Even in paradise, it’s important to find time to kick back, relax and enjoy a massage or pampering session. In Lanai City, nobody does it better than Mimi Evangelista. As the owner of Mimi’s Place Salon & Spa, she has made it her mission to create an environment that leaves each and every customer feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Already well established in the Maui wedding industry for her spa manicures and pedicures, Mimi is making a name for herself as the go-to girl on Lanai for luxurious pampering and picture-perfect nails.
Originally from California, Mimi lived on Maui for 20 years, where she specialized in bridal spa treatments and high-end nail services. Her business, Natural Nails by Mimi, gained a reputation that made its way to Lanai, where the Four Seasons contacted her to assist with a last-minute bridal party.
It was during her first visit to Lanai that Mimi fell in love with the island. “It’s the true essence of old Hawaii. So much romance and character!” she explains. Her plan was to purchase a home as an investment property and move to Lanai years later — she was in no rush. But, as it turns out, the Four Seasons was. They made her an offer to work at the spa that she couldn’t resist, so she made the move to Lanai in 2005.
Mimi noticed there were very few local customers at the Four Seasons spa and, in fact, there was no place in Lanai City to get an affordable manicure, massage or facial.. After six years at the Four Seasons, she decided to branch out on her own to offer a spa experience that catered to local clientele, and Mimi’s Place opened its doors in 2011.
“I didn’t want to be an order taker, I wanted to work hard and create my own business where I could apply my own ideas and services. I enjoy being creative and thinking about what else we can do to serve our customers to make them feel beautiful and special,” Mimi says.
Mimi stays in touch with clients by leveraging social media and email to promote special deals and services. In addition to nails, she works with a team of beauty specialists, including a cosmetologist, an aesthetician, hairstylists and massage therapists. Mimi is in the process of becoming a certified massage therapist and will soon be able to provide extended massage services.
“We’re always growing here. We are going to continue to build our client base and provide the latest beauty trends.”
One trend Mimi and her staff are on board with is the push for natural products. The sugar, honey and peppermint scrubs used to soften customers’ skin is made in-house, along with sugar coconut oil and coffee scrubs. Indigenous ingredients are used as much as possible. Mimi also offers gluten-free treats for her guests, including herbal teas and coconut passion fruit tea.
Though she can often be found at her spa tending to clients, Mimi enjoys the moments she gets to spend with her family. Her husband Alex is a foreman in the mason division at Pulama Lanai and she has a 7-year-old son, Chase. Her older sons Nick and Justin both live on Maui and Mimi catches up with them on her frequent trips to the island to see clients. She continues to offer her services on Maui, but maintains that her heart is in Lanai, in the little yellow house on Ilima Street, where she’s built her business.
“On Lanai, everyone knows each other. So it’s all about the service and attention to detail — calling my customers by name, offering them iced tea and fresh-baked mango or banana bread. I really try to create an experience that is warm, friendly and heartfelt, just like the island itself,” says Mimi. “My proudest moments are when I hear people say that they love coming here so much that they don’t want to leave.”
To learn more about Mimi's services and book an appointment, visit her website at mimislanaispa.com or check out the Mimi’s Place Salon & Spa Facebook page.