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DIY fashion influencer Mimi G overcame homelessness to build a thriving business

business DIY fashion homelessness influencer Mimi G

DIY fashion influencer Mimi G overcame homelessness to build a thriving business

From homeless to thriving, DIY fashion influencer Mimi G of Mimi G Style, spoke to Fox News about how she overcame her hard past to design her impressive future – and how “sewing is not for your grandma anymore.”

The seamstress said she first learned to sew by sitting on the floor of her aunt’s studio in Puerto Rico, watching her create beautiful pieces.

“Every summer I would fly to Puerto Rico to spend the summer with my dad. My aunt was a seamstress who had a studio. And I would sit on her studio floor and watch her turn these fabrics into incredible bridal gowns,” Mimi said.

Using her eye for design and seamstress background, Mimi put up clothes people were drawn to – and her site traffic reflected it.

Using her eye for design and seamstress background, Mimi put up clothes people were drawn to – and her site traffic reflected it. (Mimi G)

When Mimi turned 12, her father bought her a sewing machine and had it shipped to Chicago, where Mimi was living with her mother. There, she began to teach herself how to sew by “dismantling clothes” she owned and then sewing them back together.

Despite having the desire – and the equipment – to pursue sewing, Mimi said what encouraged her to continue pursuing her creative outlet all came down to one moment.

“I volunteered to make my mother’s dress for a wedding she had to go to when I was about 13. I made her this dress, it was awful. It had a crooked hemline and neckline. It was fitting off at certain areas of her body,” Mimi reflected on her first design.

“But she wore it anyway,” she continued. “And bragged that ‘My daughter made me this.’ That small moment I had with my mom really encouraged me to continue sewing.”

Mimi’s life took a turn in her teens, and she found herself a homeless teenage mother in Los Angeles — and disconnected from her first love of sewing.

“Coming from sexual abuse, being a teen runaway, homeless, survivor of domestic violence — I found sewing as an outlet. It was very therapeutic for me,” she said.

— Mimi G

Eventually, Mimi managed to get back on her feet, working full time in film and production, and commuting three hours to work to support her family. However, as the sole breadwinner, Mimi was still struggling to make ends meet and often found herself feeling lost.

“I found myself in a place where a lot of moms find themselves — feeling like something was missing. I would go home and have mini breakdowns, gather myself and then go make dinner,” she said.

During one of her lows, Mimi said she was browsing the Internet and learned about bloggers who posted about sewing.

“This was 2008, and I thought, ‘What’s a blog?’” she said.

Within the year of relaunching her blog, she had 1 million page views. Within a year and a half, she quit her day job.

Within the year of relaunching her blog, she had 1 million page views. Within a year and a half, she quit her day job. (Mimi G)

Seeing as she was bored of her job and in search of an outlet, Mimi decided to start her own blog about sewing and her life. She kept up with the blog on and off for about a year before retiring it all together.

Years passed. Mimi still thought about that blog, however, and ultimately decided to start it up again. But this time, consistently.

“In 2012, I decided to make myself accountable for something for the year. So almost every day, I posted on my blog about sewing tips, patterns and how to DIY designer garment looks.”

Within a year, she had 1 million page views. Within a year and a half, she quit her day job.

“What set me apart was that my patterns were more fashion-forward. It appealed to people who wanted to sew fashion garments,” she said. “A lot of other sewing blogs are for making baby clothes or quilts. There aren’t a lot of resources for people who want to make actual fashionable clothes.”

“I felt a sense of responsibility to create a community that was safe and would allow these people to come together and inspire and motivate each other to create and heal.”

— Mimi G

Using her eye for design and seamstress background, Mimi put up clothes people were drawn to — and her site traffic steadily reflected that. And then one particular skirt changed everything.

“I put up a skirt, and it went viral,” she said.

The design was soon shared all over social media, bringing tons of people to her website, along with many commission requests. Mimi says she wasn’t interested in sewing for hire, though, and continued to keep up with her blog.

Then Christmas rolled around and Mimi decided to take some orders to make some cash.

“I put the skirt up on my blog for 24 hours and I priced it high. I set it at $250 for 24 hours, and I would only do requests that came in within that time,” she said. “Within a day I had 40 requests.”

Mimi uses a Baby Lock Destiny sewing machine, which she calls the “Ferrari of sewing machines."

Mimi uses a Baby Lock Destiny sewing machine, which she calls the “Ferrari of sewing machines." (Mimi G)

The mom of four was blown away by the interest. And then it sunk in that she had to make all the skirts.

“Everyone was helping,” Mimi said of her family. Fortunately, all of the orders were filled and shipped on time.

But this incredible feat sparked another idea for Mimi.

“I decided I was never going to do that again,” she laughed. “So I decided to teach others how to make the skirt instead.”

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That led to her first step-by-step video tutorial — of which she sold downloads to kick-start her business. This soon led her to create the world’s No. 1 online sewing school, SewItAcademy, where subscribers can take different classes based on skill level and receive a detailed new course every month. They also get answers to their questions, such as the most asked of all: What sewing machine do I get? (Mimi uses a Baby Lock Destiny, the “Ferrari of sewing machines.”)

But while Mimi admits that her fashion-forward style is what has captured her students’ interests, she says she also meets them on a personal level.

“Coming from sexual abuse, being a teen runaway, homeless, survivor of domestic violence — I found sewing as an outlet. It was very therapeutic for me,” she said.

Her message of “helping people see beyond their circumstance” has deeply resonated with others.

Now, the influencer with over 2.1 million social media followers, and who has worked with Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani, is continuing to reinvent and offer more resources to others.

Now, the influencer with over 2.1 million social media followers, and who has worked with Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani, is continuing to reinvent and offer more resources to others. (Mimi G)

“People have been reaching out to share their stories with me and [tell me] how I had helped them overcome things,” she said.

“I felt a sense of responsibility to create a community that was safe and would allow these people to come together and inspire and motivate each other to create and heal.”

Now, the influencer with over 2.1 million social media followers, and who has worked with Jennifer Aniston and Gwen Stefani, is continuing to reinvent and offer more resources to others through her podcast about business, where she teaches fans how to make a passive income through sewing. But don’t expect her kids to be joining in anytime soon.

“They have no interest in sewing," she said.

Via: https://www.foxnews.com/



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