Many entrepreneurs find themselves pivoting along their career journeys, often by finding a passion that can translate into a business. Hanita Muthray’s entrepreneurial journey took such a turn, making the move from physiotherapy and joining the family business. Today, her experience and passion for wellness has found a new mission through the creation of a successful company, Nt Shonalanga Valley Resort, that creates a unique spa and wellness experience for individuals and corporates alike.
LoA was fascinated to learn more about this wonderful South African business from the woman entrepreneur who is building its future.
What does your company do?
We are a South African function venue catering for events ranging from Weddings, Corporate Conferences, Team-building and Private Parties. The venue also has 15 chalets that can sleep 30pax sharing. Our latest addition to the lodge is the Wellness Centre and Spa, where the focus is on stress relief. The spa offers treatments that were designed along Ayurvedic principles (Ancient Eastern principles of Wellness). Our signature treatments includes the Shirodara (a specialised head treatment), the deep tissue massages, child wellness, and yoga therapy.
"Our venue offers our clients a place where they can "SWITCH OFF", unleash their creativity and be inspired by nature."
What inspired you to start your company?
My parents were business people and so were my grandparents on my mother’s side. And although I was encouraged to study and get a profession, I am a qualified Physiotherapist, I joined my father when he started his business in the hospitality space. I loved working in this space and found myself wanting to learn more and more. So I now work full-time in the business and part-time in my own practice.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Our venue offers our clients a place where they can "SWITCH OFF", unleash their creativity and be inspired by nature. The venue, situated conveniently just 30 minutes from the major CBD of Centurion, Tshwane, Fourways and Midrand, is out in the countryside and free from noise pollution. Our packages are tailored to suit the needs of our clients with affordable pricing, quality food and excellent service and planning ideas.
Our Wellness Centre and Spa has been designed using my physiotherapy knowledge and the expertise of an Ayurvedic doctor from India. The treatments are specialised but affordable. The spa itself is modern and was designed to allow the energy to flow freely through the space.
"I did not choose my team, they chose me. They are all from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and initially their main mission was to put food on their tables. Now we are committed not only to the growth of the business but to individual growth and upliftment."
Tell us a little about your team
I did not choose my team, they chose me. They are all from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and initially their main mission was to put food on their tables. Now we are committed not only to the growth of the business but to individual growth and upliftment.
Most of them have been with the company for more than 8 years.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My father comes from a humble background, he had no experience in business but he fell in love and married my mum who came from a wealthy family. Her parents were very successful business people. My parents started off their entrepreneurial journey with a single camera and then built a studio where they not only took photos but also developed them. They expanded into various other successful business ventures and were then able to acquire the land on which our current business venture is on. I grew up in these businesses and eventually worked in them too. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I was encouraged to go to university where I studied physiotherapy and later worked at a Government hospital. I started my first practice in 1998 but that venture didn't work out as that was the year my son was born and the practice was an hour away from home. I then joined my father in the hospitality business and never turned back. I now own 100% shareholding in the company, under the guidance of my father.
"I see this business growing in the spa and wellness industry. I would like to offer alternate and natural solutions to one’s health - to empower the nation to take back their health and to become more creative and active."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I see this business growing in the spa and wellness industry. I would like to offer alternate and natural solutions to ones health - to empower the nation to take back their health and to become more creative and active.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Having an event or function go well. Seeing the satisfaction on my clients’ faces.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Educate yourself!!!! Do your homework and don't be afraid to ask for help. But most importantly have faith in yourself and don't give up. You can do it!!
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Why LoA loves it….
For so many women entrepreneurs, finding the right outlet for their talents, passion and skills is often a journey with many twists and turns. In the case of Hanita Muthray, a South African entrepreneur making her mark in the spa and wellness industry, she has taken her specialist knowledge and skills in physiotherapy, and combined them with her passion for wellness, to create a unique experience for visitors to her wonderful venue. She is creating something special that her customers are appreciating and which adds value to their lives. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa