day have my very own spa.
Q: How did you transform your dream of opening a spa into a reality?
A: UM: I've always known that I wanted to open my own business. After coming back from the ship my partner and I got together and registered our company. We then put together a business plan and a proposal. We started knocking on different doors and going through tender processes and finally after 2 years our dream is coming true.
RB: I believe that the first step to achieving anything is to try and try again. So that's exactly what I did along with my partner. We tried and tried and never gave up! A writer once said: "If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough."
Q: You were offered the opportunity to work for the leading global spa brand Steiner aboard their international cruise ships. Tell us about that experience.
A: UM: It was such a lovely experience, I travelled the world while doing what I loved the most. I met people from all walks of life and I made lifetime friend from all over the world.
RB: It was the best experience of my life. Never ever did I imagine that I would have friends spread across the globe. I met wonderful individuals and some that I'd love to forget (laughs). I learned so much about the international spa industry and gained a very advantageous skill that is working with people from different walks of life. I urge everyone who lands such an opportunity to grab it with both hands, you will come back a whole different person, for the good that is.
Q: On the topic of your international experience, how does the international spa market differ to the South African market?
A: UM: It differs a lot and South Africa is behind especially when it comes to customer service. It's their number one priority whereas here it takes a back seat.
RB: In South Africa Somatologists or Therapists are not viewed as highly skilled and professional individuals, most people think we sit in class and learn how to paint nails. They are not aware that we also study the human anatomy, skin health and disorders etc.
Q: With the upcoming opening of your spa Precious Rubies at the Carnival Club Hotel, what type of spa experience do you intend to create?
A: UM: It's going to be a calm, rejuvenating and relaxed atmosphere and our guests will feel like they are the most important person in the world.
RB: We want to create a professional and welcoming environment. When our guest steps into our premises we want all their worries and stresses to be forgotten.
Q: Why the name Precious Rubies?
A: UM: My middle name is Precious and my partner is Ruby. So we came up we name that is personal to us. Precious Rubies is the apple of our eye.
RB: We will also treat our guest like precious stones.
Q: Which treatment is your personal favourite?
A: UM: Blazing Ice manicures and pedicures and the lime and ginger full body treatment.
RB: My favorite treatment would have to be the Precious Rubies Signature Facial – 2 hours of pure bliss I tell you!
Q: Looking back on your journey to opening Precious Rubies, what has been the most valuable lesson that you have learnt?
A: UM: Patience, resilience and never listen to people when they tell you that you can't do it. I learned that with God on your side, anything is possible.
RB: Opening this spa has been a very difficult road, it was not easy. I learned that persistence pays, giving up can never be an option! You just change your strategy, path, approach or whatever it is you need to do, but you just never ever give up.
Q: Carnival City seeks to support local entrepreneurs. What advice would you give to wannabe entrepreneurs?
A: RB: To anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur, I say good for you, you brave soul! It all starts with a dream and the will to try. Do your research, think outside of the box and write down all your ideas they might come in handy during your journey. Remember never to give up, and I mean never!