Monique Rodriguez always wanted to be an entrepreneur but her mother encouraged her to get a “stable” career. She became a nurse but just wasn’t fulfilled. While pregnant with her third child Monique suffered a uterine rupture and her son was born brain dead. Monique was devastated and needed to find meaning. She began mixing products at home and talking about it on social media. The response was overwhelming. Mielle Organics was birthed and the rest is history.
By any measure, Monique is a success. She started the company in 2014 with just 1 product, now the company features 46. Their products can be found in over 100,000 retail stores. In 2018 alone the company’s sales were roughly $4.5 million. Their sales have increased 2.5 times in the last year, also. That’s an exceptional amount of growth in a very short period of time. It serves as just one more example of the brilliance of Black women in entrepreneurship and reminds us all that we have the power to pursue our dreams.
Mielle Organics is important in the fight to regain the Black hair care industry. Black women’s haircare, especially, is big business. Annually $2.5 billion is spent on product alone. That represents a lot of potential jobs and wealth that should be circulated in our community. As Black entrepreneurs are taking back the industry and catering to our specific needs, a radical shift is happening and it is empowering to our community. Monique’s company employs 15 people — how many more jobs could we create if we were making our own products and controlling the distribution of them?
Many of us are just like Monique — in a stable career and yet unfulfilled. Even as a full time employee and mother, Monique dared to dream and it paid off. What is your dream? Monique started with her passion and with the help of social media, began pursuing it. Although there is a wealth of of products already available for Black women’s haircare, Monique still found her place and so can you.