Interview

Emancipating Mimi: From Reality TV Star to Businesswoman

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Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Mimi is no slouch. Many wouldn’t have a clue, because they have never taken the time to get to know her. Mimi Faust is more than what meets the eye or more than what people think they know about her. You may know or affiliate her as a reoccurring star on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, or with other people, circumstances, or relations, which shall remain nameless. Mimi is painting a new positive image and life for herself, putting the past behind and moving forward with the future. Reality TV star turned Businesswoman is indeed taking care of business with her cleaning company and newly interior designing. Entrepreneurship looks good on Mimi. She is focused on motherhood, love with WNBA player Tamera “Ty” Young, work, and constantly being a better person. She’s a work in progress just like the rest of us, and that only shows she’s human. No superhuman or robotic figure, she is just a regular girl living in a crazy world and making the best of it. I love the human side of Mimi, and all that makes her who she really is. No glitz, glam, or make-up, just raw, honest, and uncut Mimi. She is the truth; she’s not a stupid girl. Read on to see what else Mimi is up to and how she has evolved and transformed her lifestyle and put a halt on people’s perspective of her:

PYNK: People may only associate you for other reasons, without getting into, what do you think or feel is the biggest misconception about who you really are?

Mimi: That I’m stupid or dumb or … (laughs) that part of it. I’m no parts of stupid or dumb. I got called dumb and stupid for trying to keep my family together, which I thought was absolutely ridiculous. But, yeah, that part.

PYNK: What do you want people to know about you most that they fail to realize? Outside of, you know, what’s the quality about you that you want people to take away?

Mimi: I just think if someone got to know me, you would know that I’m the most giving, loving, kind-hearted person ever. I’m really not out here to change anybody’s mind about me. I am who I am. Yes I’ve made mistakes along the way but if you know me then you know what kind of person I am. So the ones out there that are judging and just assuming things, I’m not really out here trying to, “Oh my God, I want to change their mind. I want them to know this about me.” I really care less about what the naysayers think about me, honestly.

PYNK: Okay. Okay. So now taking back, of course, the control of your destiny after, you know, good decisions maybe bad decisions or in the middle, what are you … You’re showing women of course now to how to bounce back, how to bounce back from that. So overall, how has that process been for you? I’m sure it feels liberating. How did you get through the process as well?

Mimi: It was rough, you know? Once you, you know, make a mistake or realize that you’ve done something that you can’t take back, just trying to get back on the right track. It’s a daily process, you know? You have to work on it daily. Like I think every day that you are alive you should try to be better, or strive to be better, or be a better person. And that’s what I’ve done. You know, I’m a work in progress, like everyone else.

PYNK: Exactly.

Mimi: In life.

PYNK: Exactly, you’re human so it happens, trust me. We’re all a work in progress. God knows I am. How did you overcome, you know, I guess all the obstacles? Like was it just prayer or, you know, cause turning all the pain into now business and having to completely, you know, switching gears, you know, how did you overcome the process; well the obstacles I should I say?

Mimi: You know, yeah prayer was a key factor; and just always moving forward. You know, which is, I can’t be stuck in this place. I have to get up every day and just move forward and try to do something different and do something that, you know, my daughter can be proud of. So just moving forward.

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics)
Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

PYNK: Right. So how is Eva? And motherhood?

Mimi: Oh my God. When I tell you that little girl’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened to my life and she just started second grade and she’s just, she’s just awesome. She’s an awesome human being, you know? I don’t know, I thought about having another baby but I’m like, “What if they’re not as awesome as Eva.” She’s so sweet and she’s loving and she’s caring. She’s thoughtful and she’s all of these things just rolled up in one and I just could not ask for a better child. Like she’s so amazing.

PYNK: Right. It gives you something to look forward to everyday. Something to live for, ultimately. A bigger-

Mimi: Every day.

PYNK: Something bigger to live for, right? That’s awesome. Of course you’re no stranger to reality TV. I do wanna get into that first just cause I know you’re about to … The new season is about to roll around, the return of that, of Love and Hip Hop. Any surprises this time around or anything that’s, you know, we can expect?

Mimi: It’s just Love and Hip Hop, it’s always gonna be some surprise there (laughs).

PYNK: Okay, I guess you’re right (laughing). I guess you’re right.

Mimi: I don’t even know sometimes. I’m like, “Oh, what’s going on?” Like, it’s always a catch with Love and Hip Hop, so it’s way too early for me to, you know, say what’s gonna happen. I never know so we’ll just have to … We’re gonna go through this journey together.

PYNK: (laughs) That’s awesome. All right, well tell us about the famous interior design, the firm and the line. How did you get started? Was it always a passion for you?

Mimi: It really wasn’t always a passion. I really didn’t realize that I enjoyed it or was passionate about it until one day I was, you know, I hired somebody to help me design a house, right? And I’m going out with the girl, her name is Nicole, cause she’s actually a friend. And I’m out with Nicole and we’re looking at fabrics and we’re looking at, you know, rugs. And I’m like, “I could do this.” (laughs) I could do this, and I liked it. So she helped me out with it and after that I just started going out by myself, and I found myself going to different stores and, you know, just being in furniture stores and home goods and different places to … You know, I would go somewhere and see a lamp and I’m like, “Oh my God, this lamp would go so great in this room,” and I would just go get it. And I just started doing it. I’m like, “I really enjoy this.” And my mother always told me you should do something that you love to do. And at first it was cleaning, I absolutely love to clean and that’s when I started my cleaning business. And then now I really, really enjoy this whole decorating thing so I’m gonna move forward with that as well.

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics)
Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

PYNK: That’s awesome. So where do you plan to take it? I mean going forward what are your big plans for it?

Mimi: Oh my God, sky’s the limit. I mean, eventually I hope to have a whole, you know, line of furniture, of accessories, of, you know, products that you could buy. I would love to be one of the top interior design women in the world. I want to go as far as I can possibly go with this.

PYNK: That’s awesome. How do you balance it all? I know you mentioned the cleaning company, cause I was gonna ask you about that as well, Keep it Clean Atlanta. How do you, you know, balance it all with the interior designing, and motherhood and, you know, the cleaning business? How is that all formulated into Mimi’s world?

Mimi: It’s tough (laughing). It’s tough. You just have to pick one thing, “Okay, I’m gonna work on this today or for the next couple of days,” and you gotta kind of compartmentalize it cause if you pile it all together it’ll, you know, drive you a little nuts. So you pick what you’re gonna do today, and I have a good team. I have a good team. So my team helps me, you know, they keep me on point, on track. You know, they … You know, Ronnika sends me emails first thing in the morning. She’ll send me text messages, “This is what’s on the agenda for today.” You just have to stay very organized and focused.

PYNK: So how did you get involved with the cleaning? Cause the cleaning business of course was first. How did that start? And then of course now where you are now.

Mimi: The funny story, the cleaning business, I was at a house party many, many years ago. And that party was kind of winding down and there was a few people standing in the kitchen and the mess in the kitchen was driving me absolutely insane, like I couldn’t take it. I was just like, “I gotta clean this up.” So we’re just kind of sitting there talking, there’s red cups all over the place. I started stacking the cups, stacking them up and putting them in the trash. Then after I got the cups up, I got a rag and went to the sink and I, you know, started wiping off the counters. Next thing you know, like 10 minutes later, the whole kitchen, I had cleaned the whole kitchen in like 10 minutes. The homeowner came down the stairs and was like, “Who cleaned the kitchen?” So the people are laughing like, you know, they thought it was funny. They were like, “She did,” and they’re laughing at me. And the guy said to me, “Do you want to come back tomorrow and do the rest of the house?” And I said, “Well are you gonna pay me?” He was like, “Yeah I’ll pay you.” That was my first client.

PYNK: Is it an ongoing … Do you still … Do you still clean his house?

Mimi: No, no, no. No, not anymore but he actually referred me to client and it was just basically word of mouth is how like I got started. And I was doing, you know, he was a football player so I was doing, you know, athlete’s homes and, you know, they were referring me to their friends and their family members. And that’s honestly how I got started. And the guy that I was dating at the time, he was like, “You’re doing all these homes, why don’t you just make it official and get incorporated?” And so I did and just went from there.

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics)
Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

PYNK: That’s amazing. That is amazing. So have you ever thought of writing a book? Cause you’ve been through so much and your story could definitely inspire. Have you ever thought about writing a book?

Mimi: Absolutely. The book is actually done. The book is done. All I have to do now is get with the writer and we have to go red line everything, do the cover and the book is done. The book will be out soon, this year. Or, well, in 2018 it’ll be out for sure.

PYNK: Awesome. We’re looking forward to it. I’ll be reading it. I’ll definitely be reading it. And so I know of course you’re dating Ty, WNBA player, star.

Mimi: Yes.

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Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

PYNK: Yeah, so how has that … Since of course she’s been, she’s back and the trade and has that made things stronger for you guys now, with the distance?

Mimi: It’s made it a lot easier, yeah. Cause it was a lot of flying back and forth and a lot of, you know, Facetime on the iPad (laughs). It was a lot of that. Yeah. It was a lot of that. And the crazy thing about it, she lives literally five minutes from where I live. We’re right around the corner from each other. And we’ve lived five minutes from each other for four years, and we never knew it.

PYNK: That’s … Well, hey, it’s meant to be, right? (laughs)

Mimi: Absolutely.

PYNK: Small world.

Mimi: When her coach traded her to Atlanta we had no idea. We thought it would be anywhere else but Atlanta and she said, “Atlanta,” and I mean, both of our mouths just like fell to the floor. It was pretty awesome.

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics)
Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

PYNK: (laughs) That’s cool. That’s so cool. So ultimately what else do you want people to know about Mimi and what you’re up to or anything that you want the people to know?

Mimi: Pretty much I’m a regular girl. I like to do regular stuff. I like to cook, I like to clean, you know, I like to, you know, run around in my yard, and I like to wash my own car. Like I’m just a regular person. I think people, you know, get this misconception. If you’re on TV you’re this, I don’t know what they think, but I put my panties on one leg at a time like every other woman.  I have feelings, I have emotions, you know, just like everybody else. I’m not this super human thing. It’s … I don’t know.

PYNK: That’s awesome. Yeah, well hey, we’re all human and so … That’s one thing that I have always, you know, I don’t understand when people look at certain people and they put them on such a pedestal as if they’re not like them. It’s like we all bleed the same bl- we all bleed blood, you know, we all put our pants on the same way. You know, our pay grade may be different or our circumstances may be different, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not human at the end of the day. So that’s what’s important. So, you know Mimi that was awesome.

Mimi: Yeah, you know, one more thing I want to add.

PYNK: Sure.

Mimi: Like I think I tell my daughter this all the time. You know, she’s seven and she’s like a sponge, she sucks everything up. And I tell her all the time, “You need to treat people how you want to be treated.” Like that is the most cliché saying ever but it is so, so true. If you, honestly, treat people how you want to be treated, I’ll tell the world would be a better place. Nobody wants to be treated poorly or bad or, you know, mistreated. So if you do that for other people it would be so much better. And I really believe my daughter gets it. She so gets it.

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics) Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Will Sterling (@SterlingPics)
Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

Mimi: We gotta break this chain, this cycle of hate-

PYNK: We do.

Mimi: … and bullying and all that. It’s just gotta stop. I know it’s a long road but it’s gotta, we gotta
break that cycle. It’s terrible.

PYNK: Yes, it is. We need to come together and the world would be such a better place if we just
have peace and love one another. No matter what our color, no matter what our sexual
orientation, no matter anything, we gotta love one another. And hopefully we’ll get there.
I hope it gets better before it gets worse, that’s for sure.

Photocreds: Will Sterling (@SterlingPics)

Promo Shots for SEWphisticated Hair Line #SEWPhisticatedOluremi (@SEWPhisticatedHair)

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