Pretty Boss Highlight: Mimi Johnson
Hello Pretty Bosses! Meet MiMi Johnson, the owner of the beauty boutique, The Glamatory, located in Smyrna, GA. She is also the creator of GrindPretty.com. As a beauty influencer and brand ambassador, MiMi has built an impressive reputation in the beauty world by being a well sought-after makeup artist and entrepreneur. #ThatsPrettyBoss
What was life like before The Glamatory? What made you want to start?
Before The Glamatory, I was a college student and wanted to be a fashion designer. Makeup was never my main thing, but it was something that I could do naturally because I loved art. I have a degree in Marketing. While in school, the goal was to get a good job. I wasn’t thinking I could own a business. I had an entrepreneurial spirit, but it wasn’t the goal. Later, I got a job as a traveling IT consultant. When I would take trips with my girlfriends, I was the designated makeup artist. My friends encouraged me to be a makeup artist, and from there I stared to do any and everybody that I could. I fell in love with it!
I finally took makeup seriously when I started making a profit. But being a corporate person with a side hustle meant that I didn’t have a day off. I would be at work daydreaming about makeup and various projects. I finally made the decision to save up $10,000 before I made the leap. I left my job in 2011 and had an Emancipation of MiMi Party. I started freelancing and things started moving and shaking because it aligned with the Atlanta TV and film industry boom. Then I became a mother. I began to think, what’s my exit strategy? Now that I have a kid, I can’t move and shake like back in the day. Do I want to be 55 years old doing makeup? How am I going to transition into the next passive income and get income in my sleep? That’s where The Glamatory came from.
Do you have any advice for women trying to find their purpose?
It is okay to work a corporate job; not everyone is ready to be a full-time entrepreneur. Keep experimenting and find out what you are passionate about. I never thought I would be a makeup artist, but I became open to it. For anyone who is unsure, keep going and excel at what you do. If there is something you really enjoy, don’t force it.
Gender pay gap and lack of funding are holding women back in business. What are some tips you can share on negotiation?
Actually believe in your talent. And if you are not at the level you want to be at, continue to work to become better. But while you climb to that spot, you have to understand and not negotiate your own worth. Not everything you do for free is for free. It’s for the price of something else. If you do someone’s makeup for free, what are you getting in return? If I charge $100 for bridal makeup and the next person charges $200, I undercut that person. Those conversations need to start happening. We have to get out of the crab in the bucket mentality. What is for you, is for you. You should communicate with people in your market. Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns. They might say no, and that means they aren’t your client. Is this a business or a hobby?
What is an obstacle that you had to overcome to be successful?
Being a business owner versus being MiMi. Whatever you are still working on, will still be there tomorrow. You don’t want to be this great boss, and neglect personal relationships and self care. You don’t want to look up 10 years from now, be successful and not have lived your life. We get so engrossed in reaching our goals - especially as an entrepreneur. I also struggle with my image on social media ( I want to be authentic), mommy guilt, and having time for myself. You have to learn to disconnect.
I would also suggest learning to take people for what they are. Find their strengths, weaknesses, and move forward with that. I struggled with going from a freelancer to managing other people. I learned that I can’t operate as the nurturing type. It’s good to be optimistic and have a big heart, but do you end up as the last priority every time? Are you making all of the sacrifices and everyone is taking from you? That’s why you have to look at people and take them for who they really are. Stay away from their weaknesses.
Finally, sometimes it feels like a circus performance walking a on a tightrope. Every step you take, you have to readjust. We look for a perfect schedule, balance and timeline. Life is not like that. You have to be open to change and curveballs. And not throw in the towel when life doesn’t go your way.
We are so grateful that MiMi J. took the time to share with us what makes her #PrettyBoss. If you are in the Atlanta area and are looking for all things beauty - from makeup brands to makeup services - visit The Glamatory in Smyrna, Georgia! To learn more about what she does, you can reach her at the following handles: