Anathi Majeke recognised her passion for working with hair at an early age. Supplied
CAPE TOWN - Young Cape Town-based entrepreneur Anathi Majeke has had a passion for working with hair from an early age, even while most of her peers played in the streets of her Strand neighbourhood.

Majeke, chief executive of Naturastics Hair, said although she only started her business as a 21-year-old two years ago, her entrepreneurial journey began when she was about nine years old in Lwandle, Strand.

Majeke was born in Qumbu, in the Eastern Cape.

These days, she said, her business includes the supply of hair extensions, manufacturing of wigs and the installation of weaves.

“I have been in the hair industry for a very long time. From the age of seven I was already interested in doing hair and had my own clients when I was nine. A lot of kids were still playing around at that time. At the age of 10 I had a mini-spaza shop where I used to sell sweets and ice-cream during the summer months, and basically that’s where I started as an entrepreneur. I never knew then that I would be a businessperson as I was just doing it for fun,” she said.

Majeke said she continued doing hair while at high school, mostly during weekends and holidays, but stopped because she was not sure if it was something she wanted to get into.

Anathi Majeke recognised her passion for working with hair at an early age. Supplied

“But then, two years ago, that’s when I initially started the business, because after high school I studied law at the University of the Western Cape and then I decided that this was not for me and took a break, which was when I started my hair business,” said Majeke.

She added that she still plans to study further, but in a field related to her business to enhance her skills.

“When I started Naturastics Hair, I first started at home in the township Lwandle, where I grew up. I was born in the Eastern Cape. I started the business in 2016 in the midst of my gap year,” said Majeke.

She said she had not expected the business to be very successful, but while there were many regular hair salons in her community the service she offered met the needs of clients, who often had to venture out of the area for the hairstyle they wanted.

“I cater for something different, something that was not here (Lwandle), which was my advantage, because that’s how I quickly climbed the ladder. Not a lot of people did what I did and people copied me,” she said.

Majeke added that she has had her fair share of financial challenges, such as getting the business to where she wanted it to be, but continued to work hard at making it succeed.

She said that when she started her business she kicked off with four people and added another three later in the month.

Majeke added that she had received a lot of support from family and friends at the launch of her venture.

She advised other entrepreneurs, especially young black women, that everything starts with a passion, before anything else.

“Find something that you are passionate about. Don’t stop, do it until you get it. Obviously as a business person who knows your business. Check your cash flows, don’t eat your money (profits), invest it back into the business,” said Majeke.

Majeke said that apart from her business in Lwandle, she is also in the process of opening a second business soon at the Strand Pavilion - a hair salon.

“Currently, I am employing two hairstylists and a receptionist to take care of the business. The labour will happen where we manufacture the products (Lwandle). In the next five years, I see myself branching out to the whole of South Africa and also see myself trendsetting, because this is what we do.

“Even from the name Naturastics, we try and make everything we do as natural as possible, so I am trying to set a trend in the next five years in that we make hair seem as natural as possible,” she said.

Asked how she markets her business, Majeke said that side of it gets done on Facebook.

“Facebook is powerful, I can definitely say that. I advertise on Facebook, I have an Instagram page, I am getting into the digital era.

“At the moment I just do hair, but in the near future I could offer other services such as nails, facials and so forth. What I like about my industry is that it is not affected by the rand.

“A lot of people underestimate the beauty industry, so I say to a lot of people that they shouldn’t underestimate this industry as it makes a lot of money. Young women shouldn’t be scared to get into business, especially black women,” she said.