The stress-free dream team Me and my Business
Back in 2015, while working for a wellness consultancy, 33-year-old Moitshepi Malebye and Izwani Matsapa, 30, didn’t feel well at all.
Realising the irony of their situation, they decided it was time to ‘do it their way’.
“We got very stressed because we realised that though we were working for a wellness company we weren’t well ourselves! The customers were also not getting any value in their lives so we decided to come up with something that would rejuvenate the body, mind and soul and relieve stress,” explains Malebye, speaking from the pair’s wellness and stress relief parlour on Nyerere Drive opposite Middle Star shopping complex.
Self Craft Health and Wellness is a company that provides wellness events for corporate and government departments. The dynamic duo also offer stress relief through massages, foot detox, manicure, pedicure, yoga, hand and nail treatment as well as facial treatment among others, including the cannabis products that are used to fight stress and anxiety, and this is not just a regular product because it is obtained from safe solvent extractors.
Malebye sheepishly tells Voice Money the venture endured a difficult start as neither her nor long-term friend Matsapa had not saved up for it.
Hard work and persistence, however, got the company off the ground and six months of tireless marketing finally paid off when they started getting regular customers.
“We were in the field daily going from door-to-door targeting corporate, parastatals and government departments. It was tough to get the private sector on board at first but we managed to organise wellness events for government employees doing health screening and motivational talks on stress management. We found out that civil servants were very stressed and so we launched a mobile wellness spa in 2016.”
Among their first customers were The Department of Mines, Ministry of Water and Sanitation, NBFIRA and Ombudsman.
Malebye says getting these ‘prestigious’ clients provided them with a much-needed boost as well as the encouragement that they were on the right track. It also gave them the confidence to approach more organisations.
The response was positive, especially for their surprise-pamper service, which proved extremely popular with people looking to give their partners a romantic gift.
Despite this encouraging reaction,challenges of transport and equipment remained and the business was not able to cover all clients.
The couple now target corporate entities for massage sessions but business is slow. Whenever a company is unable to sign up, employees group themselves together and sign up for stress relief and pampering.
Because of lack of equipment and their drive to expand, Self Craft needs funding, something which remains an on-going challenge.
“We need to make this place look and feel like a spa. To achieve that we need to redecorate, do suitable landscaping, fit a jaccuzi and swimming pool,” explains the extremely driven Moitshepi.
Another difficulty the young business ladies say they encounter is that most Batswana are yet to appreciate the value and benefit of stress relief. Indeed, Moitshepi reveals that the Asian community make up the majority of their customer base.
They also bemoan the fact that a lot of locals are poor time-keepers, with many turning up for their appointment just before its scheduled finish. This annoys Moitshepi, as it eats into their next appointment and ultimately costs them business.
However, since they started their free education things have improved.
“We believe in this business and the services we provide to the community so we won’t stop until they understand!” Malebye stresses passionately.
Self Craft have an ambitious expansion strategy and plan to eventually operate a fully fledged wellness spa in a quiet and bigger location. They intend to rival the likes of Hoodland and Mangwanani in South Africa offering a retreat and romantic getaways, sauna, heated pools, guided nature walks and aqua aerobics among others.
Already they have strategic partnerships with a psychologist and therapist as well as a Yogi for their Yoga classes.
It seems the dream is well underway.