Beauty salon turned into school

2019-03-14 06:01
Yonela Stevens teaching Zanele Kalipa how to do nails who is one of her students.PHOTO: siyabonga kalipa

Yonela Stevens teaching Zanele Kalipa how to do nails who is one of her students.PHOTO: siyabonga kalipa

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A 27-year-old Nyanga woman, Yonela Stevens, is making a name for herself in the beauty industry after turning her salon LadyYoee into a beauty school.

The self-taught entrepreneur started a beauty salon in 2008, while doing matric at Oscar Mpeta High School, as a way to raise money for her tertiary education.

Stevens said her mother could not afford to pay her school fees and had to come up with a plan. She started doing hair and nails to generate extra cash.

“I always had an eye for beauty which made it easy for me to teach myself and I would do a lot of research,” she said.

Stevens said she started practising on herself. Later, she would practise on friends and family. She started the initiative from her mother’s house.

While running the business, in 2009 she enrolled with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to study Public Relations. She used her earnings to travel to CPUT, in Cape Town, until she completed her studies in 2011.

In 2012, she was employed as a salesperson for a manufacturing company in Montague Gardens. However, she continued with her business during the weekends and after hours.

She worked for the company until last year January when she decided to quit her job to focus on her beauty salon business.

Stevens said in 2013 she decided to buy herself a wendy house valued at R3500 and placed it in her mother’s yard.

Four years later, in November 2017, she decided to build herself a brick house which cost her more than R45 000.

She opened the school last month with two classes a day, one for unemployed people and another one later in the day for working people.

“A lot of people have been asking me to teach them so they can one day start their own salons which is why I started the school,” she said.

Stevens charges R3500 for a month long course which is way cheaper than other schools doing the same thing.

Stevens said her school is not accredited at the moment but those that do attend leave with a certificate of attendance, an acrylic kit, a manual and a new skill to start up their own business.

She said she is looking to expand her salon and have a proper spa as well and that this year she will also go to Port Elizabeth where she will be teaching .

If anyone would like to join the school they can contact Stevens on 073 250 3196 or send her an email on or look for her on Facebook searching ladyyoeenails and beauty.


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