Written by Alex Popa + Photos by @maybelinephotography
Merline Thermora Saint Juste, known as Mimi among her friends, is a sensation in the world of fashion. She’s the owner of Mimi’s BoutiQ, both a fashion brand and an online boutique with lavish clothes for all the ladies out there. Starting a business like this was a lofty goal, but her humble beginnings didn’t stop her from dreaming big.
She was born in Port-au-Prince in Haiti but left her homeland at age 15 to start a new life in the United States. After moving to Florida, Mimi thought about turning to medical studies as her parents wanted. However, that didn’t exactly fit her desires. Fashion, on the other hand, was right up her alley. She was already known as a fashionista among her friends and acquaintances.
What Started Mimi’s BoutiQ?
After serious consideration, she received her degree in fashion merchandising and decided to pursue a career in fashion. That’s when she established her boutique, which became an instant success in South Miami. In 2011, she hosted her first fashion show, which has become an annual event ever since.
Mimi “aims to highlight women’s empowerment and strength for female entrepreneurs and professionals, especially in the Haitian-American community.”
Mimi and her team hosted the For the Women by the Women Brunch in 2016, a gathering of the most prominent female entrepreneurs in finance, healthcare, fashion, and more.
Ever since, these brunches have become an annual tradition that bring together many successful women. Merline Thermora plays an important role during these meetings where she speaks about her knowledge and experience as an entrepreneur in the world of fashion.
What Advice Does She Have for Haitian Women?
Mimi’s BoutiQ isn’t a product of inherited money or fame and fortune. Instead, it’s an example of relentless willpower and patience. Merline isn’t one to give up, and that’s what she advises for everyone else, especially Haitian women. She says that “in life, there will be obstacles, there will be dead-ends, people will give up on you, but as long as you have God and you don’t give up on yourself, there’s nothing you cannot do.”
Merline is the embodiment of this mentality, no less. She’s been living this mindset ever since founding Mimi’s BoutiQ. Through expanding her brand, she seeks to inspire even more people and prove that with hard work and persistence, it can be done. Her trust in herself and her work will take her places, no doubt!
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