I want to make my blog something more than just a blog, I want it to purely be a place, a platform, of inspiration and substance. I’m going to be implementing some small expansions in the near future, but for now I wanted to introduce a new section on my blog which I’m naming “beautiful people”, whereby I introduce you guys to people that have changed my life and inspired me personally.
If I had to think of one person who has moulded me into a healthier, more ambitious and visionary person- it would be Mimi Ikonn.
I first came across Mimi around four years ago on YouTube when I was looking for hair tutorials. She and her husband Alex created a hair extension brand named Luxy Hair and used YouTube tutorials and personal vlog videos as a means of getting their name out there. The two (they’re a power couple btw, like, Beyonze & Jay-Z status) have grown their entrepreneurial idea into a worldwide megabrand with the help of social media. Beyond being an incredible business woman, Mimi is one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met in my life. Something she told me a while back that struck me was: “I don’t believe in bad people. I believe some good people have bad habits.” Not everybody you meet genuinely sees the good in every person and gives out of a growing sense of love and admiration for others. Mimi is the kind of person that would donate to charity and not instagram about it, you feel me? One of the most inspiring things she’s ever done in my eyes, is spend her birthday giving back to others (bringing food to the homeless, paying for people’s coffee at starbucks, etc) instead of celebrating herself. It was the first time I’ve ever heard of somebody spending “their day” on anything but themselves, and it made so much sense I felt silly for never considering it.
I sat Mimi down in Luxy Hair’s London office after her holiday to the Amalfi coast, where she was celebrating her birthday this year. When I realized Mimi was a leo, it all made perfect sense to me. Leos are confident, ambitious, generous, loyal and encouraging. Check, check, aaaand check. For once I feel like astrology could actually be beyond made up BS you find in the back of a magazine, because Mimi pretty clearly epitomizes her astrological sign. Mimi was wearing a leo charm from PANDORA‘s Star sign essence collection along with the courage and confidence charms, which is no wonder because she epitomizes both words.
Leave me a comment on this blog post and follow PANDORA on instagram to win a PANDORA Essence Collection bracelet with your star sign & 2 corresponding charms. Contest ends September 1st, so get to writing!
Back when you lived in Toronto and were just thinking of the idea of creating Luxy Hair with Alex, what gave you the courage to actually pursue the business idea? Did you ever think “maybe this isn’t a good idea, maybe this is silly..”?
Well before Luxy Hair, I had a different business. I was doing image consulting and fashion styling, I think for that I needed more courage than for Luxy Hair. Sometimes it is hard to believe in yourself, and you can doubt yourself and think whether you can do something or not. I just learned not to tell people when I start something, so when I start something I just do it. I think it can be detrimental when you tell people because they can sway you away. It happened to me with the image consulting business, where some of my girlfriend were like “Oh, don’t do it, just get a safe job”, so when we decided to do Luxy we didn’t tell anyone. We thought it was a cool idea because Youtube was just starting- well it wasn’t starting out, we thought it was really big, but now in retrospect it was just starting out [four years ago]. We just thought we’ll go for it, and if nothing happens, nothing happens. We never thought it was gonna get to like a million subscribers, we just thought it will be fun and creative, and as long as it’s fun and creative we’re gonna have fun and it’s all that matters.
Do you think there was any realization or event that happened in your life that made you learn to love yourself?
It’s constantly happening. Thats’ something I’m learning… that’s probably one of the biggest lessons I have to learn. I’m very loving towards other people, and I give a lot, but I need to learn to give to myself as well because the most important person you have to love is yourself. When you’re full, you can give more to others. I love socializing and doing all these things but I need to spend more time, even alone, doing meditation or yoga or just investing in myself. So it’s not something I would say I’ve learned, it’s something I’m constantly learning, and that’s what life is for. One book I can recommend for that is “Mastery of love”; it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, not just about self-love, but your relationships with other human beings.
See it’s interesting you would say that because I thought you would have a definite answer, like “this is what made me confident- cause I’m confident.” That’s what it comes across as.
I know, but that’s probably what people think about you and so many people. I think when you think you’ve ‘made it’, is when you’re actually delusional. You never make it. The moment you stop learning is the moment you start deteriorating. So for me, I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything. I feel like I want so much more to learn and experience and try.
You said in one of your latest videos that you own dozens of blazers because they make you feel powerful and confident. Do you generally believe clothing style or fit can influence your confidence (whether it be temporary or long-term)?
Absolutely. From my background in image consulting and styling, when I went to school for image consulting, it was one of the best educations I’ve gotten. You can’t even call it an education, it was just half a year, you just do it at George Brown College [in Toronto]. It was amazing because you learn so much about the psychology of image. We judge a person subconsciously in the first ten seconds we see them. It’s not something we want to do, it’s just something we do. So coming across a certain way is not a choice. If you wanna be successful in this life, you have to look the part. Of course if you don’t care about society, you can look as you want. But if you wanna get somewhere in life, whether you’re a teacher or model, blogger, doesn’t really matter- you have to look a certain way. And image definitely affects your mood and your mental being. I think sometimes even putting on something fresh and colourful can make you feel a million times better, I’ve seen it in my personal life and even working with clients.
It is said that Leo’s are outgoing, self-assured and have a tremendous zest for life. Knowing you, I would definitely agree. Do you think there is one thing that gives you so much love and excitement for life?
I think its the opportunity for a better world. My world of course, and then that can expand to the world. There’s my favourite quote by Paulo Coelho: “it’s a possibility of a dream come true that makes life exciting.” So it’s just the possibility of any dream that I have coming true, that kind of gives me the zest. It might happen, it might not happen, but just the possibility that it might gives me the excitement.
What would you suggest to somebody who lacks confidence?
You just have to fake it till you make it. I think I’m more confident than some people I know, I feel self-reassured, it just comes naturally maybe because I’m a leo. But I cant say that I’ve been confident at everything I’ve done in my life, so sometimes I had to fake it. When I started working as a fashion stylist I wasn’t confident in my skill, I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn’t know if I could. I had to just do it and then eventually I got better, and people gave me compliments and you get reassured and feel more confident. You just have to do things and then you become confident because you see that you’re succeeding, but if you’re not succeeding then maybe it’s just not for you. You have to really learn from other people who are doing things well. Confidence I think can be learned if you don’t possess it naturally.
I always used to define myself as an ambitious person, but the more I got into spirituality and reading books from gurus like Osho, the more I started to question whether being an ambitious person was actually a good thing. Do you think your ambition serves you?
Yes and no. I think it’s important to have ambition, because it gets you out of bed in the morning, but you can be attached to the dream or the ambition. At the end of the day, like all spirituality teaches, as long as you don’t create attachment to things I think you can exercise them happily and without suffering. As soon as you create attachment to anything, you’re suffering. Sometimes Leila [my sister] will tell me ” why do you take things seriously?!” but it’s like: if you don’t take things seriously, then you can’t be your best. Then you’re pathetic. I’m like, “I care, but I know that if something fails, it’s okay, I’ll be fine.” It’s a hard balance to maintain, but it’s just practice. But thats why we have this lifetime- is to practice.
What are you most determined to accomplish in life at the moment?
Well there’s a couple of things, it’s not an easy question to answer. I think personally I want to find peace and inner balance. I’m very excited and I can be anxious sometimes because I’m so excited. So it’s just learning to be more balanced, just as a human being. Professionally: is definitely to continue sharing my passion for fashion with the world. For me that’s my biggest passion in life. Beauty I really love as well, but if I could do one thing for the rest of my life it would be fashion, so like getting my hands in that more is my goal.
What is your favourite city in the world, and why?
London, thats why I live here. It’s a cosmopolitan city. A lot of the cities have a very strong culture about them, like New York or Paris, when you’re there the city makes you a New Yorker or the city makes you a Parisian. The culture is very strong. When you’re in London, it’s very open minded and it’s almost like you’re looking to a mirror and you become more of who you are. The city actually allows you to be whatever you want, so you’ll see very different characters here and everyone is accepted. So that’s why I love London, everyone got the right and freedom to be who they are.
Leo’s are genuinely warmhearted and want everyone to be happy, which is so the case for you. There are obviously lots of negative people in the world, people with bad intentions and spite. What is your philosophy on people who bare anger, why do you think they cannot possess the same selfless-ness that you effortlessly radiate?
Through going through tough times myself I’ve learned to become very compassionate with other people. So when I see other people who are angry, miserable, or attacking me- I just really send them love because I think what we do to others is what we do to ourselves first. For example, if I see somebody being really nice and sweet to other people and you can see it’s genuine, it just radiates from within them. They won’t be the person to be mean to themselves. So same thing, if I see somebody attacking somebody, cursing, you cut them off and they’re like screaming out of their car. Its like, wow, you must be really in pain and suffering in order for you to do that to a complete stranger. Okay maybe I cut you off, I didn’t mean to. A lot of people are in pain and it’s hard sometimes to go inside and deal with your issues, so what you do is you attack other people so you distract yourself. I have nothing but love and compassion for these people because I’ve never experienced aggression and I usually divert it more internally, but I can see how some people can take their pain and take it outside instead of dealing with it.
Do you follow any daily routines and rituals? Or do you live by intuition?
I think daily rituals are actually very important for mental well being, and just overall well being. In the morning I do yoga, meditation, I do a new thing called heart math which is really cool, it’s sort of like meditation but you can track it on your iPhone. I’ve been meaning to do a video on it but I’m very iffy when I recommend something so I want to really try it for a long time.
Describe your perfect day.
Almost every day I find is perfect, in the sense that I like not knowing what will happen sometimes. I like a bit of mystery and magic. Waking up, doing a bit of yoga meditation, then going out to work. I really enjoy what I do so I work almost every day, it’s hard for me to sometimes pull myself away. So just working, but also sometimes taking breaks and going for long walks with Alex. Taking pictures, I really enjoy photography. That’s my perfect day, taking it easy and doing what I love.
What is the number one thing that Luxy Hair has taught you?
Time management and self management. People always dream of having their own business but they don’t realize that the good news is that you’re your own boss, and the bad news is that you are your own boss in the morning. Nobody’s gonna kick you out of bed. You need to have daily rituals that get you out of bed; you have to have a routine. The first couple of years we had no routine, it was terrible. I was depressed because I was always at home in front of the computer, so now I’ve learned to set routines where I get out of the house, I’m socializing with other people. Routine is actually healthy. When I worked for somebody I always thought that you know, when I have my own business I’ll just travel the world. Now when I travel, I actually create my routine because it helps me to be productive. There’s a reason for a 9-5, I know its hard to admit it, but there’s a reason.