Designer Spotlight: MiMi Globe Goods
- What motivated you to start your business?
In the fall of 2015, I saw a great opportunity for implementing my desire to help refugee women. That’s when I met up with my past instructor, Camille Steen, at the University of Washington Fashion Certificate Program. Camille told me she had been a volunteer at Muses Conscious Fashion Studio, training new immigrants and refugee women sewing skills for job placement. At the same time, I was frequently being asked where I bought the pretty fabric necklaces I wore. This sparked me to team up with Muses’ students to make the necklaces from fabric, at their own pace while earning extra income.
- What inspires you to give back?
I came to America thirty-two years ago as a teenager. I understand how difficult it is to learn a new language and assimilate to a new culture. I have been blessed with supportive family and mentors which allowed me to achieve my goal as a clinical pharmacist, with a doctoral degree in pharmacy. My twenty years of experience in direct patient care has taught me compassion and empathy. I have always wanted to give back to the immigrant community and my background uniquely qualifies me to help refugees. I started MiMi Globe Goods committed to helping newly arrived refugee women make an easier transition to America while providing them with living wages.
- Tell us about your brand, your product and what sets you apart?
MiMi Globe Goods is a line of sustainable, unique and affordable fashionable products that includes celebrity, sentimental and recycled handmade fabric necklaces. We make necklaces with the ‘wow’ factor while providing good wages for our refugee artisans.
What set us apart is we practice responsible social entrepreneurship by:
- Hiring stay-at-home refugee women and training them on the skills to design, sew and market our handcrafted goods.
- Allowing refugee artisans to work from home to overcome employment barriers such as language, physical or mental disabilities, and lack of access to reliable and efficient transportation.
- Following the Seattle minimum wage guideline in paying refugee artisans based on the time it takes to create a piece.
- Recycling and repurposing materials. This reduces dependence on scarce resources, mitigates supply chain volatility, and promotes maximum product life extension.
- Treating workers as collaborative and creative partners, while maximizing their full potential.
- Enabling refugees to enter mainstream American life.
MiMi Globe Goods supports non-profit organizations that provide services that assist refugees to thrive and succeed, by donating at least 5 percent of income generated.
4. What is the best part about owning your own business?
I can use my creative vision while helping one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. It’s gratifying and fulfilling to work with my enthusiastic team, all with common vision to improve the lives of unemployed refugee women.
- What long term opportunities do you see for your creative viewpoint and products?
Within less than one year of launching our company, we have been approached by major local museums such as Chihuly Museum and Seattle Arts Museum wanting to carry our products. We plan to design products to cater to different museum’s requests. In addition, we will be expanding our customizable line to sentimental and special occasions. We want our fabric jewelry to be not only beautiful, but have emotional connection by re-purposing pieces with special meanings. We currently work with Bhutanese refugees, we plan expand to include refugee artisans from countries and cities beyond Seattle. MiMi Globe Goods creates jobs for the vulnerable and embraces beauty, the two can go hand in hand.
Ming Ming and her team recently won the Audience Award at the Business Impact NW Pitch Competition. They have also been invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to participate in the upcoming holiday pop-up event, Giving Marketplace.
You can find Ming Ming and her work below: