The Doyenne of Second Life fashion Mimi Juneau of Mimi’s Choice fame is a really lovely and gracious lady, who hails from Antwerp Belgium. She arrived in Second Life some 5 years ago and has undoubtedly left her mark on the world of fashion in SL. She has one of the most renowned reseller stores around, catering for both men and women’s fashions in SL and carrying some of the best known design brands that she has personally chosen to represent. You can acquire everything from hair to shoes and obviously everything else in between at Mimi’s Choice. She loves what she does and it shows.
Mimi is the most self-effacing person of significance in SL that I have had the privilege of interviewing. She told me “I am just a poor reseller, I can't even make sock but I know what I like and many others seem to like what I like.”
Mimi has the reputation of being perhaps the biggest reseller in Second Life which is no mean feat. I asked her how she managed to make this work so well.
“I don’t think there are many other big resellers around SL. I started small with a L$50 shop, using full permission items which I changed a little and then sold them for L$50. I re-colored the pictures so they would look nicer. My next shop happened to be next door to Redgrave on brand new sim. Bax Coen was the first well known designer to take a chance with me, Bax has sold thousands of her renowned boots. What I would do is walk around wearing a tag that said “I sell the best boots in SL – lol. Sartoria was the next big name brand in my store. I was even presented with a trophy for my store by the Sands Club that is owned by Dean Ashby."
Mimi has very well established and long standing relationships with many designers including the illusive Emilia Redgrave of the very well-known Redgrave brand. I asked Mimi how that relationship come about particularly since not many of the big designers are prepared to have a third party resell their designs?
“I have been friends with both Emilia and Dean for ages, in fact I consider them to be my best friends and they have been for about 5 years. I moved my Main store to another sim and unfortunately at this point someone’s nose was put out of joint and the mall owner deleted my entire store, but Dean Ashby came to my rescue and spent an entire night building me a new store next to Redgrave. I have met these crazy people in RL, I could not ask for better friends than Dean and Emilia.”
I asked Mimi how hard it was to achieve success in the reseller business?
“It is not easy, you have to work hard. But these days I can be picky about who I represent, I even get approached by designers themselves now and I have even said no a few times.”
I asked her if she had any advice for those thinking about venturing in this area of business.
“You will have to prove yourself. Start small; just don’t ask me for a note card of my contacts, lol, I won’t be giving you my contacts. I have found that if a designer has too many stores, or stores in ugly places it is inclined to have a negative effect on sales. Win the trust of a very good designer or a small new one and work hard. You have to earn their trust. This is how I make a living RL too, so I have to ensure that I maximize sales. I believe the tools for success include lots of hard work, a disciplined schedule, and most of all sticking to it and never giving up. I feel you must treat others as you wish to be treated. Using Social Networking has allowed me to make new friends as well as the giving me the ability to enter respectable groups. I feel you must stand for what you desire Second life in general to be. Along with that there are no compromises. Last but not least I feel you must stay faithful to your ideas and give them your best effort.
I asked Mimi what she thought the future of SL fashion held. She mentioned that Mesh is growing steadily now, after its initial teething problems and it is beginning to exert its influence on the SL fashion quite significantly.
As for the future of Mimi's Couture, she said that it will continue to provide an environment where designers of Second life can come together in one unique environment and exhibit their top items for the masses of SL to enjoy. She concluded “Times have changed and will continue to do so, but Mimi's choice will continue as is. It’s my hope and desire to see my dreams continue to grow here.”
Mimi;s Choice location: