Therapist Sharon Dikgale has become the first of four Sorbet-Preneur winners to open her own Sorbet franchise.
The salon is located at the L’Corro Shopping Centre in Northcliff, Johannesburg.
This initiative is the result of a partnership between the Sorbet Group and Bidvest Bank to give aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to own their own Sorbet Salon franchise. As a new franchise owner, Dikgale received 50% of the investment required to set up her business, in the form of a grant from Bidvest Bank. Sorbet waived the initial franchise fee, resulting in her injecting this portion of the funding to setting up and equipping the salon. Bidvest Bank also provided a business loan to cover the balance of the funding needed, which catered for initial operating costs.
Dikgale’s story of being a Sorbet franchise owner started off with her letting go of one dream, to pursue and have faith in another. After she matriculated, she aimed to go into a more traditional career like medicine or bio-medical technology.
She says: “It was by pure luck that I happened to be accompanying a friend of mine when she was also going to register at a tertiary institution in Florida. I noticed a beauty school very close by and it piqued my interest. After consulting with my parents, I enrolled and subsequently graduated as a Somatologist, after three years of studying.”
At that time there were very few black female somatologists in South Africa. In order to improve her craft, she provided complimentary beauty and grooming services such as waxing, facials, Indian head massages, pedicures and manicures to her friends and family, often receiving constructive criticism.
She used these formative years in order to hone her skills to such a point that she was employed as a therapist at the very same L’Corro Sorbet Salon that she now owns, 18 years later.
“Having also worked at other Sorbet salons in Hyde Park and Bryanston, I learnt about the different clientele in various regions. But one of the biggest lessons is that I changed how I viewed the beauty industry. I learnt that the purpose of what I do is to serve and improve the lives of our guests, and that was a huge paradigm shift for me. That filled me with such satisfaction and inner drive which I have kept ever since,” explains Dikgale.
As a franchise owner, one of Dikgale’s goals is to pass it forward by assisting as many young women as she can. She is also aiming to change the perception of Somatology as a career.
“I want to elevate my chosen career and highlight just how specialised it really is. For exampIe, I had to study the very same anatomy that medical students undergo for their first three years. This is so that we know how to handle every part of our guests’ bodies without inflicting any pain or damage. For example, we have to understand the structure of the skin in order to know how certain ingredients will make it react,” she says.
Linda Sinclair, CEO of the Sorbet Group states: “We are incredibly proud of what Sharon has achieved. Her passion, commitment and leadership ability will serve her well in becoming a successful Sorbet franchise partner. She is an inspiration to all Sorbet citizens. Her Sorbet family wishes her the best of luck on this amazing journey.”
Hannah Sadiki, Bidvest Bank CEO, adds: “Words cannot express how proud I was to stand next to Sharon Dikgale when she received the keys to her new salon, bringing her career full circle. We wish her the very best.”