Having her own business has always been entrepreneur and skincare expert Tebogo Thoka’s life long dream. Yet after establishing her business seven years ago, it was developing her own range of skincare products that prodded her.
Today the Mabopane born businesswoman has achieved both as this June she launches her algae peel range, FH Derma Micro-needling pen and active serums.
She describes these as fresh concepts of treating the skin using algae and other marine extracts that’s a very natural way of treating the skin while preserving the skins microbiome.
“Having my own skincare range has always been a dream of mine, I’ve been working on it for the past three years and I’m finally seeing the work I’ve put in come to life,” she says.
Tebogo is a true definition of an ignited woman as she continues to climb the corporate ladder in the entrepreneurship space.
Pursuing her dreams
At the age of 17 she joined the army where she learnt about physical conditioning, honour, technical training, leadership experience, a chance to serve and the tools to prepare her for the rest of her life.
She completed her two year contract and registered for a National Diploma in Somatology at University of Johannesburg.
After graduating in her course she worked at a few salons and found them very limiting.
“I knew I wanted to do more, I wasn’t about painting nails and doing massages, that’s never been my thing. I loved skincare, mostly advanced skincare systems. Rapid advancements in technology have resulted in a growing trend of aesthetic beauty treatments,” she says.
Venturing into business
Tebogo was inspired to establish the Fabu-Health Aesthetic clinic after she saw a gap between the beauty and aesthetics seven years ago.
She had observed international trends that had adapted to including aesthetic treatments through the offering of non-surgical aesthetic qualifications as an additional career choice for qualified beauty therapists.
“I wanted to bridge that gap locally as there weren’t many salons and clinics doing advanced treatments like micro needling back then,” she says.
In her earlier days of business, she found that black women especially were looking for a solution or treatment for hyperpigmentation, and she invested a lot of time and knowledge on providing them with those solutions.
“People want a lot, which continues to keep us on our toes. The more I focused on providing them a solution, the more my business started growing,” she adds.
Pivoting during the pandemic
During the lockdown in 2020, she witnessed the sad closing down of many salons and seeing so many therapists losing their jobs was an eye opener for her.
It was after seeing others lose their incomes that the Fabu-Health Aesthetics founder innovated and invited other therapists to venture into their own businesses without the ridiculously high costs of starting a business. For the power of collaborative effort paid off.
“Collaboration is vital for success in any industry. Once others came on board the brand grew from Fabu-Health Aesthetics to Fabu-Health & Co., a co-working hub for beauty and wellness professionals.
“Under the hub we have independent massage, eyelash, IV Vitamin lounges and therapists and collaborating and Co-sharing a working environment. All black women working together, under one roof. Lifting and supporting each other,” she says.
Establishing a strong and reliable team is crucial for any business. Tebogo has learned that it is essential to employ staff who share your ethics, values and beliefs, not only to maintain the level of service that you want but also to work with you as the company grows.
“In my clinic, I’ve seen a lot of therapists walk through my door and I start them from basic training until they are good therapists, then leave. It’s okay for people to leave and seek growth. I believe that the right people will stay long enough,” she adds.
For anyone who shares this passion and is considering setting up their own aesthetic clinic it is important to understand that the change from working in a clinic to owning and running a clinic is huge. When you are responsible for the overheads, marketing, staff, finance and generating the income, you find many different pressures.