Mimi May, owner of Maeve's All Natural, knows plants. Specifically, she knows plant-based skincare and wellness. Founded on the ideas of whole body preventative care, aromatherapy and herbal medicine, Maeve's is on the lookout for the health of all people. Mimi creates for those of us concerned with the little things that can turn into bigger things. If you read ingredients lists, Mimi is making for you. Follow along in our Maker Series interview below for insight into what drives Maeve's All Natural's mission to cultivate a healthier cosmetics industry.
Cleveland Flea: What was your path to beginning your business?
Mimi May: When I was 11 weeks pregnant, our daughter was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome. A genetic disorder affecting 1 in 2,500 females. She was given a 1% chance of survival in utero. While researching for the cause, I came across information regarding many unsafe (or unproven safe) chemicals used in the personal care industry and their long-term effects on the human body, our DNA and reproductive systems. A life long lover of fragrance and anything that made me smelled and looked pretty, I dumped the content of my cosmetic drawer in the garbage that same day. After testing numerous brands of natural skincare on the market, I was unsatisfied. They were either ineffective, or too expensive. I became interested in herbalism and aromatherapy, experimented with natural ingredients, and made small batches of facial creams and salves for myself and family. Along this journey, I had discovered my love for essential oil, herbs and their positive effects on our body and mind. In 2015, I took a leap of faith and started Maeve's All Natural.
CF: Why do you love what you do?
MM: It brings me absolute joy to connect with my customers. I took a phone call Saturday morning from a man who had fell and hurt his knee, and our Hemp Salve helped ease his pain and swelling. Through that phone call, I learned he has nine grandchildren! He loves his daughter so much and is so proud of how great of a mother she turned out to be. It bought tears to my eyes... I love those moments.
CF: Why is Cleveland a great place to launch and run a creative business?
MM: Cleveland has such a wonderful and warm community that supports small business.
CF: What's the best part of running your own business?
MM: I love being able to spend more time with my children and family.
CF: What's your biggest struggle from a business standpoint?
MM: The hardest thing is getting products into the hands of people who need it the most.
CF: What are your goals for the business this year?
MM: I definitely want to be on the shelves of Anthropologie. One can dream... :)
CF: Did you see yourself growing up to be a creative vendor?
MM: Not at all! I have a degree in International Business and helped manage a consumer product company here in Cleveland for many years before starting Maeve's. I have always admired creative professionals (I worked alongside many for years) and really never saw myself as one of them. Now I can't turn my creative brain off!
CF: What's the first big moment where you knew you were headed in the right direction with your business?
MM: I really didn't have one BIG moment. There are moments of triumph sprinkled with challenges and uncertainties. One of those triumphs was hearing how our Arthritis Salve (now Magic Hemp Salve) is helping people manage chronic pain. Being a yogi, I have always identified with a healer. Knowing our products are making a difference in people's lives makes this all worthwhile.
CF: Who inspires you?
CF: What's your favorite piece of advice as it relates to your business?
MM: Enjoy the journey!
CF: What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about your business?
MM: Maeve is not my name! She is an Irish goddess who oversees the plant kingdom and the world of aromatherapy. Since all of our products are botanical in nature, using her name came very natural to us.