MIMI G: My name is Mimi G, I am a mother of four, a serial entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, a business consultant, an award-winning trend expert and Editor-in-Chief of the popular lifestyle and DIY blog, MimiGStyle.com I am also the founder of Sew It Academy, an online sewing and design school with over 9,000 currently enrolled students and most recently a business podcaster. Last year, I launched my Business SHET podcast where I share a ton of business and life advice for people looking to make a living from their passions or hobbies. I think that’s everything I do, ha!
PRUNE: When did you realize your passion for sewing and fashion?
MIMI: I started sewing when I was twelve years old. I spent my summers in Puerto Rico with my dad, and that’s when I realized how much I loved sewing. My aunt was a seamstress, and during my summers I would spend most of my days sitting in her studio. I started by hand sewing my Barbie clothes, and when my dad realized I had a real interest, he bought me my first Kenmore sewing machine. My aunt never really had time to teach me, but I am a visual learner, so I just sat and watched her create these fabulous formal gowns. I started tracing off clothes I had and sometimes even cutting them up and tracing off the pieces, which is how I taught myself construction; it helped me understand how the pieces went together, much like a puzzle. I have dabbled in a ton of crafts—I even did a tiny bit of quilting—but I love sewing clothing I can wear and show off, so that is where my love began. It wasn’t however until I was an adult that I was able to really share my passion for sewing in a way that affected other people's lives. Sewing and fashion was therapeutic for me and in some ways, it still is.
PRUNE: What were the biggest roadblocks you faced in pursuing your dream?
MIMI: I think I had two big roadblocks. The first, was getting out of my own way and learning to trust my instincts but the biggest and certainly the hardest, was adjusting to being such a public figure. When I first started blogging and using social media, I never imagined I would be here, so sharing my personal life seemed ok. When it explodes and you find yourself becoming “internet famous,” that feeling changes a bit. I wouldn’t change it now, because I think that is what created the relationship I have with my followers—I was really open about my life, my kids, my husband at the time, and I think that allowed people to connect with me. I talked about being a teen mom, about being homeless in LA, about being a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, and about wanting to give my kids a better life. I wanted people to know I was a regular mom and wife just trying to get by and that was relatable. I certainly did not expect this kind of recognition so I would be lying if I said that I haven’t changed anything, because I have. It is very difficult to be watched and to have personal aspects of your life so public, but it is especially hard to have to refrain from responding, defending and explaining when people make their own assumptions. But that comes with the territory! When I went through my divorce several years ago, I really took a step back and had to make a choice to share less. I went through a challenging few years and because I didn’t talk about it, post about it, announce it, it made people more curious, but I had to protect my kids, and I think that changed things for me. After that experience, I knew that I had to be a bit more careful about what aspects of my personal life I shared. I love sharing and I want everyone to know that I don’t look like my blog pics every day. I want them to know that I struggle with weight, self-confidence, anxiety, sleepiness, moments of depression, and all those crazy feelings we all have. I am human and there is nothing special about what I do, I just really love to do it and that resonates with people. When I speak about starting a business or growing social media accounts and when you make your life public, I always tell people to be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s so worth it to me when I look at what I have created. I think social media has given people a false idea of what it really takes to start and grow a sustainable business, it will have you believe that all these influencers are living their best lives but in reality not many of them have taken that popularity and turned into a verifiable business that grows continuously month after month.
PRUNE: You have been pretty open about your tumultuous childhood and being a teen runaway. How do you feel those experiences have shaped you in your personal and professional life?
MIMI: I ran away from home at fifteen. I spent the rest of my teenage years living where I could - at the mercy of people’s kindness, I was a teen mom, had no real place to live, couldn’t afford to feed my daughter and had been in and out of abusive relationships. The cycle was never-ending, and after years of domestic violence, homelessness, and forced decision making, I started to realize that if something was going to change, I was going to have to be the one to change it. I had so many years of struggle and desperation, but eventually, I was able to get on my feet and started changing the path I was on. Although I wouldn't wish my past on anyone, I know that every bit of that shaped me. I chose to find strength in those experiences, it taught me empathy and how to show kindness, it gave me grit and those things I went through no longer sadden me because now I understand that my testimony would never have been had I not survived those things.
PRUNE: Your podcast, Business SHET, is new yet widely popular. Why did you decide to start a podcast?
MIMI: I am so thrilled about this podcast and how well it has been received. I really was hoping that it would be a hit because I truly wanted to help. I do a lot of speaking and I listen to a lot of podcasts and motivational “content creators” who offer webinars and what I found frustrating was how many people were building success from selling people fluff! These webinars were nothing but nonsensical blabbering that at the end was selling the listener on another course that would really help them. It was insane! I built my entire career on giving away a ton of free information and really working to build loyalty and trust with them and so I decided that it was time to share all the business knowledge that I have in my head with anyone who wanted to listen. I wanted to give a no nonsense fluff free podcast that was actually teaching and giving people actionable to do’s. I talk about business but I also talk about how our minds work and how we have the power to change our lives. I truly believe that in order for a business to succeed it has to be the S.H.E.T. it needs to “solve” a problem, “help” your clients get passed their current stage, it needs to “earn” their respect and build “trust”.
PRUNE: In your business success, what has been the most rewarding?
MIMI: The most rewarding thing about what I do is watching other people who follow me start side hustles and earn a living from either the skill sets learned in Sew It Academy or from my podcast, It is amazing to see how what you do impacts peoples lives and that is such a blessing for me. The more I give, the more I get back and that is big. I also can’t ignore the fact that I can provide my kids with a comfortable life and that they don't have to worry about any of the things I had to worry about. That makes any struggle I have ever had worth it.
PRUNE: You have your own online sewing and design school called Sew It! Academy. Could you elaborate on that?
MIMI: We live in a culture of art, self-expression, individuality, and boldness. People are no longer interested in looking like everyone else just because something is trending; they want to take those trends and add their own vibe and style to them. Sew It Academy allows them to do that. Sew It Academy is for people who want to take control of what they wear and how what they wear fits them. They don’t need to have any experience whatsoever to enroll and it costs less than $12 a month which, for most people, is totally doable. We literally teach you everything you would learn in design school - we teach sewing, patternmaking, draping, fashion illustration and we cover some business merchandising topics as well. We start from the very beginning, as a matter of fact, the first course is me taking a sewing machine out of the box and walking through all the pieces and functions. We leave nothing out so the student doesn't feel like they have to guess the next step. We have over 9,000 currently enrolled students and a retention rate of 89%. It’s been so great to watch my passion project become so successful. With new courses added monthly students always find something new to learn and we have a free trial so there is no risk to try!
PRUNE: What is your advice for entrepreneurs or people with big dreams who lack the confidence to chase them?
MIMI: Stop thinking and start doing! It really is a matter of getting out of your own way. I tell people all the time that the number one reason people fail is because they never tried. I am afraid of so many things and as you can imagine I carry a lot of responsibility to my team, my family and myself and I do it on a very public stage. The only difference between me and those who feel they lack confidence or are afraid, is that I chose to do it anyway. My most popular sound bite from my podcast is “F*ck your feelings” you are either going to start and keep moving forward or you’re going to stay exactly where you are now.
PRUNE: Where is the best place for readers to follow you?
MIMI: I am on Instagram @mimigstyle and on Facebook at FB.com/mimigstyleblog and of course on the blog at mimigstyle.com
OUR EDITORIAL TEAM!
EIC x Styling: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
Creative Director: Mike Ruiz @mikeruizone
Entertainment Senior Editor: Dylan Rubinstein @thedylanjader
Interviewer x Junior Editor: Lauren Bubb @LBubb02
Photo: CiNava @cinava_photography
Hair: Johnny Stuntz @johnnystuntz
Makeup: Donald Simrock @dsimrock
POWERED BY @plutusmassmedia LLC