The road to entrepreneurship looks different for each person, and Mielle Organics Founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez is proof of it.
During AFROTECH Conference 2023, the boss lady revealed that at one point an investor wanted to own 40% of her company’s shares, but God had other plans.
“When we did our first investment deal, we had investors we were talking to that we needed. We needed those investors to climb up out of the hole that we were in at that time. This was in 2019,” Rodriguez recalled while speaking at the Women’s Summit at this year’s conference on a panel titled: “Empowering Black Women Entrepreneurs: Voices of Success and Resilience.”
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The Level Up
However, when one opportunity ends, it makes way for the next… something the entrepreneur is keen on.
“I knew in my spirit that they were not the right investors, but I felt that because I wanted to continue to grow my business, I needed them at the time,” Rodriguez said. “Six months later, God opened up a bigger door. Where we were able to take that first initial investment for 5 million [dollars] for 10% of my company. We were still climbing and growing at the time, so that was a protection that I wasn’t even aware of.”
What’s more, Rodriguez notes that her perseverance is why she continues to thrive and hold the space that she does within the haircare industry through Mielle.
“That resilient spirit gave me the spirit to keep going despite that door closing in my face,” she shared while giving a word of advice to current and aspiring business owners.
Rodriguez continued: “You’re going to get a lot of no’s. You’re going to get a lot of doors that close in your face. And, I have learned over the course of this journey that when the door closes, God did not tell me to go open it or crack it. He told me to close the door and leave it closed because that’s also God’s way of protecting you from something you didn’t even know you might have needed protection from.”
Today, Mielle Organics is worth more than $100 million, as AFROTECH previously reported.