The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on the beauty industry. The sector is deemed non-essential and most businesses were forced to close their doors during stringent lockdown periods. Some have reopened when rules were relaxed; others might never return.
VIBEZ! spoke to a pioneer in the Namibian beauty industry Morna Ikosa to share how her hair salon, ZZI Family Hair Studio, continues to thrive despite repeated closures and loss of business due to pandemic lockdowns.
“The pandemic has affected all of us individually and collectively. However, we have used a lot of our personal money and made so many sacrifices as a family to fill the gap and keep the business going forward,” explained Ikosa. Many employers have had to retrench staff over the past months but ZZI, short for Zoe and Zera Ikosa, has not done so. As an alternative, they discovered ways to keep all staff – while at the same time, making sure it does not compromise on the business revenues. “We are flexible so we keep trying to reinvent and create salary packages that are attractive to the employees so that they keep getting motivated. I also initiated a monthly reward system for the employee who brings in the most money.” ZZI, based in Maerua Mall Windhoek, has transitioned from a children’s hair studio to a family studio and specialises in all kinds of hairdos and treatments.
Ikosa prides herself on taking the client’s lifestyle, hair and features into account when ZZI delivers exceptional work, making their guests feel like they are on top of their fashion game.
“At ZZI, we are able to handle all hair types and also embrace all colour diversities – and we are passionate about hair care and health.”
Asked for her opinion on the standard of the local beauty industry, Ikosa stated there is still potential for growth, but it requires hard work to get explosive growth.
“Some people do not consider hairdressing and beauty as a career. Some people sort of fumble into it and there is no hunger to become professional. Another issue is bad customer service – there is a lack of empathy amongst beauticians. They think they are doing the client a favour, which is the other way around. I believe that is one of our biggest impediments.”
Ikosa further advised her fellow beauticians to invest in employee training to ensure suitable customer service.