As a small girl, India Eaves would hang out in the family kitchen, watching her mother do hair. As her mother worked, India absorbed the conversations of the women being beautified. What seemed like a hair appointment was always so much more. Her mother artfully created an experience where women felt at ease talking about their lives, exchanging advice, and sharing the joys and challenges they were going through.
“I loved the healing aspect of it all. When you are a hairstylist, you sit in the room with these women for hours, and it’s just a conversation. So I was drawn to the conversation and hearing women and their stories because that’s how it started. My mom did mostly women’s hair. Just hearing the stories and what they came through or what they overcame it just, I guess, inspired me that way by being able to speak to people, speak life and to them, encourage them, motivate them. And then at the end of their hour and a half, they have a whole new look, and they’re feeling better about themselves,” India explains.
This ability to connect with clients continued when India’s mom opened her own salon. Once India became old enough, she followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a licensed cosmetologist. While working at a beauty supply store in college, her dreams expanded, and the goal became to open her own business one day using the same philosophy she learned from her mom.
It was during the uncertain time of the pandemic when the plan for what is now MIM Beauty Supply started to solidify. Since cosmetologists weren’t considered essential workers, India found herself out of work during the height of the lockdown. Instead of being deterred, India used the downtime to work on her dream.
“It gave me a lot of time to reflect and an opportunity to sit down and get out of the normal routine and figure out, what is it that I’m passionate about? What is it that I actually want to do? I didn’t have a job for almost nine months. I’m a visionary, so I could envision what I felt like the community needed, what I wanted, and the whole beauty industry was my number one. It was a dream of mine for ten years before I opened it last year,” India recalls.
Through lots of prayers and support from her close-knit family, India forged ahead to create MIM Beauty Supply. While there’s a lot of uncertainty in opening a business, India was clear that she wanted MIM Beauty Supply to be in Waynesboro. “I take pride in Waynesboro. I’m a resident of Waynesboro. I’ve been here literally all my life, except for three and a half years when I went to college in Columbus, Ohio. I love Waynesboro; it’s family. It means something to me. I feel like Waynesboro raised me. I had the whole concept of life here. So I think there would be no other place where I wanted to start my first business other than Waynesboro. It just wouldn’t be right for me. It’s my community,” she says fondly.
India is proud to offer Waynesboro customers and those that come from surrounding communities and even other states a diverse collection of items that people of all ages and nationalities can use. MIM Beauty Supply offers everything from hair products, wigs, makeup, jewelry, clothes, and much more. Along with the wide array of products, the MIM Beauty Supply team takes a consultative approach with each customer.
“Teaching is what we’re passionate about. We teach people how to take care of their hair, how to make their hair soft, how to make their hair grow. And we actually find the root of the problem. What is it, and why is it not working? And we actually teach and educate people on getting the proper products for them. The same for men,” India explains.
The theme of teaching, learning, and mentoring is embedded into everything India does. So when asked what advice she has for budding entrepreneurs, she offered the best kind of advice, the kind that is hard-earned and tried-and-true. “You have to be a risk-taker. You have to make a move and do something. If you don’t do anything, nothing will ever get done. You have to have tunnel vision on what you want to achieve and work towards that vision every day. Even if it’s a little thing, even if it’s calling the bank or if it’s trying to find resources – consistency is key. ” India advises.
As the New Year approaches, India has big plans for MIM Beauty Supply, but for now, those will stay under wraps. One thing is for certain, though. MIM Beauty Supply has everything you could want to enhance your outside beauty, but it’s cultivating the beauty within that makes what India Eaves does extraordinary.
To learn more about MIM Beauty Supply check out the Waynesboro at Work podcast! Find the Waynesboro at Work podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Breaker, PocketCasts, and Anchor.