Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Joanna Williams. Jojo is the owner of Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge in Highland Park.
A maven is an expert in their craft, someone with an immeasurable gift in their field. Gifted as a true artist and skilled cosmetologist, Joanna, also known as “Jojo,” is an expert in the field. It is no wonder that when life allowed, she began her own studio, Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge.
Jojo was raised in Wheaton and headed off to college after high school. She was soon married with a baby and had yet to begin a career she loved. In time, she realized that her fine arts degree wasn’t providing the life she had longed for and headed off to cosmetology school. Her parents weren’t sure that cosmetology could provide the life she wanted, but she was sure this passion could turn into a lifelong career.
In the salon chair, she met an original Bobbi Brown girl and was later urged to check out the business and follow her truest passion, makeup. After intensive interviewing and training, she became a Bobbi Brown representative and finally knew she had found what her heart desired.
A myriad of opportunities with Bobbi Brown filled the years since 1995 including freelance work, counter management, and working as a both a trainer and a coordinator for the line. The successful career that her parents were afraid wasn’t possible? It was entirely possible, and she was loving it! But, in May of 2016 her position of coordinator was cut without warning as the business restructured. She was still able to freelance, but with the increasing popularity of online tutorials, the makeup counter scene was changing rapidly and she needed a more permanent plan. With her makeup trunk in tow, she continued doing faces for Harpo Studios, OWN Network, USA Today and even Mariel Hemingway (yes… that Hemingway).
Jojo loves all things beauty and is willing to try new services, equipment and materials to find what really works for her clients. She strives to show every woman just how beautiful she can be with a little help from her friends — skincare and makeup. She also struggles with hypothyroid which has mostly eliminated her eyebrows, so when she learned of microblading (semi-permanent eyebrows) in Chicago, she was willing to try it out. No more sweating off brows! She loved her results and knew that she wanted the certificate that would enable her to transform faces in a more permanent way than makeup could. She signed up for training, and by August, Jojo saw how life changing it could be. Now, you’re either rolling your eyes because you’re thinking, “Eyebrows, really?” or you are giving me the full nod because you know you can’t live without your brows. It’s a real thing, and one that I didn’t realize I needed until I had them done — they are transformative!
Without wasting any time and having plenty of it on her hands without her full-time job, she signed a lease in Highland Park to open a beauty lounge with microblading. Within days of signing, the state of Illinois changed their licensing for the service, so she initially opened only offering cosmetology services. But this was simply a small hurdle for a big passion, and she figured things out and had her licensure to operate with microblading in November 2016. She completed renovations herself while waiting for her license, and made a beautifully serene studio designed for a truly personal experience. (More on the studio at a later time — I can’t wait to share it!)
When asked what services she believes every woman should try out at Maeven, she said without a doubt makeup tutorials. There is so much information out there and having a professional show you what works for your face allows makeup to feel less intimidating and doable daily for everyone.
Jojo is such a warm, kind friend and her lounge is beautifully appointed and not at all overwhelming to visit. She enjoys the peace of having her own private location for many services including: facials, makeup, tutorials, microblading, brow tinting, lash lifting and nails. She truly wants women to embrace the fun that is makeup and feel free to love themselves during the busy seasons of life. (She even told me that my kids were welcome to come in with me, and she leaves it up to individual clients’ discretion if they wish to bring children to her unshared, private lounge.)
Living in Green Oaks with her family, Jojo loves the “foodie” scene of the area. Most often, she can be found at Shakou or Mickey Finn’s with her older daughters, young son and husband. Although she doesn’t have much free time anymore, she still manages to fit in workouts and spend time with her family. She loves having some space where she lives to enjoy nature and watch over her favorite doe, Maevis (see the name connection?). But still, at the end of a long day, she’d rather clean up and put on a full face of makeup, even if just for herself — for Jojo, it’s like therapy.
Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge is open Monday – Saturday, by appointment only.
Disclosure: Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of partnership with Little Lake County. The writers received an array of services from Maeven ICL in exchange for the coverage, no further compensation was received. If you’re interested in being featured in Locally Grown please contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com.