Rolling Out

Beauty CEO Mimi Johnson brings women entrepreneurs together with Grind Pretty

The entrepreneur shared the mistakes that led to her purpose

Mimi Johnson is a makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur with 12 years of experience working with celebrities such as Angela Simmons and Kenya Moore. As the founder and CEO of the beauty brand The Glamatory and the business conference Grind Pretty, she celebrates women entrepreneurs.

Johnson opened up about her journey as a beauty entrepreneur, the challenges that led to her purpose, and what to expect at this year’s Grind Pretty conference.

What inspired you to start your beauty brand? 

I think [there are] a couple of reasons. One, I had my son. So, I transitioned from being this single makeup artist flying all over everywhere and doing everything at different times of the hour, to “OK I have this responsibility now and he’s become my motivation. So, how can I work smarter?” At the same time, I’ve always been really big on helping other entrepreneurs, specifically other women entrepreneurs. So, I mentored a lot of makeup artists coming up. So, part of The Glamatory was giving that opportunity to mentor and have a place for amazing makeup artists to work and collab. The other part of that was let’s build something legacy-wise. I wanted to create a line that addressed the concerns of women of color as well as every skin tone.

What advice has helped you in your journey?

Well, there are two pieces of advice. One was from Kim Fields. I asked her how she balanced being a mom, and a wife. She does a lot of things, and I asked her how she balanced them. She told me, “There’s no such thing as a perfect balance. Just imagine a circus performer walking the tightrope, and you have to adjust with every step that you take.” The other part was, my mentor [at the time] sat me down and was like, “Mimi, you’re gonna burn yourself out. You’re doing a great job, but you are doing so much, you’re taking on so much.” She said to me, “Who do you want to be? Do you want to be LeBron James? Who’s the star of the team? He’s the captain. Or do you want to be the guy in the skybox that picks the team? You got to think like a CEO and not a founder.” That has stuck [with] me.

What is a game-changing aspect that attendees will be able to take away from Grind Pretty? 

I think the key thing here is connection, right? You can learn online and, you can learn in person, but there is nothing like connecting with the right people. Yes, your talent gets you noticed and might get you carried but it’s that connection that gets you to the next level. I think the amount of amazing women that are a part of this makes all of the difference and I’m really excited about that. I hope that women come to this and they really take advantage of the opportunity in front of them.

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