Although Paballo ‘Pabi’ Molata had a master plan for her life and career, the forces of Business still found a way to her bubbly heart. The 29-year-old nail technician is the founder of D’ntle Beauty, a beauty salon in the East of Johannesburg.Thebeautypreneur confesses that until she started her business, she was never a business orientated, though she loved the feeling of making a profit when she was younger. “I once sold toe socks, they were in fashion back then, and when [it was time] to collect my money at month end, I was the happiest. The fact that my customers wanted more and there was a demand for these socks, made me even happier,” she says.
Growing up, Paballo always wanted to become a Microbiologist. She was still determined to make that dream a reality after matric, but as fate would have it, a last-minute stroke of misfortune cost her a chance to study. For reasons beyond her control, she submitted her application late and ultimately didn’t secure a place. “I ended up having to decide between taking a gap year or doing something. So I decided to do a Flight Attendant course in the meantime.”Her plan was to fly for 3 years while studying part-time. Thereafter, she would resign to pursue and focus on her Biotechnology career. Of course, things didn’t quite work out that way. She shares, “I ended up studying part-time for a Diploma in Administrative Management and [majored] in Business Management.”
WHEN THE BEAUTY BUG BIT
The very nature of Paballo’s job as a Flight Attendant required her physical appearance to be as close to perfect as possible. “I always had to be well groomed when I was working. “My make-up, nails and hair always had to be on point and that’s really where the beauty and nail bug bit me.”Before she worked on airplanes, Paballo had always been curious about the art of being a nail technician. She tells us, “My sister introduced me to getting my nails done during school holidays while I was in high school and it fascinated me. I had a nail tech who did my nails when I started flying and she saw that I loved the art because I would always ask her 21 questions every step of the process. She suggested I take up a nail technology course and after she fell ill in 2018, I did just that. The thought of committing to a new nail tech was daunting so I did the course with the main goal of doing my own nails.”
What is the best piece of life advice you’ve read? “You see things and understand things based on where you are in life, at that moment and life teaches you what you need to know at that moment, you won’t resist but you will instantly know.”
How do you want to be remembered? “As a person who LOVED more than anything.”
Do you think mentorship is valuable to young women? I believe mentorship to be invaluable. I’ve been a mentor since 2019 at the WeCan Foundation. WeCan is an NPO that facilitates a mentoring programme mandated to equip and inform learners in rural schools about opportunities that they may not be aware of due to of lack of access and exposure.
Share your Insta Kit to success? “Be yourself and your followers will sense, feel and know that you are being yourself. When people meet you or you have an opportunity to serve them, your interactions with them on social media should match what they get in reality. Secondly, be innovative and evolve. Followers get bored and you need to continuously be in check with the latest trends and regularly personalise them. Finally, always ask for feedback from your followers and never stop learning or improving yourself.”
What may people not know about you? “I talk a lot; I am a travel agent (not formally as yet), but it’s something I’ve been doing more than nails lately and I’m looking to formalise it soon; I LOVE dancing; I’m a collector of memories and not things and I gym a lot.”
“Everything that I ever wanted I never got and everything that I have, I never thought I’d have. All I ever wanted was to be in a lab and I essentially boxed myself into that idea. But my life took a turn that came as a shock to everyone including myself. What I wanted THEN vs what I have NOW – totally different, and God! He knows that this is exactly what was meant to be and surprisingly I don’t see myself doing anything else. As an entrepreneur, I still have a long way to go and God is full of surprises.”