“I started sewing when I was probably 12. My aunt is a seamstress, she does bridal gowns. I was completely taken over by it and I would sit in there and I would watch her. Eventually I got my own machine and I started making all of my own clothes which was a trial and error kind of thing and it really wasn’t until my late 20’s that I decided that I was going to try to take it serious. I couldn’t afford Prada so I’d look at it and make my own Prada. I continued my road in sewing when I realized how many other young women found sewing interesting but they thought it was like an old person’s thing to do or crafty. So I took what I was doing and turned it into something fashionable, something that everyone could learn to do, and that is my main goal – teaching. I love to teach.

I only spent about eight months at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) before I realized it wasn?t for me. When I came across something I did not know how to do I would research it and then figure it out until I got it right. I then had a great time working for a designer in Los Angeles who took a lot of her time to teach me things about working with clients and how to turn what I loved doing into a business. Not long after leaving her studio I began working for myself and have not looked back. In 2012 I started blogging full time and really trying to share my knowledge of sewing with the world.

I think that for a long time people assumed that if you were a woman and a mom you had to pick one. I do all of it. I’m a mom, business woman and wife. I think that as long as you can balance it, you can do as many “jobs” as you can handle in a day. I allocate specific chunks of time to whatever is on my to do list that day so that when the kids are home from school or it is dinner time I know I can stop enjoy the time with the family and then if I need to go back to work once the kids are in bed and the house has slowed down for the night.

People are always surprised when they realize I have a 20 year old and a child in elementary school. I think that I have managed to keep a youthful look about myself so people often think we are sisters. I always smile because I appreciate the compliment and it makes me feel good.

I was born in Puerto Rico and moved here when I was about two years old. Someone put a picture of me on this Black fashion page on Tumblr and people were like, ‘She’s not black. She’s cute but she ain’t black.’ If people ask me I usually say I’m Latina because that’s what I am, but if they ask, ‘Where are you from?’ and I say Puerto Rico, people often say, ‘Oh, well, you’re not Black.’ There are so many different variations of what being Puerto Rican means to most people. So when people say, ‘You’re Puerto Rican, what does that mean?’ That means I’m African, I’m Indian and I’m Latin. Don’t tell me I’m one or the other. I’m all of them.

My hair is naturally curly. It’s kind of like a short half curl half straight thing which works great when my hair is short but when it starts to grow out it looks weird. I blow it out until it gets to a workable length again. I add a little curl to it when I need to just to give it a little texture otherwise it just lays flat on my head and that’s not cute. I wash my hair every three days. For whatever reason I’m always playing with my hair so it gets greasy really fast so every three days I have to wash it. And my curly hair comes from my grandmother who has really thick curly hair and then my mom has kind of like this loose soft curl, so I guess I’m kinda somewhere in the middle of all of that. My husband likes Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner so we use that. I also use a little of Short Sexy Hair and Bed Head Shampoo and Conditioner. I like new things so I try different products often.

For my skin, I always use a great moisturizer and some BB cream. I am obsessed with highlighters and I just recently started getting really into makeup and so I am venturing further out of my comfort zone. My makeup bag is overflowing at this point because I love trying things so I buy anything that is labeled new. BB Cream is a must and creamy blush. I love them. I also use CK One Foundation, CoverGirl True Blend Foundation in M6 and L’Oreal True Match Concealer.

Dresses for me are like my favorite thing because they make me feel sexy and if I feel sexy and confident I can just about do anything during my day. My favorite body part is probably my butt. Most of the women in my family have big boobs, right, and they just like left me out, like, ‘Homegirl, ain’t no boobies for you.’ So I got to work with with I got and I what I got is plenty of booty. So when I wear something that’s the first thing I do, I turn around and I make sure it looks right and if it looks right I’m good to go.

Beauty for me is all about confidence and it’s about being happy.?I am constantly growing and evolving but what I do know is that in order to self love you must only allow those things in life that bring you inner peace and joy. You must be okay with yourself both physically and mentally because it is not possible to reach a level of self love and happiness without fully understanding that you are not perfect and that you must allow room for error and be okay with it. Self love is something that will require constant attention and focus because we as women in general have a tendency of being hard on ourselves and the inner dialog can be detrimental to our spirits.

I did not have a plan five years ago, I was just living my life trying to stay on top of everything and care for myself and my family and really not understanding that I had a purpose. It wasn?t until a few years ago that I realized that my words were powerful and that I had the ability to exercise change simply by changing the internal dialogue I was having with myself every day. Once I realized that people were being encouraged and motivated by my story and teachings, I shifted my way of thinking and found purpose. I wanted to create an environment where women could come and visit without feeling judged or criticized and so that is what I focus on daily. I encourage women to be the best they can be for themselves and when you are good to you the energy around you shifts.

I grew up in a hectic household and disfunction was the normal thing. I was a pretty sad 10 year old. I grew up being told I was too skinny, too tall, too light or my hair was ugly, I mean, there was always something being said and I didn’t really understand. I didn’t feel pretty back then. I wasn’t really until my later adulthood that I understood what being beautiful meant. If I could go back, I would tell that little me to be okay with her self. Beautiful is not what you see on the cover of Vogue so don’t try to be that, just be what’s comfortable to you. And if beautiful for you means a tee shirt and some jeans and flip flops then work it cause that’s what makes you feel good and that’s what I would tell her. Just be comfortable in yourself and don’t worry about all of the rest of it. Ignore all the bullshit you are going to be fed that you must look a certain way, act a certain way or be a certain way. Ignore the the social stigmas women are given and the nonuse of a ‘your socially acceptable place’ as woman. Do what you feel is good for you and if it feeds your spirit you can?t go wrong.

I am a beautiful woman because I have an enormous heart and I try and share that with as many people as I can. I try to be kind as often as possible and I mostly try to encourage and the more I encourage and uplift other people, women in particular, the more beautiful I feel, the more beautiful I become and the more beauty I can share. My self awareness and my desire to be sexy, do things that feel good and remind myself that it is okay to be all of those things and still be a mom, wife and daughter makes me a beautiful woman.” – Mimi

Find Mimi on her blog, Instagram and YouTube. Download her style app available from The App Store and Google Play for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Mimi Goodwin photographed by Angel Jordan. Video by Paris McCoy.

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