SEW Foundation


About SEW

“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 women in South Africa, by providing training which enables them to find employment within the beauty industry.

Sorbet Empowering Women: Two Good to be True

Sorbet Salons nationwide are raising awareness in their communities for South Africa’s less fortunate women with just one, million dollar question: “Are you willing to lend a hand for just two rand?”

In an effort to raise funds for Sorbet Empowering Women’s mission (SEW) of securing employment for 170 previously disadvantaged women by March 2018, Sorbet guests are now invited to support the upskilling journey by choosing to add just R2 to any Sorbet products or treatments.

The SEW social initiative, created in partnership with The Clothing Bank – a non-profit organisation focused on empowering unemployed mothers to social and financial independence – was established in 2014 with the aim to improve the earning potential and circumstances of previously disadvantaged women in South Africa. This birthed the SEW Academy for learners, providing aspiring individuals with the sponsored beauty skills-training and potential full-time employment they needed to become qualified nail technicians.

However, with the unpredictable economic status, SEW and social upliftment programmes alike have been faced with the wrath of climbing costs, totaling the qualification fees per SEW learner at around R25 000. This means, in order to reach their employment goal of 170 women by 2018, SEW will need to raise an overall amount of R2.9 million to make the kind of big change Sorbet is committed to championing.

“But a big change doesn’t have to mean a big ask,” explains Jade Kirkel, Marketing Manager of Sorbet Group. “For just R2 at a time, we can all add to the journey of making a difference in someone’s life,” says Kirkel.

With the heart of Sorbet beating to the sound of its ethos of “giving that feeling”, says Sorbet CEO and founder, Ian Fuhr,“Small change can create big change – and there is no greater gift in life than giving someone the opportunity to fulfill their potential. This idea of giving that feeling to our guests and our communities is an unconditional Sorbet creed, and it is what sits at the soul of Sorbet,” ends Fuhr.

In addition to SEW/Relate beaded bracelets available for sale in stores, the option to make secure donations online via the Givengain website, as well as Sorbet’s numerous fundraising events for SEW, the recently launched Sorbet “Just for Two” initiative is yet another way loyal Sorbet guests can lend a helping hand; to make a fundamental change to the lives of women, their families, their communities and their futures.

You only have to read the SEW Storytellers columns to truly appreciate the value in the jingle jangle of your small change. For real-life stories, inspiration and tales from these women that have risen to the modules and that have earned their glory as qualified and employed SEW graduates, see more about SEW at

Our goal is to empower 170 women through the Academy across Cape Town and Johannesburg into stable, permanent employment as professional nail technicians by 31 March 2018.

SEW initiatives


If you would like to help a woman fulfil her potential, here is how you can make a valuable contribution to the SEW initiative:

  • Lend a Hand for Just R2
  • 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 2017)
Make a donation

We need to raise R2.9 million over the next year so every Rand helps!

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
  • Grooming
  • Self-Branding
  • CV Building
  • Interview skills
  • Budgeting
  • 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 170 women through the Academy across Cape Town and Johannesburg into stable, permanent employment as professional nail technicians by 31 March 2018.

SEW Stories

Funeka 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

Nobuhle Before the SEW Academy I was unemployed. I want to make my mom happy so this was my opportunity to prove myself to her. Before the academy I remember I was so shy and couldn’t stand in front of people and talk the way I am doing now. I deal with guests every day so I have to chat with them and make conversation so I have learned to gain confidence in that.

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

Sinazo Before the SEW Academy I was unemployed and a party girl. In 2008 I finished my matric but didn’t study further because I didn’t have the finance. The most important thing I have learnt in the academy is that although we come from different backgrounds we can all become one when we are in the same place. I’ve learnt to make new friends, to talk a lot and I didn’t even know how to talk but I became the sweetest person on earth.

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.

Our Partners/Supporters: