For Monique Rodriguez, hair care was a hobby; she never thought she could build a business. In fact, after high school, Monique followed her mother’s advice to find a solid, recession-proof career, and she went into nursing. However, Monique realized it was not for her, and she pursued side gigs selling everything from Mary Kay to cable subscriptions. But when a devastating loss turned Monique’s world upside down, she found joy in her hobby. What started as Monique’s homegrown haircare experiments posted on Instagram eventually became Mielle Organics, a line of products made for textured hair with natural and organic ingredients. Educating herself through internet research, going to trade shows and conferences, and learning from some big mistakes, Monique and her husband Melvin turned her hobby into a massive global haircare and beauty brand.
This episode was produced by Casey Herman, with music by Ramtin Arablouei
Edited by Andrea Bruce, with research help from Alex Cheng.