From Mi-Me to you: Products for bath and body.
Last fall at Miss Cordelia’s, Mi-Me owners Liz Auguste and Gilbert Chrispin attended an open house where local vendors could meet the market’s customers.
The Mi-Me line of bath and body products attracted a lot of attention — just not the sort Auguste and Chrispin were expecting.
“So many people came up to us because they thought they could eat it,” remembers Auguste.
These products are not for consumption, but the mistake is understandable because these butters, creams, bath bombs, and sugar and salt scrubs both look and sound delectable. Vanilla Bean Bath Salts, Oatmeal Milk and Honey Sugar Scrub, Avocado Butter, and Mango Sugar Scrub are just a taste of the items made-to-order at the pair’s lab in their East Memphis home.
What’s more, Chrispin and Auguste strive to make the Mi-Me line as close to all-natural as possible. “Everything we purchase, for the most part, you can get at Kroger,” Auguste says.
But, again … do not eat. “It’s for relaxing,” Auguste says.
Chrispin and Auguste are best friends who met in Miami in 2000 and, three years ago, after considering a number of other cities, moved to Memphis because they saw opportunity and potential. They started Mi-Me last year.
The question of “What did you want to be when you grow up?” has Chrispin answering that he’d always wanted to be a businessman, perhaps a consultant. The answer has Auguste looking over at her partner with a fair amount of skepticism. “You were a kid and you wanted to be a consultant?” Chrispin laughs and insists that this was indeed the case, and they leave it at that. (For the record, Auguste wanted to be a singer or a doctor or a princess or a pilot.)
The exchange is emblematic of their relationship: bicker, laugh, and then, with smooth jazz playing (this is a must), they get to work. “We’re both strong-minded people,” Auguste says. “We definitely have our tiffs and fights. It makes the product better.”
Mi-Me — the “Mi” stands for Miami, where they also sell the products, and the “Me” is for Memphis — came from a desire to have a business together. They tossed around a few ideas before settling on bath and body products.
Mi-Me products are currently being sold through an Etsy site (ilovemime.etsy.com) as well as Miss Cordelia’s. Auguste and Chrispin are now busy working on a hair-product line as well as a dedicated website and getting Mi-Me in more Memphis stores and salons.
For Chrispin, as a young boy in Haiti and then the United States, baths were baths. However, Auguste, who is also of Haitian descent, is very familiar with Mr. Bubble. “My mom was a bath freak. We could not touch her Calgon.”
The Haiti connection is key to Mi-Me’s existence. “With Haitian culture,” Chrispin says, “the first thing you learn is to own something.”
“Haiti was born out of revolt,” Auguste says. “There’s a need to be independent, to have ownership.”
Chrispin continues, explaining Mi-Me’s philosophy, “One of our big selling points is that we’re not trying to take over the world. We’re trying to reach a lot of people in a good way.”
In terms of “people,” Mi-Me means everybody.
“We’ve got 15-year-olds who love our stuff,” Auguste says, “and 68-year-olds who love our stuff.
“Who’s our niche market? People with skin.”