When she left her job, she didn’t know what she would do with her life, but after numerous bad experiences, she was inspired to start her own company, Hair by Sisi.

Poor personal hair experiences, bad weave installations, poor wig craftsmanship and a lack of professionalism and product knowledge in the different salons she visited were some of the few factors which drove her to start her own business.

“It was the need for good quality haircare with a professional salon experience. I understood, and still do, the hair frustrations of women on a quest for great haircare, services and products,” she says.

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Before she gave up her job, Nxumalo conducted extensive research about the industry, specifically focusing on black hair extensions, testing various different hair types while simultaneously engaging with international suppliers to find the highest hair quality.

She told DESTINY that her business, which was started with about R250 000 and now realises a turnover of just below R1 million, has grown rapidly since it opened doors in 2016.

Nxumalo recalls that her entrepreneurial journey, which started as hobby, has had its challenges and good days. “ I started it as a hobby, but I had to quickly switch to a business mindset, which was challenging,” she says.

She quickly learnt that there is a lot more to business than just offering a service. “My journey thus far has been rewarding, specifically, when I am able to give a customer confidence. I want every Hair by Sisi client to know that her hair will look and feel great — that’s what I truly enjoy.”

Nxumalo spent two years doing extensive research on the industry before she started selling and conducting home and office consultations.

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“The most challenging part for me was when I used to do everything myself. This really took a toll on me because I had nobody to offload anything to. I basically learnt everything as I went along, which was exhausting and costly, but now that I made those mistakes, I won’t do it again,” she says.

She says entrepreneurial journey is often very lonely at the beginning, but speaking to other people, she learnt that her situation was not unique.

“The problems you face are not specific to you and your business alone. It starts with the right attitude – I’ve learnt to always think big. I used to get consumed by challenges and couldn’t move past them, but when I learnt that you have to open up your focal lenses and think from the outside in,” she says.

At the moment, she is focused on keeping her customers in Johannesburg satisfied, but plans to expand the business footprint to reach boutiques and bigger salons.