There’s a story behind every section at Enhle Day Spa. From the mani/pedi corner that once contained an improvised trestle, to the massage bed in one of the treatment rooms the owner towed from place to place when she ran a mobile beauty spa.
The Space spells inspiration.
38-year-old Beauty Therapist Patience Nyoni vowed to be her own boss by the time she turned 40. 5 years before her set deadline, she made the leap. It was a regular day, but something was a little different. After building an extensive resume working locally, as well as in Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria, she had an inkling that although she had not prepped her next move, she would resign that day.
She vividly recalls that day in November 2016.
“I just woke up one day and said I’m gonna resign [sic] I didn’t tell anyone..but it was like a song that I was singing, that I don’t want to reach 40 working for someone.”
Patience followed her intuition and went in to speak to her boss.
“I went to see her in her office and the first thing that she said was “I think you want to resign, cause you’ve never asked to speak to me,”A month after her resignation, she sent a message to some of her clients informing them that she was running a mobile beauty spa.
“[In] January, I just woke up in the morning and started typing a message to my clients, and I said to them, I’m now doing house calls, if you need me, I’ll come to your house.”
Her first booking for facials and a pedicure came in minutes later, but there was a problem, she had no equipment or beauty treatments in stock.
With barely 4 days to prepare, Patience dug into her savings and borrowed a few hundred dollars from a friend to buy facial products, towels, a foot spa, steamer and a massage bed.
“I didn’t even know how I was going to pay that money but I sad I’ll pay you back.”
Help from colleagues and clients poured in, including a client who surprised her with a nail polish set.
Enhle Beauty Spa was built from moments such as these, goodwill, risky, faith-led; sometimes cringe-worthy, but in the end, worthwhile.
After her first booking, she raised enough money to pay her friend back and continued to do house calls while utilizing her living room for clients who wanted to get outside the house for their spa session.
“I thought instead of doing house calls- some people want to be away from the house because of the kids, they just want to relax. My house became the spa.. I would burn essential oils..I would make my own flyers with my phone.. There were times when the place would be so packed that I would even pinch myself.”
Patience realized it was time to move into a formal space, and slowly started buying products and equipment for the spa.
“When I moved in, I literally had nothing, I had one massage bed, I took the console table at home and made it a manicure table. I took all the picture frames from home and brought them here.”
As an ode to her mother’s Ndebele heritage, she named the spa Enhle, meaning beauty.
The space steadily took shape with clients bringing gifts for her including candleholders and a carpet.
With Enhle Day Spa fully functional, Patience has branched out to launch Enhle Deco focusing on linen, and soon, deco.
“What challenged me was when I was growing up, beauty therapists were looked down [upon].., like we’re not people. I wanted to be a different beauty therapist. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, what matters is your drive.”