Name: Mimi Armstrong-Wittingham
Her Business: The Hair Architecture Firm at KenBailey Hair Studio
Location: Atlanta, GA
Mimi Armstrong, a modern-day “Girl Friday” hailing from the suburbs of Houston, TX made the bold move to follow her dreams and channel her creative talents in the beauty industry. Having a background in corporate America and the entertainment industry, Mimi has always dabbled in hair. She began in high school as a shampoo assistant at “Headliners Hair Salon”, in Houston, TX, to being the resident hair stylist in her dorm room during her college days at Dillard University.
Mimi began working as a full time licensed stylist in 2006 and today Mimi is a Georgia state licensed cosmetology educator and instructor. The vivacious platform artist hones her skills as an author, technician, educator and platform artist having worked with some of the top companies : Belson, Sally’s, H2pro, Design Essentials, Influance just to name a few. In 2016 Mimi became certified life coach. When Mimi is not standing behind the chair or teaching/coaching, she is working on research and development testing products.
With such a diverse client roster, it’s no wonder why her work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and graced the covers of Black Enterprise and Sister2Sister. Having a background in Marketing, Mimi wrote and teaches a series titled Marketing 101: Tools of the Trade as well as host a series titled Stylist Roundtable in an effort to change the business side of the beauty industry. When Mimi isn’t creating unique looks for her clientele or giving back to her community, Mimi is spending time with her husband and children.
What services does your business offer?
I am a healthy hair stylist! I specialize in transitioning (relaxed to natural), trendy cuts and styles and custom color blends. I enjoy working with both short and long hair!
Why did you enter into this industry?
I have always had a passion for just “doing hair”..especially my own. I was working in the music industry for a multi-platinum artist and his label. The work required me to travel a lot. At the time I had a 2 year old son and I was not enjoying missing time with him. I had to make a change. I stepped out on FAITH.
What challenges did you face launching your business?
HA…many…i was still trying to be a music industry exec in the hair industry. I had to leave the music industry in all aspects in order to embrace and engulf myself in the beauty industry. I had to embrace that I was starting over at 30 something with a child. I also had challenge of not having clients and having to work to get them.
What experiences did you learn from corporate America?
I worked for Ford Motor Company in Marketing shortly after graduating from Dillard University.
I learned how to be timely, how to put together business presentations, I learned corporate and business etiquette. I learned to power of networking and the importance of having a mentor. I learned how to plan and manage my schedule. I learned work life balance and independence.
What helped you transition from corporate employee to entrepreneur?
It was not an easy task because I was use to the unspoken accountability and the established structure. Changing my entire mind set and understanding that if it IS to BE it is up to MI! I had to make it happen! My effort is directly related to my income.
What tools do you use to help manage your business?
OMG, I’m a terrible at tech tools. I call on my friends/ clients and people who are kind enough to assist me to handle all my technical stuff. I do the basics, LOL. However I do like HOOTSUITE. One of my goals for 2017 is to become more tech savvy on my own and learning more efficient ways to utilize my phone and apps already in place.
Wake up..Talk to God..wake the Boy…kiss the hubby…listen to Gospel and get dressed. Boy to School..mom to either salon or home office to work.
Evening.. Pick up the boy…kiss hubby…prepare dinner…pray…home office…eat dinner..clean kitchen…glass of adult beverage of choice…me time…bed..pray…sleep……
REPEAT…this only varies on Saturday and Sunday..Thursday and Friday evenings
“A girl should be two things…classy and fabulous.” ~-Coco Chanel
3 Things in your purse you cannot live without:
ruby woo (in current rotation)
Advice I would give to my younger self:
SAVE YOUR CREDIT (NO CREDIT CARDS)
SAVE SOME MONEY
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