MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 48

MADEINC MADEXXX MADE: A lot of people don’t know that your business was birthed from a personal tragedy that occurred in 2013—your son passed after keeping him on life support for six months. What made you decide to tell this part of your story now? Monique: For so long I struggled with sharing the story because I had to be able to tell the story and not break drown. It took me about four and a half years to get to that point to tell the story confi- dently, inspire someone by telling the story and to not just break down crying. It was something that I prayed about and I felt that God was pushing me to tell the story and to tell the reason why I started the company. After the healing process started, I felt that I need to be obedient and tell believers what faith can do and what happens when you submit yourself to God and how he continues to bless you if you just remain faithful. MADE: You often talk about keeping God first. How would you say that value has impacted you as a business woman and in your personal life? Monique: Without God, we are nothing. I mean he’s the center of everything and if you keep him first, then everything will fall into place. You know I’m not saying that it’s going to make your life easier or the road is going to be easier. There is always going to be challenges and obstacles, but at the end of the day when you get home, you still need to have faith and have someone to pray too. I believe that highest spirit is God, the center of the universe. MADE: Mielle Organics was started in your basement and now you’re in over 7,000 stores across the country. What has been one of your best business decisions? Monique: One of the reasons we were able to go into retail was because of our engagement and connection with the consumers. I think one of the best decisions—well I won’t say best, but it is a best decision is to maintain and stay connected to the consumer. The consumer is who dictates all. We are so quick to say as entrepreneurs that I don’t have a boss, but you do have a boss. Consumers are your boss and you have to stay connected with them because that’s who drives your business. MADE: You transitioned from a nurse to a full time entrepreneur. How does your nursing background help you with your products and the formula behind them? Monique: My nursing background helped me understand how the body works. It helped me understand the anatomy of the human body and how it functions and how hair actually grows. By understanding that and then looking to see what natural ingredients actually help promote growth, doing research and just making my own little concoctions at home. I didn’t go to school for chemistry but I did have to take chemistry to become a nurse. So combining all of that research and knowledge is what helped me start making my own products. MADE: And what would you say to the aspiring entrepreneur who is on the fence about taking that leap of faith? Monique: Definitely make sure that it’s your passion because the days that you can’t figure how you are going to move forward or you don’t have enough money or you don’t know when the new inventory is going to come in because you just can’t afford it—you are going to need that passion to drive you because being an entrepreneur is not easy. There are a lot of ups and downs and there are a lot of challenges but the ones that survive have a bigger purpose. Money is not what should drive you. It should be your passion and your purpose. MADE: 1015 Designs Clothing Boutique, Mielle Skin and Mielle Cares Foundation are other businesses/organizations you have started as well. What is your advice to the entrepreneur who is looking to expand as well? Monique: I would say make sure you perfect one thing first before moving on to the next. Then, apply those same principles of what perfected your first business to the next business. It’s easy to say that you have all of these businesses, but if one has not hit the million-dollar mark, then you have not done something right [laughs]. | 48