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Meet Five Top achieving South African ladies Who share how they’ve shaped their own lives and give advice on how to find and keep your success.

Penelope Tidimalo Sehemo (26) from Vosloorus is the owner of a Sorbet Salon in Rosebank.

About me

Penelope Tidimalo Sehemo (26) from Vosloorus is the owner of a Sorbet Salon in Rosebank. I was born and raised in Vosloorus and the youngest of two siblings. I was raised more like an only child because of the 12 year age gap between myself and my brother. I was daddy’s little girl but unfortunately I lost him in 1997. This was when I realised what a phenomenal woman my mom is as she was strong for all of us and made sure that the dreams they both had for us never fell short. She made sure I went to good schools, sacrificing holidays and other self-rewarding things in order for me to get the very best. In 2003, I lost my brother to pneumonia (same as my dad) and that was also very traumatic.

My turning point

After matriculating I took a gap year, then decided to study Somatology (study of the human body) for three years, but I fell pregnant in my first year. I wanted to drop out but my mom encouraged me not to. She told me that I will give birth at college if I have to but dropping out was not an option. Although she was extremely disappointed in my pregnancy she has helped with raising my boy while I carried on with my studies. Six months into my first year I fell in love with Somatology. I knew at college level that I would one day own a salon. I started working for Sorbet while completing my course. I fell in love with the Sorbet style and Ian Fuhr’s (my then boss) style of leadership. When he started talking about franchising the business I knew that this was the place to invest. I graduated in 2008 and continued working for Sorbet for two years, shuffling between two of their stores – Sandton and Hyde Park. In October 2009, they opened a store in Rosebank where I took on the full time position as a therapist.

Look at me now

I now own and manage my own Sorbet Salon at The Zone in Rosebank. Sorbet offers a wide variety of face and body treatments such as facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, waxing and artificial nails. The best part of my job is making people feel good about themselves, as cliche as this may be, it’s the absolute truth. The fact that people trust us so much to allow us into their personal space makes me feel good about myself and the service I provide.

My best advice
  • When starting or owning a franchise try saving as much money as possible because the banks will require you to have at least 50% of the total set up cost. Also know what the franshisor will require from you on a monthly basis like royalties, marketing fees and all the other services the franchisor may offer.
  • Be prepared for hard work: Mentally and physically you will have to work hard and be familiar with the industry that you work in. This will help with being actively involved in your business’ everyday running.
  • Be passionate about what you are doing. This makes it easier to deal with challenges.

For more information on business funding contact Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) on 0860 103 703 or National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) on 0860 096 884.


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