Shepherd Mandla Mkhize, 28, managing director Linkage Brands, is the founder of Rooom Mobile Hair Salon in 2018 when he realised there was a huge gap in the informal hair salon market.
Inspired by his mother who was a hairdresser, Rooom Mobile Hair Salon has launched branches in Cape Town, Gauteng, Durban, Nelspruit, Gqeberha and Bloemfontein. Creating more than 300 hairdresser jobs for women, it has become the biggest mobile hair salon in the country.
The aim of the mobile hair salon is to provide women with connections to leading hairdressers to do their hair in an affordable and safe way in the convenience of their home, while creating sustainable jobs and formalising the hair salon market.
“Our vision is to become a key player in the hair market, while making it easy for a person in Soweto or Sandton to have their hair professionally and safely done in the comfort of their home,” Shepherd says.
All Rooom’s hairdressers are certified and go through a rigorous hiring process. All prospective hairdressers are interviewed in person and trained in-house. “One of our hairstylists is able to send their daughter to university because of the income they make from our platform,” Shepherd says.
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One of the reasons why I started Rooom Mobile Hairdressers is because my mom was a hairdresser & growing up I saw how much she struggled working hand to mouth. I have from a young age wanted to improve the living conditions of hairdressers because in some way it feels like I am helping my own mum put food on the table with each of the 100+ women that are on our platform.
Start right where you are with what you have. Do not try to reinvent the wheel, simplify everything that is where your success lies.
I would like to see more of our people getting a seat at the table. I would like a South Africa where youths are getting job opportunities.