Monique Rodriguez is the CEO and founder of Mielle Organics. Rodriguez is a pioneer in the beauty industry having grown Mielle from a small brand run out of her home and turning it into a nine-figure earning company. Rodriguez has made the brand into one of the fastest-growing Black-owned hair care companies in the U.S., with Mielle products available in over 100,000 stores including Target, Ulta, CVS, Walmart, and more.
What inspired you to create Mielle Organics?
What inspired me to create my brand was just my love and desire for always wanting to be in the beauty space when I was young. I’ve always been obsessed with haircare beauty regimens when I was younger, and I wanted to model for different haircare companies, so I would go to all these different model calls. Growing up, I didn’t see Black women that were owning [and] operating businesses, I saw Black women that were on the boxes, or on billboards. I didn’t think that being in the beauty space was something that I could do as far as running my own business, but by way of being a model or actress, was the only route to get into the beauty space. That love and that dream as a child was always there.
What kind of products do you sell?
We sell a variety of all different types of products from shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, styling gels … growth and strengthening products. We have anything that you need to take care of your overall hair needs. If you need moisture, length retention, or something for dry, damaged hair, we got you covered. We try to make sure that we speak to the consumer, we understand what her needs are, and we formulate and create products based on that need.
How do you feel you’re impacting the culture with your product?
We truly are embedded in understanding our community and understanding our voice. We create products based on our consumers. We’re a very consumer-driven brand, we start and end with the consumer, and because we’re so embedded with knowing who our customer is, we’re embedded in the culture. It’s important for me to make sure we stay rooted in the foundation of our culture because we understand the struggle of Black people and Black women – not only just haircare products, but also from the business side, achieving and raising funding and capital to support our dreams and our visions. That’s why I’m very transparent in everything that I do because I want to lead the culture and change the narrative and break generational curses, normalize what true success looks like and normalize what scaling up a business looks like. If we don’t have these conversations, if we don’t lead by example, then we will continue to have the “first” in our culture, and when will that narrative end?