17-year-old and Her Mom Launch a Joint Fashion Blog
Why did you start Mimi and Julz?
J: “We started Mimi & Julz because we are always together. It’s not really normal, a 17-year-old and her mom. We are really close and we hang out all the time. Of course she has her friends and I have my adult stuff. A lot of moms ask us for advice or where to go or ask, ‘How are you guys so close? Mia talks to you? You really get along with her?’ And we really do! We don’t fight – except when she doesn’t want to do the dishes. I’m still working on that.
I like to write, so I said let’s do the blog together; you write and I write. We’re going to launch it in September. I’m also really big into fashion, that’s my other passion. She’s like me, happy-go-lucky. I am her guidance, but I try to make it fun. I dab and I milly rock. (Both laugh). I do whatever I need to do for her to feel comfortable. I am the only person in her life that has her best interest at heart.
We have fun with the Mimi & Julz page – we just did a campaign with Qalo, they sell silicon rings for athletes. They chose us because of our love for fashion, our creativity and because I empower her.”
You said you’re launching your blog in September, how do you plan to deal with reaching larger audiences? Are you planning to be involved with your audience or do you want your blog to simply serve as inspiration?
J:“We definitely want to have a connection with our audience that’s why we go to all these events to meet people. I have this thing and I have posted about it before. I hate the hashtag women empower women because women don’t empower women. Women empower popularity. If I have 400k followers and I’m wearing sheen or whatever the latest thing is, then people are going to follow that. There’s nothing wrong with that. And I hate to say women don’t empower women, yes, women do empower women but it’s subjective. You don’t follow the little people you follow what is interesting to you. I want to empower my daughter. I want to empower young girls to feel that they could do anything. With our blog I want to inspire other mother daughter relationships…that you can have that kind of relationship with your daughter and bring in everything: fashion, hair, college, experiences. I definitely want to engage with people.”
How would you describe your fashion sense compared to your mom’s?
M:“Well through elementary school and middle school I was a hardcore tomboy. I was the typical athlete girl who looked like a dude. I’d see all the pictures like ‘why did she let me wear this!?’ But also it helped because sometimes I want to wear a dress and sometimes I want to wear sweatpants. My style is a little bit of both; my style has her personality and some of my personality.”
At what age do you feel you achieved an affinity for fashion Julz?
J:“I was really young. I was always into fashion. My dad was an architect so he wore jeans, combat boots and a t-shirt. But when he would go out he’d dress up. He’d tell me ‘If I give you $100 I rather you buy something of quality that’s going to last than to go buy seven bags of clothes; your clothing represents you.’ And then my mom was a hippie, she would wear go-go boots and stripes and crazy outfits. For the taste of quality in clothing I credit my dad but the craziness was from my mom.
I remember being a kid in elementary school and if I was wearing a skirt I would make a knot. I would take a t-shirt, rip it and add a safety pin. Since I was really young everybody thought I was going to be a fashion designer. I wear the stuff that people don’t normally wear. I go into the stores people normally don’t go into. I love fascinators and era clothing. And making my own clothing! If I have a pair of scissors, tape and a stapler I can make anything.”
Mia how do you feel about not only being a part of this with your mom which is amazing, but about bringing things to light at such a young age and a fresh perspective which is different. Are you excited about it or do you feel it’s a lot for you to handle?
M: “It’s a little bit of both. Yeah, it’s exciting because I’m doing so many different things. I have so many ideas and I don’t just want to do one thing. It’s also terrifying because you don’t know which one is going to work out fully. Or which you can make a full career out of.”
Do you feel like you both have an equal mindset when it comes to the blog? Or do you feel you may venture off and talk about something that relates to your age group as a teenager? If so, do you feel you have the opportunity to express that on the blog?
M:“Yes. When I started going natural there weren’t a lot of curly girls, and if there were they didn’t really have my texture. So I didn’t know which products to use – being in social media I feel I can inspire other girls who are just like me and I feel that is so great. I didn’t have that, and now someone can have that because of me and then give it to someone else and just that cycle of inspiring other people to keep going.”
What inspires you about each other?
M:“What inspires me me about my mom is her way with people, her confidence and her open heart. That’s always inspiring because I have the same type of personality as her, when she meets new people she always wants to make them feel comfortable and feel welcomed. She always put others first before herself. Her confidence with what she wears- she doesn’t care what people think. I have my own style even though mine is similar to hers.”
J: “What inspires me about Mia is she’s a go-getter – she’s also very confident. And at 17 not all kids have that confidence. Hopefully I have something to do with that. She was always very friendly and outgoing. She’ll get to a place and before she left she knew everybody. At 4 years old I’d be at the salon doing my hair and if there were no kids she’d be talking to the adults. I admire that about her. She’s not scared to approach people or things. You have no idea how much of a quality that is as an adult. She plays around with fashion and wears whatever she wants to wear even though in school they ask “that’s what you’re wearing?”, so I admire that about her.”
If you could describe one another using three adjectives what would they be?
M: “Funky, entertaining and very affectionate.”
J: “Very loving, funny and considerate - towards me and the family but also others.”
How would you guys overcome any tough situation or argument that you’d have with one another?
J: “I’m very open to apologizing because I’ve had moments where I had a really bad day at work and there’s a million things going on. So I’ll come home and yell about things and realize she didn’t do anything, it’s me. We have our differences, but I’m a talker. So we sit down and talk about it.”
M: “Well we don’t really have arguments, and even if we do it’s like two minutes and then, ‘hey you want to watch a movie together?’ – nothing is ever too serious.”
What lessons would you say you have learned from having this type of relationship with your mom Mia? And vice versa for you Julz.
M: “I’ve learned never to take anything too personal. Even if somebody is being rude to you or having a bad day – there’s a reason they’re like that so don’t take it personal. I’ve also learned to have a more positive outlook in terms of everything – yeah you might have that one bad day but then tomorrow you’re going to be fine.”
J: “For me the lesson I’ve learned from her is to bring it down a couple notches because I stress and worry a lot about everything …I stress about being late, I stress about the future, college, etc. But she calms me down. My mom passed away a year and a half ago and the relationship I have with Mia I had with my mom. I miss her and cry everyday still. My husband and son have been amazing, and my family. But Mia especially helps me deal with my mom’s loss. I’ll text her, ‘I’m not doing well today’ and I’ll get home and she cooked, and has Modern Family on OnDemand. We’ll sit there and watch six episodes with a smoothie. She has taught me that life is wonderful no matter what is going on. We’re going to laugh about it and we’re going to cry about it. - I don’t want to cry because I have mascara on and we’re taking pictures.”
By: Armelis D'Orville