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Groundation Interviews ~ Mimi ChiQ

December 15, 2012

:: by Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe ::


Mimi ChiQ wearing one of her creations.

Mimi ChiQ wearing earrings from her collection.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Melissa Urykah Riddell aka Mimi ChiQ, ethnic background half Grenadian half Jamaican. Born in the UK grew up in Grenada and resided in the England for about 12 years.
You recently moved back home to Grenada, can you tell us what made you decide to return?
I’m currently on an extended vaca trip during this time its made me come to the decision of moving back in the near future.

The main reason for this is that I missed the environment of the tropics and simple way of life. One the other hand I’ve been battling with a love-hate relationship while living in London. Overall I just needed to take step and wanting to start living my dream. I’m  just going for it now!


How has the transition been going?
The transition is going well! I’m getting reacquainted with my lovely island. It has been a learning curve as my visits are usually a short stay no longer than a week. I’m looking forward to learning, growing and creating a life of self-sustainability. I’ve been diving for fish, growing veg and herbs and also researching and making organic toiletries.

What is ChiQ Haven?

ChiQ Haven is a lifestyle brand of 3 dimensions; art (mendhi art), body (holistic therapy) and fashion (afro-centric and eco friendly bags and jewellery). I promote physical and spiritual goodness through eco friendly products and services.
Haven Hut is in final stages before official opening.

Haven Hut is in the final stages before official opening.

We know you haven’t fully launched yet but can you give us a little teaser about the Haven Hut?
The Haven Hut is my baby. This is my start as a certified massage therapist. A lot of hard work and inspiration has gone into it. I wanted to create a getaway feel for my clients bringing the outdoors to the indoors.
Offering massages, organic beauty treatments, henna art and piercing services all under on roof. Plus these services are offered in the convenience of a client’s home at affordable prices.

How do your different creative and holistic practices interconnect?

The main connection for me is the organic, hands on, eco-friendly approach. This is me living out my passion in my work and it’s a dream come through which I am eternally grateful and happy to share with family, friends, love ones and supporters.

ChiQ Haven Collections

ChiQ Haven Collections

Tell us a little more about your eco-friendly approach. 
With this collection, I have used fabric scraps that were donated and mixed it with recycled material that I have been collecting over the months. But as a designer I see the beauty in all material and made a great collaboration of African fabric, recycled jersey fabric, recycled card board and chains.

In terms of my business ethics, my overall aim is to operate by doing practices for the greater good of all. Whether it be environmentally, social and economic in this way clients can reap the benefits of cheaper products yet still maintaining quality of products and services.  I will be updating my website with regards to a more detailed about my sustainability plan.

What made you begin to explore design as an avenue for your creativity?

 To be honest, I notice a gap in the fashion market with regards to most high street designers offered similar items and there wasn’t much that represented me as an individual or my roots.

So, how do you represent your individuality and your roots? In other word, what inspires your work as a designer?
My main inspiration come from the motherland; Africa. My designs reflect the fusion of where the tropics meets Africa.
I get inspiration from the simplest of things as I am a very visual person. My latest inspiration depot is instragram (ChiQHaven). I’ve meet some beautiful and amazing people on there sharing their journey and passions alike.

ChiQ Haven Collections

ChiQ Haven Collections

ChiQ Haven Collections

ChiQ Haven Collections


What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am currently reading “The power of Karma” by Mary T.Browne. Its a great read to start off my day. And I am also re-reading “The Four Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz this is an insightful and amazing read.
What was your first favorite book?
I have 2 favourite books; The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The 4th Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz.
What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?

Great question. I’m not sure, but it would be great to read a DIY book on how to read this human mind and create peace and harmony amongst human civilization.


Where can we find your designs and find out more about everything you offer? 

THIS SUNDAY 15th December I will be selling some new original pieces at the Xmas Bazaar at True Blue Bay Resort from 10am -5pm. Entry is FREE and there will be lots of other local artists there too.

You can also find me online at  Mimi ChiQ (Facebook),  ChiQHaven (Instagram) or visit



Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe
Editor/Co-Founder Groundation Grenada

Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe is a Grenadian contemporary artist and activist. She is director of public Relations at The Grenada Goat Dairy Project. She is also co-founder of Spice Harmony Yoga Studio in Calivigny St.George, Grenada. Malaika is a certified yoga teacher, holds a BA in Studio Art from Smith College and is pursuing her MA in Cultural Studies through University of the West Indies.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. misskinx permalink
    December 15, 2012 1:26 pm

    Reblogged this on Misskinx's Blog and commented:
    Moving back home is a consistent and persistent question for me. Seeing others do it and knowing that these types of services will be available definitely helps to make the decision an easier one….

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective permalink*
      December 15, 2012 1:33 pm

      That is a huge part of our focus, helping to be magnetic for all the dynamic Grenadians living abroad who just need that extra little encouragement. Representing the incredible things that are brewing here in Grenada, in this moment, is so crucial for folks at home too.

  2. December 25, 2012 4:21 pm

    Thanks for this post Malaika, because of it I recognised our lady at Dodgy Dock’s art and craft sale last weekend. Bought myself a cute pair of hand crafted earrings.

  3. May 9, 2013 6:39 pm

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved
    every bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective permalink*
      July 30, 2013 11:36 am

      Glad you are staying connected to us.


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