Featured biz mama: Jenny Duranski of Noktivo

Featured biz mama: Jenny Duranski of Noktivo

Jenny Duranski is the founder and owner of green spa and beauty boutique, Noktivo, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Square. She began her career in the beauty industry when she was 19 and shortly after fell *well dove head first actually* down the rabbit hole that is green beauty, when allergies and sensitivities arose from the products she was working with. It is from this journey that Noktivo was born, a mission to provide Chicago a truly natural beauty experience, offering spa services and products that are not only clean, but effective.

Jenny Duranski of Noktivo

Tell us a little about your business/job responsibilities.

Since I am still a relatively young company, I split my time between working IN my business and ON my business. I am still the lead nail technician, not only because I love what I do, but to save on costs so I can reinvest that expense into growing. The other half of the time I am hitting the ground (or the computer) hustling up business however I can. It’s definitely strategic, but as a new brand in a saturated marketplace, it’s a lot of work to build your community from scratch.

What are the ages/genders of your children?

I have a 9 month old daughter, Marlena.

Did you start your business before or after having children?

I got pregnant with my daughter only 6 weeks after opening Noktivo’s doors. Surprise! While we knew we wanted to have kids, I planned to start my business before we had children because I knew the extra challenges that would come balancing a business and a family.

How did your business life change after having children?

It has done a complete 180. I am in the thick of it though, or so I’ve been told “the trenches” with a newborn. I used to be able to work in, on and dance circles around my business 24/7. That is just not possible at all anymore. My mother comes one day a week to watch my daughter and I swear it’s the only day I breathe.

Describe a typical workday.

What is that? Just kidding. 🙂 If I’m not on the schedule to take clients, my typical workday includes taking care of my daughter while I send/ return emails, phone calls and text messages to book appointments or events. When she naps is when I focus my creative energy with no distraction on designing and scheduling our email blasts, social media posts, research, analyzing business data, writing blog posts and reading industry news. Not all of that gets done in the 90 minutes she naps per day, but bites of each do, so by the end of the week the ‘projects’ are complete. On days I take clients, I don’t have to split focus and change gears so quickly. I get to focus 100% on the experience of Noktivo; pampering my clients, making them feel good, building relationships and talking to them about green beauty. I love both aspects of being an owner and nail technician for exactly this reason. One side fills my brain, the other fills my heart.

What is one tip you can share with other Biz Mamas?

Of course I am partial because it’s my industry, but self-care really is so important. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, carving out even 10 minutes a day for just yourself has many wellness benefits. It’s a juggling act to be a mom in business. Taking a little time to relax, unwind and clear our thoughts, keeps us healthy to do it all over again tomorrow.


Chicago, IL