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From butter to body butter: How Mavis Hicks created an inclusive skincare line

Seven years ago, Mavis Hicks started her very own skincare line called Beauty N Simplicity while working at Harvard University as a dining hall manager. Back then it was just a hobby and side gig, but in early 2021 Hicks decided to take the risk and pursue her passion full time, turning Beauty N Simplicity into Mavology.

Mavis Hicks of Mavology
Mavis Hicks, founder of Mavology. Mavology aims to create a skincare line for women with all skin types. “I wanted the products to be inclusive because I never found skincare brands that catered to my needs,” said Hicks. COURTESY OF MAVIS HICKS

Mavology has products ranging from body butter to body oil and face serums. The products use natural ingredients and are made for all skin types, but Hicks, a Black business owner, especially targeted Black women, who she said “aren’t necessarily highlighted in beauty always.”

“Being a black business owner, serving my community is very important to me,” Hicks said. “It’s very important to me because I know the specific challenges that I have going into stores looking for products or even imagery of people who look like me is just not around.”

Hicks’ vision for Mavology is to empower people to “take control of their lives by taking care of themselves.” The brand, she said, is for everyone and makes them feel comfortable in their own skin.

“Our tagline is ‘made with intention’ because of course, we want people to have beautiful skin, we want people to feel good,” Hicks said. “How you evolve as a person, when you take intentional care of yourself, you start to work from the outside in.”

One of the main reasons she started her own skincare brand was because of her own personal troubles with eczema.

“I understand how hard it is to find products that work for your skin,” Hicks said. “Building a brand, it helped me understand what consumers look for and need. Being able to offer a superior, quality, natural, handmade product with a mission of soothing and improving skin with a component of total body wellness.”

Hicks started Mavology “from the ground up,” taking pictures on her phone, selling products in person and launching her brand on Etsy.

“I did everything by myself,” Hicks said. “I would go to small farmers markets selling things and over time, I gained more customers which afforded me the finances to rebrand.”

That rebrand was prompted by chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing it as an opportunity to rediscover her passion for beauty and self care, Hicks left the culinary industry and pursued Mavology full-time.

“I actually went through a rebrand. So literally, as I was rebranding myself, I was rebranding my business as well,” Hicks said.

The designer behind the rebrand was Radhika Maheshwari who said it was partly inspired by the colors of Morocco’s landscape — mauve, gold and blush tones. They also wanted to incorporate “snippets” of Hicks’ personal and professional life into the brand.

“From a design standpoint, our vision together was to see this business grow into retail stores and build a community of like-minded people from diverse backgrounds who cared about self-care, nurturing themselves, and simply implementing healthy skincare rituals,” Maheshwari wrote in an email.

Connecting with her customers is something Hicks said is very important to her.

“Being able to share skincare rituals that can empower is behind our mission and core principle,” Hicks said. “Social media has been a great tool connecting with customers all over the country.”

Kayla Kaplan, a customer of Mavology from the beginning and co-founder of VeganZine, said she became interested in the brand because of Hicks and her story.

“I prioritize local products,” Kaplan said. “I think it’s incredible to have like a lineup of products in my cabinet and to know the person that is behind literally creating it.”

Hicks said she wants her brand to become known on a global scale.

“I want to be in department stores. I want to be in Sephora and Targets,” she said.

As a Black woman, she acknowledged how difficult it has been to find brands that are inclusive to all types of women.

“The market has many women from all colors, all races, all shades and we all deserve to have the same variety of products,” Hicks said.

One Comment

  1. This is so well written and encapsulates my jounrey! Thank you for the privellge to be interviewed.