Recently, thousands of South Africans shared pictures of Thaini Masakane's beauty spa on social media.
Since then, her phone has been ringing non-stop. Masakane says the reaction is a bit overwhelming, but she guesses it's understandable: It's not often you see a fully-fledged nail and beauty salon set up in a shack in the middle of a Free State township.
Masakane has always been in the business of beauty.
"I started off by doing hair, which I went on to do for a long time." While attending Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein, studying to be a beautician, she discovered that they also offered a nail technicians course.
"I enrolled in the course and that's how I fell in love with it." After graduating, Masakane went to Durban, where she worked as a beautician for more than two years to gain experience.
She returned to Botshabelo at the end of 2015 to start her business, Victory Body and Nail Studio.
Due to a lack of money, she set up her business in a shack.
"When I started I didn't have much money, but because this was my dream, I told myself let me go for broke and start with what I have". She does manicures, pedicures, massages, waxing and facials, make-up and tint lashes.
"I had some clients before leaving for Durban, so it wasn't hard to convince them to join me when I came back." But although she is the only beautician in Botshabelo, it was tough to recruit new customers.
She used Facebook page as her main source of marketing. One of her posts caught the attention of reality TV star and Free State native, Blue Mbombo.
"She posted about my business on her social media pages and next thing I know I am going viral."
The reaction has also inspired her to work harder to achieve her current dream: getting a brick structure of her business, which she sees as the first step in building her empire.
"I want the business to, one day, be a franchise that can employ people and create opportunities for many others" she says.
Despite plans to franchise her business in the future, Masakane has no plans of leaving Botshabelo herself. After all, she says, it's home.
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