Her business came about when she had a bad experience at a salon and urgently needed a plan B.
She made her own emergency wig and, after many people complimented it, Zakwe started making more wigs.
After her nine-to-five, she would do research on how to make wigs and also watch YouTube tutorials to improve her skills.
This eventually became too strenuous as she would end up sleeping for three hours a night. She then decided to leave her job in 2015.
“Practice is everything. I’m a self-taught businesswoman but, through practising, I mastered the art of wig-making,” she says.
All the wigs Zakwe sells are handmade by her, with the assistance of her three employees. She says she prefers handmaking the wigs to ensure that they fit well.
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“Our brand is about promot[ing] wigs that you can easily take on and off,” she says. “We make secure wigs that fit well and won’t fall off under any circumstances.”
What makes Ubuhle Handmade unique is how seamlessly the wigs fit and how natural the closure is. Zakwe uses Cambodian and Malaysian hair to make the wigs as both hair types ensure volume and a natural wave. She says she’s tried other types of hair but loves the texture and feel of Cambodian and Malaysian hair.
“Women want volume and for the hair to be evenly spread out, and I’ve found that those two types of hair do that,” she says.
Zakwe explains that what may look good on a picture or on display may not necessarily suit everyone, hence she doesn’t have ready-made wigs. She takes head measurements of each customer, then makes the wig so that it fits perfectly.
Because the hair is 100% human hair, you can wash, curl, straighten and re-use it, ensuring remarkable usability. To maintain the hair, Zakwe recommends washing it weekly with a sulphate-free shampoo and following with a conditioner.
On average, Zakwe makes 250 wigs a month, which has resulted in her turnover quadrupling over the past year.
Customer satisfaction and loyalty are some of the highlights of her business journey. “It’s really fulfilling when I receive positive feedback from my customers, especially when they refer their friends and family,” she says. “It makes everything worthwhile.”
Her customers sometimes get impatient while waiting to receive their hair, which is a challenge for Zakwe. She explains that in order to present a good quality product, customers must give her a two-week leeway.
These are some of Ubuhle Handmade’s wigs:
To get yourself an Ubuhle Handmade wig, you can contact them on 011 038 0117 or visit the store at 23 1st Avenue West, Parkhurst.