Bio Sculpture Gel: Elmien Scholtz

Bio Sculpture Gel: Elmien Scholtz


1. A number of firsts

When Elmien Scholtz founded Bio Sculpture Gel in 1988, she had no idea it would one day become a globally recognised brand. The former beauty therapist developed a system which was completely different from anything available in the beauty market. Hers was the first company to manufacture a colour gel, first to have a one-step gel that could be removed without being filed away and damaging the nail, and first in the industry to undergo an independent clinical trial and obtain a five-star safety rating.

2. Global brand

In addition to ongoing research and innovation, Scholtz has grown the brand globally and exports to 39 countries around the world. That’s what recently won her the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, in the Emerging Category for the Southern African leg of the competition.

3. Looking beyond our borders

“When I developed Bio Sculpture Gel I wanted a flexible, thin and natural looking product that was safe and light to wear, easy to apply and easy to remove,” says Scholtz. “My first challenge was to find a laboratory that would take me seriously because I was so young. I had drawn up a wish list of what I wanted to see in the perfect nail care system, but I knew that the base product would have to be something close to rocket science. I eventually found it abroad.”

4. Room to manoeuvre

Because Bio Sculpture Gel is sold in so many countries, Scholtz allows some latitude when it comes to branding. “We provide operational guidelines, but we allow importers to adopt branding that will be best received in each country. In addition, our performance goals vary between 15% and 28% growth, depending on population figures and number of years in operation.”

The company does not demand royalties on turnover from importers. This makes more funds available for their businesses. “We believe that when people work for themselves, they give their best. That benefits the entire company.”

When the going gets tough

On making it through challenging times, Scholtz has this to say: “If you believe in your goal and stay focused, remain in close touch with customers, and stay on the cutting edge of R&D, you’ll get through.”

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.