Written By: Stephanie Scales
After granting millions of wavering viewers access into her personal life for six seasons, as a leading cast member on a top-ranking reality television hit show, Mimi Faust could probably write a pretty captivating tell-all.
Her position has produced the burden of widespread scrutiny, a burden designed to overwhelm and breakdown the average person, but Mimi is strong. Rather than falter, she has chosen to crack through the tough shell of public exposure, and extract the sweet center of success. During a recent chat with Kontrol’s Online Editor, Stephanie Scales, Mimi offered insight on balancing parenthood with entrepreneurship, advice on stepping out of your 9 to 5, and dished on self-care, plus her favorite DIY beauty secrets!
Stephanie: As an entrepreneur, how do you find balance between motherhood, and business?
Mimi: Prayer [laughs]. You know, you just kind of. . .you make it work when you have a child, and you have a career. You’ve got to find time, and make time for everything. You’ve just got to make it work. There’s no handbook, or anything like that. And have a good team. My nanny is amazing. Have good people around.
Mimi is a dedicated mother to her daughter, Eva, and a very passionate business woman, as well. Fans might remember her earliest step into entrepreneurship, a high-end housekeeping service. Keep It Clean Atlanta is still a thriving enterprise owned and operated by Mimi. But the mompreneur recently broadened the scope of the company’s mission to include her new obsession, interior design.
Stephanie: So, what inspired Mimi Interiors? Has interior décor always been a passion of yours?
Mimi: It was, and I didn’t really know it [laughs]. Like, a lot of girls can go and shop for hours. I like to go in furniture stores, like Homegoods, and TJ Maxx. I love it! [laughs]
Stephanie: I recently saw that you’ve added a new brand. Born + Fed Label, are they Sunglasses?
Mimi: Yes, I did, June 26th we launched. It’s actually an Optical line! I am very excited about it. I wanted to sell something that I actually wear. I can vividly remember 4 years ago being at a restaurant trying to read the menu and couldn’t. My frames will come embellished with pearls, stones. My vision for my frames are classy, made for the everyday fly-girl. The great thing is that you can upload your prescription to have put into the frames.
Stephanie: That’s so awesome, Mimi! I’ll definitely be ordering a pair.
It is something about a woman who is confident, fearless and bold. Mimi’s ability to be a full-time mom/entrepreneur, and still do it with such style & grace, is definitely applaud worthy.
Stephanie: What advice would you give to someone who wants to quit their full-time job, to pursue their goals?
Mimi: Have a plan. You definitely have to have a plan before you quit anything. You need to have everything in order, and you need to know that what you’re doing is going to support your lifestyle. So, plan! Plan! Plan! Plan from A to Z. [laughs]
Plan. That’s advice from a woman who has pushed through countless barriers, and surmounted a checkered past to achieve the success that she and her daughter enjoy today. Mimi has fought and won battles that, according to society, should have ruined her. But she refuses to fold, and instead, flourishes in the face of adversity. As dramatic as it all sounds on paper, Mimi has actually lived it. And fortunately, she has found her place of peace.
Stephanie: How have you used your past as leverage?
Mimi: My past, actually everything that has happened to me has made me, and shaped me into the person that I am. So, that right there is leverage itself. I try not to live with regret—of course, it happens at times. I’m not perfect. But, you know, everything that I’ve gone through has either made me stronger or better. So, that’s that leverage right there.
In her newfound place of serenity, Mimi is incorporating plenty of self-care. She is protecting her peace as much as possible, and taking time to indulge in the things that bring her joy. Her interior design business was conceived purely because she took pleasure in all aspects of home décor; it felt good to her. She seems pretty enthused about DIY beauty products, as well.
Mimi: I like scrubs, so I’ve been making my own scrubs. One that I like, particularly is coconut oil, add baking soda…it’s so awesome. You do it on your face, and when you’re done, your face is just glowing and healthy, it’s so good. Another scrub is lemon juice, sugar, and honey.
Mimi says she loves that one for dark spots. The renaissance woman asserts that she’s really into “mixing things up” right now. She talked about a mixture that she recently created to restore moisture to her daughter’s hair, as well. She refers to it only as “the concoction”, and certifies that the blend is so good, that she has to bottle it up for close friends on occasion. Decorating homes, whipping up concoctions, and time spent with her daughter all contribute to Mimi’s happiness. But there are a few other self-care tools that keep her on track:
Stephanie: When you aren’t on camera, or busy with Eva, what are some things that you like to do to love on yourself?
Mimi: I like…I like to be quiet [laughs]. I just want to be quiet; or, if not just peace and quiet, I like nature sounds. I like birds, and at night I like to listen to the crickets. I love massages, rub my feet and I’ll fall in love with you any day [laughs]. I’m a simple girl, I love simple things. I love to cook.
Stephanie: So, what’s your favorite recipe?
Mimi: I don’t really have a favorite, but I like to bake chicken and make different concoctions and sauces for the chicken. I’m secretly a mad chemist [laughs]. I like to try different stuff and make different sauces for my chicken.
Stephanie: But you still keep it baked?
Mimi: Still bake it, yea. I don’t even know how to fry chicken. I have no clue on how to fry anything, fish chicken…
For those of you taking notes, hoping to one day shoot your shot with Mimi, so far you should have that she cooks, but doesn’t fry, sleeps to sounds of crickets, and needs foot massages…perhaps daily foot massages. Yep, write that down. She also requires one thing that all functional relationships require, good communication.
Stephanie: With your experience with love in the past, what are you looking for now? What makes you happy? We all want to see you happy.
Mimi: I am!
Stephanie: Well, tell us about it.
Mimi: I think good communication–and it is so cliché, it is…but it’s the truth. It solves everything. It’s so simple. I think we, as people make it so complicated, and it’s really not that complicated. If you really want to be with that person, and they want to be with you, it should be, just, an easy thing to do. I think a lot of times, back in my past, I was forcing the situation. If someone doesn’t want to be with you, and they’re just off doing whatever, then that’s just what it’s going to be. You can’t force anyone to do anything other than what they’re doing. So don’t force it.
Stephanie: Well I’m happy that you’re happy.
Mimi: I am, I am. I’m so happy.
Stephanie: Talk a little more about this glow that you have. What does happiness feel like?
Mimi: It’s refreshing, to wake up and not feel the stress of ‘what is my partner doing’ or not to have that worry about your partner at all…it’s just refreshing.
Stephanie: Going through this new phase in your life, what has it allowed you to learn about yourself?
Mimi: That I used to tolerate a lot of bullshit and I don’t want to do that anymore. It’s a gift and a curse that I can [take bullshit], but I shouldn’t have to do that. I want to just be happy.
I would always get into relationships where it was a struggle, where [I felt like] I can beat this! But you shouldn’t want to beat your relationship, it’s not a battle. Every time I would get into a relationship, and it’d be a battle, I would try to beat the battle. If you’re in a relationship, and you have to battle with your partner, something’s wrong.
Now that Mimi has shifted gears in her life, her new lane is bound to rake in a new fanbase. She wants everyone to see who she is now as a total, happy, and fulfilled person. Don’t be distracted by her Vh1 persona. Mimi says that the show will portray her the way that best suits the network. If they only want to show her when she’s angry, then so be it. But who she really is, is Eva’s mom, loving partner, and successful business woman, Oluremi “Mimi” Faust.
Photographer: Will Sterling
Stylist: Julian R. Lark
Assistant: Adorr Jessie
Team Leader: Chanel Scales
Hair: Jimmy Duggins
Makeup: J Denelle M.
BTS Video: Eliot Jones (camera)