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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 10 Feb 2009
KARMEN MAREE FIELDGATE

Beginnings

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1960, Karmen Maree Fieldgate’s early life centred on dance, in particular ballet also including modern, tap, Spanish, Greek and national dancing. Starting the discipline at the age of five, she later attended the Johannesburg School for Art, Ballet and Music and left school to dance with the Melanie Grace Dance Company. Karmen became a ballet teacher and taught ballet at St Andrews School in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, for a number of years. According to Karmen, “Ballet teaches incredible discipline, self confidence and the realisation that you can achieve whatever you focus on.”

Careers

A change in direction took her down the path of Public Relations and for a time she worked for Leadership Magazine run by the late Hugh Murray, which is one of South Africa’s largest and most influential Political and Business Publications. During this time Karmen was responsible for doing the administration for the first contact between South African business men and the ANC.

These careers provided Karmen with organisational and writing skills as well as teaching her the importance of attention to detail and meeting deadlines; all qualities that would stand her in good stead running her own businesses later in life.

However, it was only after marrying her husband Chris, when she was twenty four, and giving birth to her first child, that Karmen decided to chase her youth’s ambition of becoming a Beauty Therapist. She studied Aesthetics at The Cosmetician in Greenside, Johannesburg, and specialised in skin care, aromatherapy, massage and Reiki. Soon after qualifying, she opened her first beauty salon in Johannesburg and over the course of the next eighteen years owned two more.

Presently, Karmen has started two businesses in Mauritius under the “Make Me Beautiful” umbrella; combining a skin care and anti-ageing clinic with a product distribution company. She provides treatments such as micro-dermabrasion, micro-needling face lifts, callus peel for heels and teeth whitening. She also sets up Botox / Filler Clinics for her clients with a renowned plastic surgeon and supplies anti-ageing and beauty merchandise to salons and hotels around Mauritius while providing them training in the use of the various treatments and products.

Karmen is extremely enthusiastic about her products and is certain that their quality and her experience will combine to ensure that “Make Me Beautiful” becomes a well recognised name around the island. The variety that the work offers, and meeting many different and interesting people, provides job satisfaction and Karmen finds herself highly motivated by the look on customer’s faces when they appreciate and are delighted by the results of the products and their treatments.

Family

Karmen met Chris Fieldgate in 1981 in Johannesburg and four years later they married. She considers him to be her best friend, with an excellent head for business and full of good advice! Although Chris has retired from Afrox where he held the position of  Public Relations and Investor Relations Executive, he still keeps actively involved with Karmen’s business. Prior to working for Afrox, Chris ran his own public relations company for 20 years which was the biggest in South Africa.

Their daughter, Caroline Victoria, was born four years after they married and their son Jonathon Harold was born in 1991 and is currently completing his education at Michaelhouse in Natal, South Africa. Caroline has attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, majoring in the History of Art and English Literature and is currently helping Karmen with the distribution company. Next year she intends to go to the Red and Yellow School of Logic and Magic in Cape Town, to do a post-graduate course in Advertising and Marketing.

Karmen is, admittedly, something of a workaholic. But when she does relax it is often with a good book or a walk on the beach, and from time to time she tries her hand at meditation. Keeping fit is important to her in order to feel happy and so she visits the gymnasium regularly. She also loves socialising and has made many friends already in the five months that she has been in Mauritius.
 
Mauritius

The relaxed island lifestyle and the beauty of the country are some of the reasons why Karmen loves living here and she finds it a great contrast to her home city of Johannesburg which is far more stressful and has a faster pace of life. She recognises tourism, the hotel industry and the island’s natural beauty as being amongst Mauritius’s main strengths and would recommend visitors to the island to relax and enjoy the Mauritian way of life during the time that they have here.


The Future

Karmen intends to consolidate “Make Me Beautiful” in Mauritius and see it become one of the leading beauty and anti-ageing distribution companies on the island, selling its range of exclusive brands. Her parting words of wisdom are “Follow your dreams, even if the road is tough”!































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