Being launched at the GALLERY OF AFRICAN ART (GAFRA) earlier this year in March, the Mimi Empowered Friends Community is a network platform for Mimi et Mina’s clients, a community where women can build relationships, empower and inspire each other. The Mimi Empowered Friends Community have big dreams for the future and represents the powerful women of all backgrounds that are clients of the salon.
We are delighted to start off by introducing Olivia Martha, a young law student who is impressive due to her brightness and her love for life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi! My name is Olivia and I am 20 years old! I was born in Belgium but I am of Dutch Caribbean descent and have been living in London for about 4 years now. I have had the privilege to live in 7 different countries (Belgium, Curaçao, France, Singapore, Italy, The United Kingdom and China) which allowed me to experience many different cultures, learn new languages and meet different people from all paths of life. I have recently come back from a year abroad in Shanghai which allowed me to start learning my 5th language, Mandarin. I am currently a law student at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
What drives you in life?
That’s a very difficult question to answer without being cheesy… What generally drives me is being positive and energetic. I try to always be happy and see the good in life. My father comes from Curaçao, a Dutch island in the south of the Caribbean that is just off the coast of Venezuela. When I talk about positivity I try to look at my father’s country as an example. The people there are not overly privileged as there is a lot of struggle and unjustness on the island. However, what always astounds me is that regardless of this struggle, the people are always beaming with positivity and enthusiasm. This exuded warmth and confidence, amongst all the negative aspects that are also present on this island, has led me to not only be confident and proud but also reminds me that happiness is what I truly value and what drives me the most.
As a future leader, how will you empower other women?
I always try to be positive and to look at life in an open minded way. As a leader, I would and will always try to be myself and be positive in the hopes of encouraging others to do the same and be happy with who they are. Moreover, I would also like to encourage people to strive to make the most of their opportunities, such as an education, in order to employ the required knowledge and expertise in an honest and useful way. In order to do this I believe that people should be enthusiastic and eager to try out new things and make use of every opportunity that is presented to them. The world is full of opportunism which opens doors to new experiences. We are lucky to be able to live in the 21st century where we can make choices freely and grow. Empowerment, to me, is the appreciation of what life has to offer, self love, happiness and accepting that things might not always go your way but that you have the power to change things. You are in control and no one else should influence you or make you change the way you are.
What does “Give back to young generations” inspire you?
When I think about younger generations I think of children like my cousins. I have a couple of younger cousins whom I love very dearly. Since I am an only child I think of them as my siblings. When you look at what is happening in the world currently I can’t help but feel uneasy about how things are unfolding. There is a sudden rise of hatred and intolerance in the midst of globalism being at it’s peak which is challenging our progression and our values. What I would like to see is that my cousins and the children that I might have in the future can live in an environment where there is tolerance and an appreciation of values that bond people from all races, economic backgrounds and religions together. I understand that you don’t have to like or get along with everyone in life but that doesn’t justify the infringement of other people’s rights and wellbeing. The world is far from perfect and I doubt it’ll ever be, however, we and the younger generations can make big changes by just doing little things such as appreciating what we have and what we can give back to our communities. By giving meaning to such values we can lay a strong foundation for the next generations to build upon.
How did you hear about Mimi et Mina?
I found out about the salon on the internet! About 2 years ago, whilst dramatically sobbing over what was left of my damaged hair (due to excessive straightening) on the living room couch, my mother had the glorious idea to fix the problem by doing some Google searches concerning any options that would allow my hair to regrow. The other option was to go natural or try other types of extensions/protective hairstyles. I could barely cook pasta without burning down the house, let alone I couldn’t even brush my afro hair properly or straighten my hair without burning it, thus the option of having extensions sounded more attractive to me. I discovered my love for weaves through this salon. I have been a client there now for 2 years and I am very happy with my hair which has grown long and healthy as a result of the weaves. I even came back specially from China a few times to redo my weave which I would keep for a maximum of 4 months up until I would head back to the UK to visit my parents. In all honesty, that internet search, which landed me at the door step of Mimi et Mina, changed my hair’s life! I really needed this Deus Ex Machina moment to save my hair.
Would you recommend the salon? Why?
Of course I would recommend it! Aside from extensions/weaves, there is a wide array of services that is provided which Mimi and her team execute with excellence. The salon is located in the midsts of Notting Hill and sports an elegant charm. The team works hard and always try to please the clients at best. I personally have always had a great experience with the salon and have always felt like a mini Naomi Campbell after doing my hair there. I have a lot of trust in Mimi and her team, not only for the quality of their work but also the warmth that they exude. The vibe of the salon is always cheerful and energetic. I would recommend anyone to this salon since it’s services reflect the inclusion of people of all races. Moreover, there is a strong effort made by Mimi and her team to not only ensure that the client has a quality hair appointment but to also ensure that the individuals that walk out of the salon feel confident and beautiful.