Queen, YOU are an all around Boss Lady and Beauty Queen! Please tell us a little bit about your life and journey prior to entrepreneurship! What were your typical days like?
I actually was working in I.T. as a analyst when I first started. I had no clue I would be a makeup artist but I always knew I’d end up doing something artistic.
Was glam and makeup something you were always interested in? Where did your original inspiration for the beauty industry come from?
It was the art for me. I’ve always loved art. I was the designated Mua for friends but didn’t even think about it as a career until a friend suggested it.
Tell us about the Glamatory! – What can we expect from your artist agency and what kinds of opportunities do you offer for artists and clients?
This is year 7 for The Glamatory! I started the Glamatory as a home/incubator for fellow makeup artists as well as a great place to get serviced. I expanded into creating a vegan and cruelty-free makeup line, which I’m really excited about the new launches that we have! My artist team had grown to 8 artists and I’m thinking of also growing in that area as well!
Why Vegan and cruelty-free? Was it tough to come up with great products while still making sure they were healthy and safe?
As an artist, I’ve experimented and tried all types of products! I’ve also had just about every skin tone and skin type in my chair. So from experience I knew what works! So I said, why not create what I know works myself?!
Tell us about Grind Pretty! – What does that space embody and what do you want consumers to feel when they come across your platform?
Grind Pretty happened organically. I had so many women asking me about how I built my brand and my brick and mortar turned into a community space for entrepreneurs. So I started grind pretty as a blog and produced video content to share success stories and inspiration along with great business insight.
That soon expanded into other cool things like the magazine, box, membership community and big events like grind pretty fest!
Why boxes??? Please share with us your mission and goal behind your subscription boxes for both brands, and how they benefit customers who get on board.
The box was an experiment. I had a lot of emerging brands wanting to sell their products at the Glamatory. While I wanted to help them, I realized I didn’t have Sephora money to wholesale all of these products lol. So I thought deeper and remembered that I had a Rolodex of female ceos in my phone that I’ve worked with as a Mua. I thought to myself that it would be dope to place a well known brand and/or an influential person tied to the box along with smaller female owned brands. It would give the female founders more exposure and potentially more sales without breaking the back! And that experiment worked!
We love that you seem to enjoy collaborating with other women and professionals for common goals. Tell us more about that mindset and how it has helped you excel throughout the years.
My mindset has always been, how can we grow together. I’m never afraid that someone is going to take a job away from me. What’s for me will always be for me. Every big opportunity I’ve gotten has come through a relationship! Your skill will get you noticed or even keep you in a position, but it’s your relationships that truly elevate you.
Do you find that it is tough to maintain a steady work, life, balance? Can you share with us some of your strategies and systems for keeping up with all the roles and responsibilities attached to running successful businesses?
I’m still working on this. I’m a single mom of an autistic child and I won’t sugar coat how tough it is. The grind is not always pretty! But here’s what helps me: scriptures, affirmations, therapy, and setting aside time with both ppl I love and for myself.
Balance is intentional, it doesn’t just happen. Also a key word of delegation is power! Even if it’s finding a freelancer on Fiverr or upworks , every hour back is worth it!
If you could go back and speak to your 18 year old self right now, what would you want your younger self to know? And why?
To work hard but play and enjoy life even harder! There will always be work and there will always be a bigger goal, but there will not always be time. Make it an effort to spend time with ppl you love along the quest for success and living out your dreams!
What would you say you’d like to see more of within the WOC community? What are we lacking as a whole that you would like to see us build on?
I’d love to see more sharing resources and collabs. More complimenting and uplifting one another personally and publicly. On another note, I want for us to not have to struggle so much to get capital!
How can we stay connected with you and your work? What’s next for you?
You can stay connect @mimijonline and connected with both of my businesses! I’m excited for new products I’m launching this summer and fall for the Glamatory. And some pretty cool collabs and events with Grind Pretty!