KATHMANDU, Aug 1: When Barsha KC first came to Kathmandu from Jhapa, she didn’t know that one day she would start her own business. She moved to the capital city some five years ago in pursuit of higher education.
Although she had the chance to spend a carefree time with her aunt and her family, she decided not to. Her aunt had a job in the beauty business and that excited Barsha.
“I slowly began following her to her workplace,” she shares. It was during these times that she met a lot of other ladies and made a lot of friends. Slowly, her visit to the beauty parlor became frequent and before she could realize it she was a regular.
“Within a few months I had learnt a lot,” she recalls, and seeing that she enjoyed helping out with the jobs at the beauty salon, her aunt encouraged her further. “I was very happy doing my assigned jobs, but my academics had taken a back seat,” says the 23 years old.
She then had to make a choice between her education and passion. “What I faced was clearly of the right-versus-right sort,” she exhales, adding “But having always been a mediocre student in school I decided to dedicate my time to my new profession.”
Barsha then, having decided to make a living and career out of the beauty business, took up various internships and trainings. After interning for three years at a saloon in Jamal, she had finally saved enough capital and the courage to start up her own beauty parlor.
The Barsha Beauty Parlor at New Baneshwor, she says, is the “best decision I ever made.”
This story isn’t that of Barsha alone. Today, take a short stroll in and around the city and it’s evident that a large number of women are taking up the beauty business.
A closer look and you learn that these outfits are increasingly owned by young girls who join the beauty bandwagon, taking it as an easy yet lucrative business.
Meet Sapana Adhikary, 22, who is on the lookout for a beauty parlor on sale. Although having arrived in Kathmandu only a few days before, Sapana has a clear mind as to what she wants to do.
“I always knew that the beauty business was where I wanted to be,” she says, adding, “I took a three-month training course before coming to the capital.”
Sapana, who is originally from Urlabari in Morang, takes after a lot of her friends and sisters. She says that the rising beauty business isn’t limited to Kathmandu alone and that even in her town, a lot of young girls are venturing into the same field.
“My decision comes from seeing many cases whereby girls haven’t only escaped the boredom of free time but have also made good money,” she says. As of now, she plans to devote her time to her soon-to-happen business venture and is also open about rejoining college.
“If everything goes well, and if I collect enough to be able to pay for my education, I may also get back to my studies,” she smiles.
At present, the beauty business seems not only attractive to those who wish to keep aside their education, but there is also an increasing trend of learning the skills among women who go abroad.
Sabita Giri, 20, took training in beauty parlor for six months because she plans to go Australia for further studies. She says, “I though it was a great idea to learn some skills as it would be easier to get a job. Also, I’ve learnt that at beauty salons abroad they have a good salary system.”
Prativa Thapa is the owner of Loniya Beauty Parlor at Shanti Nagar and has decided to take a break from the business. After a few years of catering care to clients, she has decided to pause.
“I opened the parlor immediately after appearing for my high school exams,” recalls Prativa who will now continue with her studies.
“One can make good money out of this profession. But I also want to study,” she says.
Asked why it wasn’t possible for her to take her job and studies side by side, she says the job is “very demanding.”
Prativa nevertheless will discourage no one from taking up the profession.
“If you think this is the right profession for you, go ahead,” she advises. “There’s a lot of potential and demand. After all, everyone wants to look beautiful.”