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Meet Ameena Maria Khawaja of The Potion Shoppe in Silver Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ameena Maria Khawaja.

Ameena Maria, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The Potion Shoppe was inspired by my experience as a makeup artist, a love for plant-based beauty products, and most importantly, my family’s history in naturopathy. Utilizing information and knowledge I’d gained from years of personal research into the healing and beautifying properties of plants, I began developing recipes for natural skin care products. My goal was to create a brand which embraced the magic, beauty, and simplicity of old world rituals, practices, and life.

In the beginning, when The Potion Shoppe offered only a few select items, I was approached by another company to design and manufacture a men’s grooming product for their new brand. This product ended up becoming quite popular and was sold by Urban Outfitters, Birchbox, and other well-known stores. Its success threw me headlong into running a business on my own and making sure my initial vision for The Potion Shoppe did not change. Before long, my team and I were filling orders of 5-10,000 pieces per month — all by hand!

Our product range has since vastly grown and though early on, much of my time was spent helping another company in addition to my own, the mission of The Potion Shoppe has always remained the same: to bring the past into the present, combining ancient traditions with modern innovations to enhance daily life.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting a business is never a completely smooth road, is it…?

I would say one of the most difficult aspects of this journey has been staying focused on the business side of things instead of getting lost making potions all day! My creative side can easily win out when it comes to working, so I’ve had to learn to set specific parameters for my days in order to complete everything that needs to get done.

Before starting The Potion Shoppe, my sole career was as a professional cellist and singer. Balancing a very busy performing, teaching, and touring schedule proved to be quite difficult in the beginning, and definitely affected the pacing of new product launches, marketing efforts and keeping The Potion Shoppe’s head above water!

The Potion Shoppe – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are an Old World Apothecary, specializing in bath + beauty products, natural incense, and home fragrance. Our goal is to emulate the old world era of the early 1900s and was inspired by my great-grandparents. They were both naturopaths who came to the United States and opened an enormous natural healing center around 1905. Having this specific family history sets us apart from other indie apothecary companies because it has influenced every aspect of the company, from packaging to product offerings.

Our Velvet Hand + Body Cream is truly a product I’m proud of — not only does each scent smell delicious, but it’s so fluffy & soft & absorbs super quickly, without leaving any sort of greasy feel!

We are also in the pre-launch phase of a very exciting, Old World Apothecary/Curated Emporium subscription box… there’s nothing like it on the market!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is achieving something you set out to do, whether it worked or didn’t. It’s learning just as much from your victories as your mistakes and having the confidence to always move ahead.

I try to make sure that no matter what, I’m being productive. As long as I’m doing that, I’m not too worried about other markers of success.


  • Velvet Hand + Body Cream • 4oz. | $28.00
  • Ritual Mist Room Fragrance • 2oz. | $12.00
  • Incense Ritual Starter Set • Steps 1-4 | $78.00 – $82.00
  • Crystalline Bar Soap • 4oz. | $12.00

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ameena Maria Khawaja, Renee McMahon

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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