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Salon owner Precious Sikhonde of Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa has always had a passion for the beauty industry. She ran a salon franchise before branching out on her own to open her salon, The Stain Bar, in 2017. The salon was designed to serve a wide clientele. “In Soweto, we have a very mixed income market,” explains Sikhonde. “We have people who are educated and earn a good income, but they have decided not to leave Soweto. Then we have the lower-income market that always associates good service with high prices.” Sikhonde found that people from the higher-income market were willing to travel farther due to a lack of reputable salons in their area. She wanted to attract these clients with good service closer to their homes, but without pricing out lower-income clients.

“We have priced our services to be achievable for those that are on the lower-income side, but at the same time ensuring that we make a profit and we do not compromise on service,” she says. “We have had to educate the lower-income market a lot, as they had never been exposed to some of the services we offer.”

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The Stain Bar is located in a shopping mall near major stores. The mall is near a poor township, and several of the salon’s nail techs are from this area. “Providing employment to the local area is very important to me,” says Sikhonde. “I grew up in a similar environment and it’s always so inspiring that someone who was raised in similar circumstances can be successful. I get to be a role model in return as well.” Sikhonde advertises on social media to hire staff but finds most employees by word of mouth. She encourages staff to learn via YouTube and has in-salon training for them every Friday.

She hopes to continue building her business and giving back to her community. “I want to build an empire and a legacy by giving back to young people from my childhood,” she explains. “We are currently in the process of opening our second store and in the future would love to franchise.”