Women Who Work: Mikala of Shop Luv Mimi

The founder and owner of Shop, Luv Mimi, Mikala Copeland

I love shopping, but sometimes it’s hard to find high fashion items at a price tag that works for my budget. Enter Shop, Luv Mimi, which is an online boutique that has all things cozy, and cute things for whenever you’re going out. I have a crew sweatshirt from her, and it now my new favorite sweatshirt.

Today’s post features the owner of Shop, Luv Mimi, Mikala. This is actually the second time I’ve gotten a chance to chat with her (the first post she was featured in a story about her collaboration with Stef Decker from SV Decker), and this time, we learn all about her store, and her beginnings.

Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Mikala and I’m 24 years old. I’m originally from Trumbull, CT but moved to Downtown Milford recently with my boyfriend, Bryan. I love this area! I’m a graduate student finishing up my Masters in Clinical Counseling at Fairfield University.

How did Luv Mimi get started?

I started Luv, Mimi in April during quarantine because my internship at a child therapy agency had stopped (due to the pandemic) and I wasn’t sure when it would come back. I was struggling to make meaning out of my days because everything was basically on pause. I knew that one day I wanted to open a boutique in person but I wasn’t sure where I would end up in the future. Combined with that and my search for some sort of purpose, I decided to open an online boutique!

Since then, my internship and classes have started again. So I’m pretty busy with full time graduate school, full time internship working with clients, part-time babysitting, and running Mimi, but I’ve been loving it. I love having events and connecting with customers. My best friend from elementary school went to school for fashion marketing and has been helping me run the instagram/facebook page which has been so helpful since I 1) have no time and 2) have no background in fashion/marketing/business.

Tell me about the two side walk sales that you’ve done. How have they helped grow Luv Mimi?

The two events that Luv, Mimi has had so far were so much fun and I absolutely love doing them especially with Stef! Her and I have gotten closer because of our event together so it’s just fun to have an event with a friend. She has built an amazing customer base and that has helped Mimi grow as well since we offer different kinds, but similar styles of things. It’s so much fun to trade clothing for jewelry too ;).

Do you anticipate doing any more for the time being?

We are actually in the process of planning a Fall event with all new arrivals, since last time was an end of summer sale. More info on that will be going out soon but we’re planning on October 2nd evening for a fun GNO type thing, and then October 3rd day-time for those that would rather come during the day. There will be tons of cozy new arrivals, Stef has some new jewelry coming in too, and of course snacks & drinks.

What are your fall fashion staples for you?

Fall fashion staples for me have evolved this year since I work from home. I’m loving cozy sets, joggers, and the seamless tanks are my favorite! Those have sold out but will hopefully be back by the event!! Another thing that I’m obsessing over are cropped sweaters. I think they are so cute to either dress up or dress down. Our Moth Crop sweater is seriously the softest material ever so I love to pair that with the Utility Jogger if I’m out running errands, or with these new soft joggers that haven’t been unveiled on the site yet (soon! hehe) for an effortlessly comfy look.

What is the next steps for Luv Mimi?

Next steps for Mimi are to keep building our customer base and continue to connect with others. Down the road, I would absolutely love to have my own space. Perhaps a boutique combined with private practice… Retail therapy! Kidding… kind of. But I definitely would love to watch the brand grow because I’ve met some amazing people thus far!

One question many girls have is the sizing. How does Luv Mimi run in terms of sizing?

Since all brands sizing run differently, so it’s hard to say. But, I always try everything on myself to see how it fits/runs and I always will put it in the item description on the website and instagram. I’ve noticed all the fall arrivals that have come in so far do run true to size. Anyone can always send a DM or email and ask for opinions on sizing as well! I get questions a lot and usually (always) get the sizing right. It’s like a weird talent I have I suppose?!

What is one item that you recommend for someone who is new to the brand?

It’s so hard to pick one item that I would recommend for someone’s first purchase because I love so many. For the fall/winter, the almond top is my favorite because it’s so stretchy and a beautiful color. It’s super flattering and it comes in S-XL which is unfortunately rare for most boutique brands. A fan favorite has been the Charcoal Denim Jacket, there’s actually only 1 small left! It sold out super fast. Same with the fuzzy leopard sweater that only has one large left, the rest sold out in 2 days!

What is one piece of advice that you have for someone who wants to start an online boutique?

I’m not sure I’m an expert on giving advice for someone who wants to open their own online boutique because I’m definitely still figuring out this whole small business thing. But, I will say that research your niche. Make a mood board on pinterest as for what you want your boutiques vibe to be. Don’t forget to go through the legal parts and figure out what you need in order to sell things. And most importantly, don’t give up when it gets hard or feels hopeless! Good things take time 🙂

Want to check out Shop, Luv Mimi? You can go to her website, or follow the shop on Instagram. (Trust me, you’ll find something cute on either!)

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