NuSkinnovation dream becomes reality
What started out as a dream, with a drive for passion, later became a reality for Nicolene Pelster and now, five years later, she is the owner of a franchised beauty and aesthetic laser clinic, NuSkinnovation.
“When I go for something, I go for gold.”
For 17 years Nicolene was a stay-at-home-mom, who always believed that she was called to do more.
“I’ve always felt that I was very privileged to have the opportunity to be able to raise my children and spend time with them. It was a wonderful time, but I was always worried about what would happen to me once they had to leave the house.”
“I was also going through a very tough time because I felt that I was 100% dependent on my husband financially. Through my journey, I kept praying to God and asked Him that I wanted my own business one day.”
Her whole life long, Nicolene has always had freckles, which was something that she was very self-conscious about and at the age of 42, she was referred to a dermatology clinic.
“In one session all my freckles were removed, and it literally blew my breath away. I couldn’t believe that not more people did it because it was amazing.”
That day, the NuSkinnovation dream was born.
“On my way home from my second appointment, I could already imagine my business being advertised on the corners of the street. Something awakened in me that day and I just knew that it was something that I wanted to do.”
Even though Nicolene was a stay-at-home-mom and had no idea where she would get the money to start her own business, she started doing research.
She later contacted the company which supplied the machine she needed, who came to her house for a meeting.
“I felt so positive and excited about the idea and was already thinking about names for the business. Ronel Jacobs, a woman from the company said she was creative and told me that she would help me think of names. She compiled a list of about 20 names and two names, NuSkinnovation and Renewed Skin, stood out for me.”
“People probably thought that I was crazy because I didn’t even have a business yet and here I was sending emails to everyone I knew to help me choose between the two names. Both names had the same number of votes, but in my heart, I knew the name of my business would be NuSkinnovation.”
However, the machine Nicolene needed and set up cost R800 000.
In 2015, after starting over and moving into a new home, Nicolene decided to lay out a business proposal for her husband.
“My homework was thoroughly done to be able to do so and my husband decided that he would invest in my business and buy my first machine for me.”
While Nicolene was very excited, she was nervous at the same time because she had no experience or knowledge about the laser skin industry.
“Right after my conversation with my husband, I went to sit at the kitchen table and started talking to God – I wanted to start my own business so badly, but I didn’t want to start this journey if I didn’t have His blessing to do so.”
“With that said, during the period where I was going through a very tough time, I haven’t read my Bible in about four years where, before that, I had a very good and passionate relationship with God.”
So, after four years, Nicolene opened her Bible at Deuteronomy 28:8, where God told her: “I will bless you in the land that I will give you and I will fill your store houses.”
He also told her that “Everything that you put your hand to, will prosper. I will make you the head and not the tail, above and not beneath …”
“And in that moment, I knew that this business was meant for me.”
After knowing what she had to do, Nicolene scheduled another appointment and a representative from the company who supplied the machines, Rohan Opperman, brought her a manual that she had to study.
She was only permitted to purchase a therapist machine, because in order to purchase a medical machine, she had to be a somatologist with a doctor under her wing.
“So here I was at the age of 45, drinking Ritalin so that I could sit still and study the manual – I had so much energy and passion in me. I had three to four months to study, after which Ronél Jacobs came to my house to help me go through the theory before I had to write an exam about it.”
Of course, Nicolene passed her exam with flying colours and her first machine was delivered.
“This dream and passion were brewing in me for more than three years and I was very excited to get started, but terrified at the same time. Joyce Meyer has a saying that states, ‘do it afraid’ – and that was exactly what I decided to do.”
After passing her exam, Nicolene started with her practical work on family and friends.
“I only did freckle and hair removal treatments from home. Of course, the machine also helped with skin rejuvenation because the heat of the wavelength also helped with collagen production and with the tightening of the skin.”
On 1 September 2016, Nicolene started advertising about her treatments on the local groups on Facebook.
“Back then, I didn’t know anything about marketing, but the results just came flying in and my business started getting so busy that the security manning the gate started complaining about the amount of people coming in because I was not allowed to run a business from home.”
“During that time, I also exercised every morning with Erika Davis. I didn’t know her, but I knew of her and that she was ‘the famous brow girl’. Because my business was booming, she also knew of me. I suggested to her that we open a property together.”
At the end of January 2017, Erika agreed and so NuSkinnovation’s first branch was born at the Southdowns Office Park in Irene.
In only 28 days, everything was set up and organised and they were able to move in on 1 March.
“I started out with one machine and a receptionist, but after a while I saw that there were many women who struggled with hormonal pigmentation and the current machine I had was not able to do that because pigmentation lied deep within the second layer of the skin, where most freckles were only in the first layer.”
In the meantime, Rohan became the new distributor for Fotona in South Africa and told Nicolene after she contacted him that this machine was exactly what she needed.
“However, this machine was worth more than R1 Million, but I knew that if it was in God’s will then it would happen. I went to the bank with six month’s bank statements and asked for a loan and it was approved not long after.”
Since Nicolene opened her business, she made many connections.
“One such connection was Monique Swanepoel, who is now my skin and laser therapist. She came to see me about a sunblock, of which she was a representative for. Back then I always knew that I wanted to appoint her because she had so much passion for the product she was selling.”
“I also knew that I needed a therapist to operate the new machine that I wanted and always had Monique in mind for the job. Coincidently, she came in next door for training. So, I spoke to her about the new machine and that I wanted to appoint her. I also asked her if she would travel with me to Slovenia for training on the new machine – of course it was a no brainer.”
Back then, Monique also worked at a doctor a few days in the week. Nicolene appointed Monique to work for her three days per week.
In September that year they flew to Slovenia for training.
“After the training I was so confused, but luckily Monique has previously worked with lasers and said that we would figure it out together.”
“I remember phoning my husband after the training, telling him that I’ve made a big mistake – I just paid more than R1 million for a machine and I didn’t even know where to switch it on, but he encouraged me and told me everything would be okay. Throughout this whole journey he stood by me and motivated me through everything.”
“Everything just started to grow after that.”
NuSkinnovation – 20 years in the future
Thinking twenty years into the future is not an easy task, but for a businesswoman who has a drive and passion for her business, she knows exactly where she wants to take her business.
Nicolene Pelster is currently the owner of a beauty and aesthetic laser clinic, NuSkinnovation Centurion.
“When I think about 20 years from today, I definitely see NuSkinnovation going international.”
“If you are faithful in the small things, God will trust you with the big things. The reason that I’ve already achieved so much has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with God and how he has brought me and the business where we are today.”
Since starting the business, it has always been a dream for Nicolene to help other women, who is in the same position as she was, to be successful and independent.
“With faith anything is possible.”
Which is why, Nicolene’s first goal for her business is to have at least 20 franchises in South Africa.
“I don’t want too many franchises to be too close to each other, but I want a franchise in each province.”
She said planned destinations for possible branches, included, Fourways, Krugersdorp, George, Umhlanga or Balito, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.
“These are only a couple of places that I’d like a NuSkinnovation branch to be in.”
“However, before I even decide to erect a franchise, I first do an in-depth study about the target audience of the area. Because it is such a big investment, you don’t want to take the risk that the business won’t attract any clients.”
“While every branch goes through growing pains, like any other new business does, I won’t start planning a next franchise if the previous one is not a success.”
Nicolene said another goal was also to expand the business internationally.
“It is always one of my daughter’s dreams to take the business to an international audience.”
“She did her honors in charted accounting at Stellenbosch University last year and is currently busy with her three years articles.”
Nicolene said she has already had queries for possible franchises from Australia, New Zeeland and Israel and Namibia and India.
“Knowing that was the direction I wanted to take the business in, I did not decline these offers, but rather responded with ‘one day’.”
She said she was positive that NuSkinnovation would be an international franchise in 20 years.
“Like I have previously mentioned, when I go for something, I go for gold – you either do it fully or not at all.”