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Making up for lost time

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Making up for lost time

Making up for lost time

Ghetto collaboration to overcome Covid-19 challenges

The advent of Coronavirus has completely changed the way people perceive a lot of things.

For entrepreneurs, it has meant coming up with innovative new ways to keep afloat during these uncertain times.

Those who have been unable to adapt are faced with an increasingly bleak future. Indeed, some have already been forced to shut up shop permanently.

However, one brave young lady in Francistown believes that as the tide rises, it’s either you sink or swim.

31-year-old Tebogo Makabe is the founder of Divas Facebeat Studio, a make-up and beauty parlour running in Monarch since 2014.

Making up for lost time

Making up for lost time

Like most enterprises in the second city, the married mother-of-two’s business has suffered greatly since the outbreak of Covid-19

From cancelled bookings to refunds, Makabe has seen her fortunes plummet.

Highlighting her predicament in an exclusive interview with Voice Money this week, the business-minded beautician explained that when the country first went into lockdown back in April, she had already received pre-payments from clients planning activities for the latter half of the year.

“People had booked me for weddings, parties and other events which sadly had to be canceled or postponed due to this Coronavirus. I’ve lost so much money due to cancellations, not to mention the money I had to return to potential clients!” she revealed, ruefully admitting this is the darkest time in her company’s six-year history.

Not one to back down from a challenge, Makabe is determined to breathe new life into her winded studio.

To that end, she has teamed up with other vibrant young entrepreneurs from Francistown in an effort to stay ahead and keep their heads above water.

“I had to find another way of keeping the business relevant and visible, so I teamed up with Zizi’s Bridal Boutique and Flashback Photography for a day of amazing creativity,” she said.

The mini-exhibition took place in Minestone Park last Monday, with the pictures shared on the trio’s respective social media platforms.

Although it is too early to tell if the initiative will have the desired effect, Makabe is confident it is a step in the right direction.

“Three models were engaged. I did the make-up, Zizi’s Boutique provided the dresses and Flash Photogyaphy captured all the amazing pictures. Three companies owned by young Batswana in Francistown came together in the midst of all the challenges and showed their resilience and willingness to survive,” she reflected proudly.

Making up for lost time

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Certainly, Makabe believes collaborations during Covid-19 may be one of the best ways to avoid going under.

“It’s tough out there! Big companies are failing to pay salaries and rent, what more of us sole proprietors?” she asked rhetorically.

“Most are operating from home because office space is unaffordable. But if we work together and effectively use social media our small businesses will survive,” she maintained.

The Monarch native appealed to other young business owners not to give up but to ‘think outside the box’ and find other ways of selling their products.

“Those in the make-up art know very well that it’s a competitive industry that needs one to stand out and provide unique service. This requires patience and a good support structure,” added Makabe, who revealed she received a lot of support from her husband and family.

Divas Facebeat Studio is located in Francistown Monarch Industrial, a stone throw away from Dothodzo Funeral parlor.

Besides accentuating human faces, they also provide training to aspiring make-up artists.

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