“The underlying philosophy of the Sorbet Group is to make a difference in people’s lives. Once we started building the brand, we wanted to give something back and created the SEW Trust which stands for Sorbet Empowering Women. SEW gives us an opportunity to do something for the community. There are so many people struggling in life and this gives them a chance to fulfil their potential – there is no greater gift in life than giving someone that opportunity.”
– Ian Fuhr, CEO
The aim of the SEW Trust is to improve the earning potential and circumstances of previously disadvantaged women in South Africa, by providing training which enables them to find employment within the beauty industry.
The SEW Academy and Amazi
The Sorbet Empowering Women (SEW) Academy is the result of a deep collaboration between Sorbet and The Clothing Bank, a social enterprise focused on up-skilling and empowering unemployed women to social and financial independence.
The Academy recruits, trains (combining technical beauty accreditations with important soft-skill interventions that are required to thrive in a professional environment), mentors and coaches, and ultimately secures employment opportunities for successful graduates within Sorbet and Amazi Salons.
Amazi is a new brand launched under the Sorbet Group. Amazi is a nail bar that offers affordable luxury, is passionate about professional service with a belief that quality should be accessible to a wider market. This brand is about cutting edge and fresh trends specifically appealing to women in the lower LSM market. The first Amazi salon is located in Maynard Mall in Wynberg, Cape Town and opened in December 2015.
Nail techs employed in Amazi stores will only be sourced predominantly from the SEW Academy.
Recruitment and Training
An intensive screening process consisting of 2 full day workshops and one-on-one interviews, ensure the candidates selected for the Academy are motivated, committed and focused. These screening tools have been specifically developed for the SEW Academy and include practical problem-solving exercises, group scenario-base activities and individual life-story accounts to test for the qualities and characteristics that we believe our candidates need to be successful.
Once registered at the Academy, candidates receive accredited training from The Beauty Therapy Institute: that is Mani’s/Pedi’s (The Sorbet Way) and Sparkle Gelish training. They are assessed at each stage and must pass all assessments.
In addition to the technical training, soft-skill development is provided through workshops to groom candidates to understand the behaviour, conduct, skills, thinking and approach required to thrive in a professional environment.
Workshop Topics include:
- New Beginnings course – 3 day emotional readiness course
- Communication skills
- Organisational skills
- Problem solving
- CV Building
- Interview skills
- Job readiness – contracts, documentation and what to expect
We also incorporate life coaching into the training journey. The candidates receive 2 hours of coaching every second week for 6 months (which extends into their employment phase).
Once all training and practical hours are complete, candidates are trade tested and offered employment within a salon. The entire journey is a 15 month commitment (including 3 months of training) which enables us to further mentor our graduates during their first year of employment and meet the end goal of job creation for these women.
Our goal is to empower 145 women through the Academy across Cape Town and Johannesburg into stable, permanent employment as professional nail technicians by 31 March 2018.
If you would like to help a woman fulfil her potential, here is how you can make a valuable contribution to the SEW initiative:
- Choose to Paint It Forward when having a treatment – Add R5 to any nail treatment as a donation to SEW
- Buy a beaded Relate bracelet in our salons
- Make a secure online donation via the Givengain website
- Support our fundraising events (to be launched in 2016)
We need to raise R2.9 million over the next year so every Rand helps!
Before the SEW Academy, I was unemployed. I was at home and in 2013 I was diagnosed with cancer. In 2015 they released me saying how lucky I was. The most important thing that I have learnt from the academy is that I gained knowledge since I didn’t finish my matric.
Since I had cancer I could not go out. Now I meet with people, talking with them, sharing and making them more beautiful. My dream for the future is to take care of my Mommy because she is doing beads at the moment. I want her to stay at home and be relaxed and I’m the one who is going to take care of her. I also saw another gap in the location with the grannies. Their feet are a mess and I need to take care of them.
I don’t know how I can do it but even if I employ girls to Get That Feeling of the Sorbet way one day.
Watch her story
My hopes and dreams for the future is to study more to become a professional therapist so that maybe I can open my own salon and also empower women like me to become professionals.
Watch her story
As an accredited nail technician I need to study further; to do facials, massage and I want to have a Sorbet franchise so I can be able to employ other ladies who come from the SEW Academy.
Watch her story
How else can I get involved?
Use our graduates to host a pampering corporate wellness/business event – contact us to learn more about our Academy pop up concept.