Some people have a knack for making others feel good. They walk into the room and, like the flick of a switch, you feel at ease immediately. They speak and you instantly begin enjoying yourself.
Sharon Maruva is one such individual. She carries herself with style and grace. A quiet confidence that charms; a self-belief that inspires confidence in others.
It makes sense that Sharon started La Blosh. The boutique Joburg-based beauty business is an extension of the impressive qualities of its founder. She’s so amiable. It doesn’t take long to put two and two together and go “Well, she makes me feel good. I bet she’ll help me look great!”
In that way, Sharon and La Blosh are the perfect fit. Walking into the store and having one conversation with her makes it crystal clear why it works. And, if you make it that far, best of luck managing to walk out of La Blosh without getting your brows threaded or your nails done. At the very least, you’re probably making a booking.
When Sharon starts talking, it’s too easy to give into temptation. You know you’ll leave looking and feeling like a celebrity. The open plan design, the premium finishes and the attention to detail are impressive. It’s a genuine pleasure to spend time there; a feeling boosted by her friendly team of expert beauticians.
La Blosh is the finished article now. An established, polished small business servicing hundreds of new and returning clients. But each day still brings its challenges. Sharon’s mentality is key to keeping the business moving forward.
“There are always challenges. New day, new problems. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, especially if you’re building something of your own. Your approach is what matters. Each thing you overcome is a lesson; it’s experience and a new solution for you to remember next time.”
Some problems are more prevalent in certain industries. Sharon cites the ever-shifting trends and people’s personal preferences as two factors that play a major role in her thinking.
“We always have to consider what people are interested in. I have to stay on top of what’s popular. If a trend emerges, or a new product, I need to familiarise myself with it. Not everybody comes in knowing what they want, so sometimes they look to me for advice.”
These days, Sharon feels equipped to rise to any challenge. That confidence comes from experience and an innate sense of curiosity. It’s a trait that got her through tough times during La Blosh’s early days, when she felt she had too many questions and not enough answers.
“I remember the days I didn’t have a card machine. Beauty businesses tend to be small, especially at first. So there was a temptation to try go cash-only. That’s not possible. I missed out on too many clients because many people simply don’t carry cash anymore.”
Those days are long gone. Having navigated the choppy waters of the early-stage startup environment, Sharon is no longer concerned with staying afloat. It’s all about growth now.
She discovered Yoco Capital at the perfect time. Having been on the lookout for a bigger space, she found the ideal location in the lovely precinct of Fourways.
However, she was priced out of the space. There was no viable way to access the funds she needed to make the move. She didn’t have the luxury of an inner circle that could provide the cash injection. And, in Sharon’s own words, “banks are much too slow for my liking.”
“That Capital offer was a godsend. You have no idea. The demand for my space was huge; I needed to grab it quickly. With Yoco, the process was smooth, quick and just excellent all round. But the best thing is the effortless payback – I don’t even think about debit orders. Or how I fund my advance if my sales slow down. It’s too good.”
Now, Sharon enjoys the luxury of having a space twice the size in an absolutely prime location. Her team is kitted out in bold, trendy tracksuits. Customers enjoy their treatments in a premium, soothing environment. La Blosh is kitted out with premium furniture, beautiful paintings and a feel-good factor that’s hard to beat.
And she’s not done yet.
“My business is blooming and it warms my heart to experience this feeling. But this is just the start. We are still growing, still learning. We will open a new store in the near future. When I’m ready, I will approach Yoco for funding without hesitation. I feel valued by Yoco, like I matter to them. They are helping us and you can’t put a price on that.”
Entrepreneurs like Sharon are uplifting our economy and our Instagram game one manicure at a time. Access to funding has pushed La Blosh to the next level and as more businesses benefit, our country will be transformed.