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This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mojo Spa, My Business Goals, and "The Lemon Bar" Explained

Okay, I thought I'd give up feeding my vanity for a while and start talking about something else...my greed! Now you guys know that I am 100% kidding; I am definitely not greedy, but I think it fair to say that us young women care about a lot more than just hair—we have tuition to pay, credit card debt to eliminate, dreams of being our own boss ladies...we're trying to do things with our money, and I am no exception!

If there's one thing that characterizes me besides my wild, natural hair; it's my wild, natural ambition to be an entrepreneur. I want nothing more in life than to make my own money and be my own boss lady; I've been pushing towards this goal since my freshman year of college.

You might remember me mentioning wanting to start something called "The Lemon Bar" on my Goal Sheet; The Lemon Bar (tentative name) is another one of my "campus business ideas" and I think it has the potential to be a big hit at Howard. First, a little background story...

For my birthday last month, I made the trip to Chi-town to have a little R&R with my girlfriends. We ventured down to the Wicker Park neighborhood in the hopes of padding our wardrobe with all those cool, secondhand stores they have down there, and lo and behold, we run into...

Mojo Spa! Curious at the banner that said "Handmade Beauty & Comfort Spa" we moseyed on in only to find...

The cutest freakin' natural beauty products in the world! Yes, you read correctly: beauty products, not baked goods. Everything in Mojo Spa not only looked exactly like the real thing, but it smelled like it to.

Noticing that we were gawking over all of the products, a friendly salesgirl came up to me and my friend and told us all about the store and what they do. Not only do they sell these completely original products, but they also host "Pajama Night" parties where the bring in a DJ, give away facials, and let their customers shop/party in the store well after closing hours. There was also a little nail salon in the back of the store in addition to cute jewelry and other clothing accessories placed in between the beauty products. The store was simply spectacular!

Being the wanna-be CEO that I am, I hammered that poor sales girl for details on the owner. I wanted to know who she was, what was her background, who her investors were, what did her balance sheet look like, where was her factory...okay, okay I didn't exactly ask all of that, but I was thinking it! The salesgirl did divulge; however, that the owner was a former chef, which is why everything in the store was so life-like. The owner lived in a studio not far from the shop, which was also where she and "some help" mixed and packaged the products.

I left that place with my mind racing a million miles a minute. Instead of daydreaming about how I could come back with next week's paycheck and go hog-wild in that store, I instead fantasized about how I could come back with next week's paycheck and start a competing business. Alright, maybe not a competing business, but I did have a business idea that was rooted in what I saw at Mojo Spa.

Now I'm not business expert (though I will be one day...) but from that one visit, I understand Mojo's success to be rooted in two things: experience and capitalization.


I have not tried Mojo's products, but it would be my guess that you could find many other natural beauty products for a much lower price that are way better than what Mojo sells. I would bet money on that. I don't say that to say that I think Mojo makes bad beauty products, but I think it's clear that beauty products are not what Mojo is really selling...Mojo is selling an experience. Think about what it would feel like if you went in to a store that sold beauty products, clothes, accessories, had a nail salon, and they occasionally gave out real food samples, but they didn't possess all the glitter and twinkle that Mojo does. What would shopping at that store feel like? No need to think too hard, you probably go to such a store a few times a week...that store is called Walmart. See my point? Think about even the difference felt from shopping at Target versus Walmart. People will shell out lots of money for an experience and Mojo Spa has that rule down pat.


According to the Oxford American Dictionary, to "capitalize" on something means "to take the chance to gain advatage from something." Again, I don't say this to make Mojo sound cruel or anything; I say this to make the owner of Mojo sound incredibly smart. She was a chef by trade, yet she runs a store filled items and services that are outside of her professional skill set. Granted, I don't know this woman, but from what the salesgirl alluded to and what I can see in the store, it would be my guess that the owner does not get down and "create" all that stuff herself. She's not sewing those cute tote bags, she's not crafting all the jewelry in those displays, she's not painting anyone's nails, and I don't think she's molding those soaps. She's probably being a good boss lady and running her business. In other words, she's capitalizing on other people's talents by putting all the puzzle pieces together for them and her customers, in the form of her store.

I think this so important for females who want to start their own businesses, because more often than not, women get into the trap that they have to be both the creator and the seller of a product or service. They get so attached to what it is that they're producing that they can't step outside of their one-person operation to make some real money. The truth is, you will make more money and spend less energy if you capitalize on, i.e. put the pieces together, for someone else's talent instead. If you do this correctly, this is a mutually beneficial business arrangement. The talent makes money and gets exposure they otherwise might not have while the business owner capitalizes on the talent's success. Producers make more than the artist. Publishers make more than the authors. The salon makes more than the hairdresser. The agency makes more than the models. The restaurant makes more than the chef. And Mojo makes more than the individual brands/service providers sold in that store, which is why Mojo is a success.

So with all that in my head (I'm a nerd, I know. I try to find the business case study in everything...) I decided I want to start The Lemon Bar. The Lemon Bar will be a series of events done on campus and in the city, that features local boutique clothiers, natural beauty products, and other local products and services of interest to young women. The Lemon Bar will take a commission for every item sold during the event, and will feature local female entrepreneur as speakers to draw potential customers in. Cute snacks and drinks will be provided throughout the entire event, and The Lemon Bar will get local sponsorships in order to produce the event without charging admission.

This is important for me because the first business I ever started was natural beauty care line. It ultimately failed; however, because I was formulating the products, mixing the products, packaging the products, marketing the products, and selling the products ALL BY MYSELF. I didn't know the value in creating a business model that capitalized on talent outside of myself, but now I do.

The Lemon Bar is still a work in progress, but the point is to provide a chic experience a la Mojo Spa while capitalizing on the products and services of local vendors. It's a win for them because they have an opportunity to make sales they ordinarily might not have, and it's a win for me because I get a piece of every transaction made through my event.

It's called "The Lemon Bar" because lemons are "fresh" and we want the event to be a "bar for fresh taste". Personally, I think we can come up with a better name, but my partner and I have been brainstorming like crazy and we have yet to come up with anything better. Hopefully a better name will pop up soon...

What do you think of "The Lemon Bar"? Got a better name idea? Want to share your "boss lady" business idea with Think and Grow Chick? Share your comments below.

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