Consumers are becoming more aware and interested in the ethical production of the cosmetics and beauty products they use. And Mimi’s Organics Ltd, founded by entrepreneur Rumbi Serima-Fowler, is one company that is passionate about creating world class products that have a soft touch on the environment and on the people who use them.
LoA chatted to founder Rumbi to find out more this month.
What does your company do?
Skincare! Mimi’s Organics is a real heart-based business, both in how it’s run and the reasons why it exists. We represent both quality and care in the organic skin care sector, by creating food grade based products that use only natural, organic quality, ethically traded raw materials that are sourced from registered suppliers... who are able to verify the integrity of each ingredient used. Mimi’s Organics ethical standards continue past initial product creation – with all ingredients, containers and packaging ethically sourced. Mimi’s Organics care about providing cruelty free products – but not just as an end result – but also in the manufacturing and research stages of production.
“As a beauty manufacturer I subscribe to the environmentally friendly, sustainable and zero waste doctrine.”
What inspired you to start your company?
Rumbi’s passion in natural and organic remedies was awoken when her son was diagnosed with autism. Toxins within various consumer products seemed to have a negative effect on her younger son so, due to her desire to provide better life experiences for him, she began searching for more natural and organic products. The quality and nature of those products though did not always lead to a positive experience – so Rumbi set out to make her own!
Rumbi spent the next fours years retraining to gain her cosmetology qualifications; learning everything needed to successfully run her own business – from natural skincare and anti-wrinkle/skin rejuvenation products, through to Organic Skincare and business skills – and successfully becoming a Licensed Skincare Tutor too. Rumbi now also runs workshops, e-courses and mini introductory formulation classes through her training site Mimi's Academy.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
As a beauty manufacturer I subscribe to the environmentally friendly, sustainable and zero waste doctrine. I realize that as a brand that was born out of the need to go back to nature, I must continue to operate at that level. This means that I will never compromise on the quality of my ingredients, and my packaging will be recyclable. When approaching waste and sustainability, I always focus on every aspect of the supply chain. I believe in offering a quality service and products as a result of my own skincare experiences with my son. I also believe that as humans we are custodians of the earth and it is our responsibility to look after it.
“I realize that as a brand that was born out of the need to go back to nature, I must continue to operate at that level. This means that I will never compromise on the quality of my ingredients, and my packaging will be recyclable.”
Tell us a little about your team
Mimi's Organics is primarily based in the UK but has an online element in terms of training via Mimi's Academy, www.mimisacademy.com and formulating services via www.rumbiserima.com. It also has started operations in Africa (South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana) with the aim of increasing our presence in Africa. I have a very supportive team which compliments the company structure. Christine Hammacott is responsible for all the design work. Nomsa Mwamuka of Muka Media helps with most of the copy and marketing in Africa. Nyasha Chimba sorts out the UK side of the sales, marketing and promotions etc. There are also members of the production team which is headed by me, and I am primarily in charge of the formulating and training.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My mother was a serial business woman who started and ran a number of different businesses including a hair and beauty salon. From the time I was as little as 5 years old, I used to go selling with mother in Zimbabwe. She was a seamstress and regularly supplied items of clothing to her customers in the next town from us in Harare. I remember having my own customers. During my high school years I held down a holiday/weekend job in a hair dressing salon, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
To establish a system within the Southern region of Africa to start with, by way of a processing plant with materials ingredients supplied by locals. These would be used in the manufacturing process or exported as raw ingredients to the West. I am determined to train as many women as I can to make their own organic skincare products rather than buy toxin filled, green washed products supplied by the commercial/mainstream beauty sector.
The global natural and organic beauty market is predicted to reach $22 bn by 2024. 90% of those ingredients are easily grown and will be sourced from Africa and other countries with a more suitable climate agriculturally. I strongly believe that the benefits should be felt on the continent of Africa and have purposed to play my part in making that a reality by means of training and supporting African women, and also pushing for favourable trading standards so that our resources are not exploited as is the current situation where raw materials are exported and then processed and returned to Africa and sold at a higher cost.
“I believe that as humans we are custodians of the earth and it is our responsibility to look after it.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Giving my customers products that are results driven and knowing that my products are toxin free. Also giving a wholesome service as I believe beauty is from the inside out. I have also written a user 'manual' suitable for all generations, The Black Girls Little Black Book of Beauty, in my quest to make sure as black women we are fully empowered and educated on our skincare choices and have attempted to debunk some myths about black skin because a lot of the products on the market are made by people that do not use them.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
It is true when they say it is not easy to be successful, but if you are passionate about what you do, that will carry you over the obstacles and give you energy. Always strive to do your best, and yes you need those eight hours of sleep, but sometimes you just have to get things done and will probably end up doing an all nighter!
Contact or follow Mimi’s Organics
Why LoA loves it….
As entrepreneurs we need to have passion for what we do, and in the case of Rumbi Serima-Fowler, her passion is for creating ethical beauty products that are kind to the environment and to the people who use them. She is driven to build a quality global, ethical brand that harnesses the power of organic ingredients and indepth know-how. This is a brand to watch as it expands its footprint across the African continent and around the world. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa