Mojo Spa brings all-natural beauty to Chicago’s Wicker Park

2 min
March 20, 2024

Mojo Spa creator and founder Amanda Kezios hasn’t always felt comfortable going to a beauty counter. She wanted to change that for people who felt like her.

In 2003, Kezios decided to develop a range of high-quality natural products that could not only help her skin, but that were fun and conveyed a positive message. Most importantly, she wanted the spa where she now sells 200 natural beauty products to be inclusive and accepting of all.

“When people walk out of the store, I want them to think, ‘Wow! They were super friendly,’” Kezios says. “Because when you feel good, you look good.”

Kezios’s all-natural, plant-based beauty products are handmade in small batches using natural ingredients, fresh fruits and vegetables, and herbal infusions. Her product range has something for everyone, and includes skincare, makeup, body care, artisan soaps, bath products and soy massage candles that melt into a body cream. All Mojo Spa products are developed, manufactured, and tested in the Windy City using Kezios’ own original recipes.

Since its opening two decades ago, Mojo Spa has become a gem of Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, an edgy enclave dotted with cafes, record stores, and hipster clothing boutiques.

“When I first moved into this neighborhood 20 years ago, it was a lot of small businesses, but having a retail store has become more challenging year after year,” Kezios said. “There’s just not the foot traffic there used to be.”

And when the pandemic hit, Kezios–like so many other small business owners–“had to pivot to survive.” She turned to Amazon to help keep the lights on at the shop she had worked so hard to build. Soon after, sales skyrocketed.

“[Orders] started to trickle in more and more to the point where we were up between 100 and 300 orders a day,” Kezios said. “During this time, every box that I packaged, I was just like…’I am so grateful for this order.’”

Sales on Amazon not only helped cover rent, utilities, and other expenses needed to keep Mojo Spa running, but helped her company realize meaningful growth at a time when so many other small businesses were struggling to stay afloat.

“Not only did I not have to lay off any of my staff, but I actually hired their family members who got laid off from their jobs during the pandemic,” Kezios said. “Amazon allowed us to grow as a company at probably one of the worst economic times we’ve ever had.”

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Mojo Spa founder Amanda Kezios was not only able to keep her staff employed during the pandemic, but was able to hire more employees by pivoting to selling in the Amazon store.

“Pre-pandemic, Amazon was just something we did on the side,” she added. “Now, we have dedicated staff to it and it’s playing an integral role in our growth.” Kezios said Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) was “one of the biggest game changers” because it enabled her to improve delivery speed to customers as demand for her natural beauty products soared.

“When we were [fulfilling orders] by ourselves, there were delays and people would be like, ‘Where’s my package?!’” Kezios said, adding that outsourcing delivery to Amazon allows her team to focus on what they do best: making their award-winning beauty products.

And now that Amazon has helped Mojo Spa expand its reach beyond Wicker Park, Kezios wants to go global – all the way across the Pacific. With Amazon, “we have such a wide net of customers all over the U.S., which I would never get in the store,” she said excitedly. “We’ve been talking about doing an expansion with Amazon Japan!”

For Kezios, the secret sauce to success begins in the same place beauty does: On the inside.

“You really have to have a passion,” she said. “I feel like that’s why after 20 years, I’m still doing this because I absolutely love what I do.”

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