If you’re an “I’ll know it when I see it” kind of shopper who loves statement-making clothing, accessories, and home decor — we’ve got an online boutique you’ll want to bookmark! We’re excited to introduce you to Ivey Jennings, creator and owner of the iconic Mimi Morton.
From bridal party accessories to shimmering seahorse earrings and Shanghai bottle openers, Ivey’s online store boasts a wide variety of items to help express your vision — whether you’re treating yourself or someone else. She even carries cute accoutrements for dog owners and their pups! When asked about her absolute favorite items, she quickly responds, “Things that are orange, vintage Hermès, or Gucci.”
Oh, and Ivey is very transparent about her enthusiasm for the disco era. Get ready for sparkly disco ball ice buckets, disco ball mugs, and even disco ball evening bags. She refers to herself as “CDQ” or Chief Disco Queen, and her employees are lovingly known as “The Disco Queens.” With that in mind, let’s shine a light on this week’s FACE of Memphis, the vibrant Ivey Jennings.
Are you a native of Memphis?
I moved to Memphis five years ago — with my longtime (ex) boyfriend — and worked as a Personal Assistant for Karen Carlisle of Carlisle Corporation. Karen welcomed me to this city and showed me the ropes. I still work as her assistant and love it!
When I moved to Memphis as a transplant, I was feeling lost. Someone told me the simplest thing: “If you love Memphis, it’ll love you back.” It’s true. People asked me if I’d leave Memphis, and that’s a hard “hell no.” Memphis is home. Memphis is stuck with me.
Atlanta was my home, but I’ve made Memphis my home now. I grew up under my interior designer mother’s influence, spending my childhood running through fabric stores and antique auctions. My mother has been an independent interior designer in Atlanta since the late ’80s. Now she’s based out of Greenville, South Carolina. She was a mighty influence on me. I was referred to as “Robyn’s daughter” for many years. I used to want to run from that title, but now I see I’ve just evolved it into Mimi. I owe my creativity and business mindset to my mother and previous and current employers. I simply could not have done any of this without my people.
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How did your business get its start?
I began making jewelry five years ago as a hobby, which really started to rev up during the pandemic. I started with the idea of doing trunk shows quarterly. For years, friends and previous employers had me help them shop, so I was like a personal shopper.
I went to Market right before the pandemic started in March 2020. Once the pandemic set in, I created an Instagram account and started posting flash sales. Before I knew it, I had sold everything I purchased at Market. I was renting a tiny art studio behind Palladio Interiors on Cox Street in Midtown Memphis. One of the employees approached me about coming in and renting a booth in Palladio. It was brilliant. I couldn’t keep things in stock. Later, I moved to this great warehouse space off Airways Boulevard to house my brand.
How did you come up with the name ‘Mimi Morton’?
My name is Ivey Millicent, and Mimi is short for Millicent. I was named after my aunt, who passed away in 2014. Morton comes from another side of the family. The name Mimi Morton became my alter ego — my wild side.
Where do you find all of the fabulous items in your collection?
About half of our products are from vendors with whom I carefully curate a collection. The other half are custom. The best thing about Mimi Morton is you never know what you will get. Everything is from all over.
Do you still create items of your own?
Yes, I am an artist in all aspects. I would love to find the time to slow down and start painting again!
Besides selling on mimimorton.com, where else can we find your products?
Besides your mom, who are designers or stylists who’ve impacted you?
What’s next for Mimi Morton?
Mimi Morton is growing more than I could ever imagine. We recently just hit 12,000 followers. In August of 2021, we only had 5,000. Recently, we had our biggest sales online EVER! We had over 75 online orders in one day. So, we are hoping to continue this path.
And, what’s next for Ivey Jennings?
I have lived in many places, filled many roles, and experienced heartbreak, tragedy, and great success. It’s been a roller coaster ride. I will enjoy writing about it someday.
What would you say to women who are hesitant to treat themselves?
In a world as heavy as we have been dealing with since the pandemic, I say, “Eat the cake. Do it first.” Eat the cake, buy the bag. Eat the cake, go on the trip. Eat the cake, drink the good bottle of wine with a takeout pizza, and throw out your everyday plates. We have to live our lives! Self-care is very important. This kind of goes along with Mimi Morton’s theme for life: Paint everything orange, hang a disco ball, and pop some champagne. If life hands you lemons, just mix them in your drink.
What advice do you treasure?
“Forget about it.” One of my friends tells me this on a weekly basis. It doesn’t mean to let things go too easily, but to get out of my own head, process, and move on.
Besides faith, family, and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
Jones Road Miracle Balms, chocolate, and a martini with blue cheese olives.
Thank you, Ivey!
To shop the Mimi Morton product line in Memphis, you can find collections at Social and Palladio. Private visits to the Mimi Morton warehouse studio are available by appointment only, arranged via direct message on Instagram or through the website’s contact form.
All photography by Kim Thomas of KP Fusion.
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