Angel Reese is a leader in exemplifying that women athletes have the same work ethic as men athletes — if not more.
While breaking records on the basketball court, the Louisiana State University (LSU) champion prides herself on having her lashes done and hair and edges laid when doing so. Known as the “Bayou Barbie,” it was a perfect alignment when teaming up with Mielle Organics. In May 2023, the popular Black-founded haircare and beauty brand signed Reese as an ambassador — marking her first major beauty deal — according to a press release.
With about four months in, Reese described the deal to AFROTECH as “the most authentic partnership.”
“Mielle has always taught me and other women to be our authentic selves,” Reese shared with AFROTECH in an email interview. “They are a brand [that] caters to all different types of beauty, and I’ve been using their products since I was a young girl. I love everything about Mielle’s products, from the smell to how healthy and long they have made my hair.”
She continued, “Earlier this year, I met Mielle’s founder Monique in New York, and hearing Monqiue’s story and how she started the company in her kitchen is just so inspiring.”
Under the partnership, Reese was featured in Mielle’s first-ever ad campaign, “From One Queen to Another,” according to a press release shared with AFROTECH.
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The campaign focuses on dismantling gatekeeping in beauty and pushing forward the power of sisterhood. Reese says she’s found this community with her LSU teammates and Mielle Organics CEO and Founder Monique Rodriguez, who champions Black and brown women.
“I started Mielle from my kitchen, trying out different ingredients to help address hair challenges I was experiencing,” Rodriguez shared in a press statement. “When our Mielle Mavens are excited about their favorite Mielle ‘IT’ product, they put their friends and family onto it. ‘From One Queen to Another’ reflects the community we’ve built.”
Linking up with Mielle Organics is among Reese’s growing list of partnerships. As previously shared by AFROTECH, the 21-year-old’s NIL valuation reached $1.3 million in April 2023, and she became the highest projected earner in all of women’s college basketball. As of this writing, her NIL valuation stands at $1.7 million, per On3. Reese’s deals include McDonald’s, JanSport, Coach, ZOA Energy, and more.
While the young superstar has the support of her mother — also named Angel — as well as guidance from her financial advisor and manager, initially navigating the NIL space had a learning curve.
“Prior to LSU, I never learned about taxes in school,” Reese shared with AFROTECH. “When I started partnering with brands for NIL deals, I was quickly educated about paying taxes and that the more money I made, the more money I owed in taxes at the end of the year. My financial advisor has been very helpful in this process and so has LSU with the financial literacy training they provide for us while we are here at school too.”
The brand deals have been pouring in for Reese, but she’s made it clear on numerous occasions that she doesn’t accept just any offer. She’s only in the business of working with brands that she is genuinely a consumer of.
“When partnering with a brand, the most important thing to me is that the product is something I truly love and use,” she explained. “I know the people that I influence and that look up to me value my words and opinions so the campaign always needs to be true to me. I also know that all money isn’t good money, and if I don’t like the brand or don’t use the product then I won’t work with that brand regardless of the money they want to offer me.”
For Reese’s partnership with Mielle Organics, she’s letting fans in on her own favorite products. Her exclusive bundle, “Queen of the Court,” features Mielle Pomegranate & Honey enriched shampoo, conditioner, edge gel, and leave-in conditioner, as well as Mielle Mongongo Oil Thermal Heat Spray, Mielle Rosemary Mint Oil, and a limited-edition edge scarf.
To find out more about the bundle, click here.