With the rise of more and more black women breaking away from traditional 9-5s to become their own bosses, the CEO is getting a revamp as the SHEeo. In the Meet The SHEeo series, we talk to melanated mavens leveling up and glowing up, all while redefining what it means to be a boss.
The Glamatory is an Atlanta-based beauty boutique featuring exclusive brands, makeup artistry services, and a high-end beauty atmosphere. Inspired by Johnson's love for make-up and a desire to be her own boss, The Glamatory specializes in vegan and cruelty-free products and exceptional beauty services that compliment all skin tones and ethnicities. The company has been featured in ESSENCE and InStyle magazines, has made multiple appearances on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and boasts celebrity clientele including Angela Simmons, Kenya Moore, Missy Elliott, and many more.
In this week's feature, meet Mimi Johnson of The Glamatory.
Courtesy of Mimi Johnson
Title: CEO of The Glamatory
Year Founded: 2014
Location: Smyrna, GA
# of Employees: 6
30-Second Pitch: "Life is an experiment meant to be conducted fearlessly. The Glamatory empowers all people to embrace this bold and beautiful experiment called life with vegan and cruelty-free products and exceptional beauty services, which enhances their beauty and confidence. The Glamatory was born out of my own trials and errors, successes and failures, standing as a celebration of the grace, grit, and resilience found within us all."
What inspired you to start your brand?
My son. Though I love makeup and how it allows me to make people feel beautiful and confident, I knew that I needed to also think of my future and what my exit strategy would be. I wanted to create a legacy and wealth for my family, as well as those around me. I see that happening with The Glamatory.
"I knew that I needed to also think of my future and what my exit strategy would be. I wanted to create a legacy and wealth for my family, as well as those around me."
What was your a-ha moment that brought your idea into reality?
One of my clients always asked me to get her the makeup that I was using, and most of the time I was mixing to get the right colors! And it hit me, why don't I just have my own and also support other brands that are dope? I can make money doing makeup as well as selling the right products.
Who is your ideal customer?
Anyone who finds significant value from the products and services that we offer. From the client who is shy with makeup to the super glam faces, we embrace and appreciate them all!
What makes your business different?
Not only do I strive to produce shades that are complimentary to ALL skin tones and ethnicities, we also make a conscious effort to care about the formulations of our products and not incorporate harsh chemicals.
What obstacles did you have to overcome while launching and growing your brand? How were you able to overcome them?
Being an entrepreneur, I feel like there's always an obstacle. I think brand awareness is always a big hurdle. Getting people to organically buy-in and become loyal. There's not a perfect formula for this besides consistency and authenticity. I strive to make sure my products and services are a reflection on me.
What was the defining moment in your entrepreneurial journey?
Man, there's so many! Probably having full circle moments by working with celebs like Da Brat and Missy Elliott, or seeing a feature on ESSENCE and InStyle. Or even seeing myself on TV doing makeup on the Real Housewives! Or having people like Porsha Stewart come into the store and shop! Those moments are definitely highlights that I think about whenever I feel like giving up! I must be doing something right and God has allowed me to get this far. So I've got to keep pushing!
Where do you see your company in 5-10 years? (The ultimate goal?)
My ultimate goal is to be able to have The Glamatory brand in major stores and perhaps a few Glamatory locations in 3-5 other cities!
Where have you seen the biggest return on investment? (i.e. marketing, ads, vending, social media)
Word of mouth and networking. Nothing is more powerful than connecting with people directly and supporting one another. That's power. Second, I would say social media if you are consistent with your aesthetics, posting, and engagement.
"Nothing is more powerful than connecting with people directly and supporting one another. That's power."
Do you have a mentor? If so, who?
I have several. I have what I call my own advisory board. Where I'm weak, I have found someone who is strong and that I can be vulnerable with.
Biggest lesson you've learned in business?
That success does not happen overnight. You keep going until it's YOUR TIME!
Anything else you would like for people to know, or take away from your entrepreneurial story?
I'm from the inner city of Kansas City, MO. I don't come from money. I got myself through college. I'm a single mom of a child with special needs. And I'm still here "Grinding Pretty"! I said all of this to say, it may seem impossible, but by faith, perseverance, and a tribe of people who love and support you, you can do it too!