When Smangele Zuma’s former employer in the beauty and spa industry took a knock due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she made the brave decision in 2020 to resign and set up her own business, Intombiyomzulu Aesthetic Spa.
Zuma (31), who holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Somatology from the Durban University of Technology, has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry.
Despite the negative impact the pandemic was having on businesses, she was optimistic her business would blossom and was determined to find new ways to reach customers. “I travelled everywhere in the country, making house calls, visiting hotels and corporates. Through strong social media marketing, the business has grown to the point that I have worked outside of the country, in Lesotho,” she says.
Apart from her intensive marketing campaign, Zuma says maintaining quality standards was key to the business’ growth. “I strive to give each of my customers an experience to remember, so that they will call me again. Also, it is not just business to me, it is my passion,” she says.
Her hard work paid off when Zuma was recently nominated in the Emerging Entrepreneur category of the Sebenza Women Awards, hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government. Although she did not win, the nomination showed her hard work was being noticed.
Massages and more
Intombiyomzulu Aesthetic Spa’s range of massages includes full-body aromatherapy massages, beauty services, sports massages and lymphatic drainage, among others. Packages to celebrate birthdays – including a Disney-themed package for children, and specials for couples are also offered.
“Athletes and artists are becoming my biggest clients,” Zuma says. Sports massages can enhance performance and help athletes recover after a high-intensity event, she explains, while artists such as musicians mainly come to her for beauty enhancement treatments.
Zuma was recently contracted by one of the big teams in the Premier Soccer League to do pre-match treatments for the players.
Intombiyomzulu Aesthetic Spa has created employment for three other somatologists, who take charge of the spa, which is based in Umbilo, while Zuma does house calls.
If you are interested in studying to be a somatologist, you need to take life sciences and either maths or maths literacy in matric, and must do well in English. Various public institutions offer this field of study.