I had the pleasure of sitting down with the beautiful and compelling Vimbayi Gappah, the owner of Beauty Box Retreat in Ballantyne, to talk about her unwavering passion for her industry. Her professional experience shines through in her commitment to her clients and their well-being and is apparent in all aspects of her business. If you haven’t yet visited this luxury little haven, this destination needs to be at the top of the list!
AB: Please tell us about your background and how you came to be in the beauty and grooming industry.
VG: My sister treated me to a facial in a spa in Switzerland. It was a luxury experience. My passion for beauty began then. Swiss women are very groomed. I am a CIDESCO International trained beauty therapist with 20 years in the spa industry with a strong background in massages, facials and waxing. Also, I am now a spa consultant and am consulting outside Zimbabwe as well. I am the proud owner of beauty Box Retreat in Ballantyne. I trained at one of the leading beauty schools in the world, The London School of Beauty and Makeup. My career began in London, where I worked in premium spas in Mayfair, Dulwich Village and on the Fulham Road in Chelsea, just to name a few. I returned home after years of experience. My passion comes from my hands. I really love my job.
AB: What do you love most about your job?
VG: I love to see transformations and the improvement of our client’s well-being when they have their treatments and I love to see happy clients.
AB: As a business owner, what do you think is the most important quality a business should be known for?
VG: Number one, the most important thing for any business is professionalism. Number two is quality service. Our mantra here is “Excellence through Effort.” Businesses should just try and put effort. Businesses should also deliver and be on time!
AB: What were the biggest challenges you faced during lockdown?
VG: Like all businesses that interface with clients, it was a very difficult time in our career. We were not part of essential services. The world stopped for us. It was a very stressful time. We were also in the process of building and expanding the spa. I learned the importance of being a consistent, and more importantly, a memorable, therapist. I go back to professionalism again. When our clients came back, our hygiene standards were maintained – it was a much easier part to adjust to, as hygiene has always been a part of our professional training.
AB: What advice would you give to an aspiring younger generation?
VG: Social media is not always reality. Fancy cars and private jets do not just happen. You need to work hard and climb the ladder slowly. There is no app for career fulfilment, relationships or life. It is a journey; you have to go through the meandering process called career and life. You have to work hard and stay consistent to achieve your dreams and goals. Excel at what you do!
AB: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
VG: I am a people person and I totally love to see people happy and paying for a good service with satisfaction. I am doing something I have a passion for. Also, just to see the total number of referrals that come through our spa is so rewarding. It says something about the treatment that we are giving to our clients.
AB: What are the plans in the future for Beauty Box Retreat?
VG: We hope to expand with more spa consultancy in spas in Zimbabwe to maintain international standards, as well as putting more complimentary luxury products in our spa retail. We are also in the process of launching our first luxury massage oil. Then there’s the much-awaited big plan where we would love to go into education and impart our knowledge and expertise in the beauty industry.
“In the past two years we have been through a very difficult time and people have understood that health and wellness are of great importance. Our industry is a part of wellness. Hands are a powerful tool – the power of touch is healing and therapeutic.”
– Beauty Box Retreat