It all started with a bit of at-home experimentation from founder Monique Rodriguez and some informative IG tutorials teaching Black women how to care for their hair. Now eight years later, Mielle Organics is one of the market’s most sought-after Black hair care brands—carrying upwards of 11 curated collections for all curly hair types and being shelved at over 100,000 retailers. Mielle Organics continues to exceed its customers’ expectations while staying true to the brand’s ethos of innovation and education. Rodriguez makes it a point to listen to her customers, whether keeping a close eye on the ever-changing trends on social media or catching up with consumers in the hair care aisle.
Monique Rodriguez says her brand has seen great success because her top priority is keeping her customers at the forefront. Outside of running her curls-centered brand, Monique is a wife and mother. Juggalinging a global-scale business and a family can be a challenging task. Still, she has carefully organized a team of professionals with the same values and passion for her brand. This allows Rodriguez to stay on the pulse of her customer’s needs while maintaining the utmost quality that her customers continue to fall in love with year after year.
Mielle’s latest collection, Mango & Tulsi Botanical Blend, felt there was a gap in the market for scalp health outside of the usual dandruff concerns. There was a need for products that catered specifically to the scalp health of consumers before and after protective styling. The lines golden ingredient is Tulsi, also known as holy basil. It’s rich in vitamin C and zinc and helps to maintain moisture in the scalp while improving scalp health and strengthening roots. Featuring six nourishing products, The Mango & Tulsi Botanical Blend Collection will leave your coils looking shinier and feeling stronger.
We caught up with Mielle Organics founder Monique Rodriguez on the cultivation of her Mango & Tulsi Botanical Blend, how she balances work-life balance, and what’s next for the industry-leading brand.
ESSENCE: Can you tell me what it has been like to see your brand grow and develop such a close following?
Rodriguez: In some ways, it has been such an incredible surprise. I don’t say that lightly because we have worked so hard to build this brand to be innovative and solution-focused, to engage and educate consumers, and to be a trusted and authentic resource for the textured hair community. But when I started experimenting with formulas in my garage and sharing my hair care advice on social media— I was doing something I loved – and creating products I wasn’t finding on the shelves. I didn’t realize what it could become – 8 years, 11 collections, more than 100,000 stores, and 1 million followers later! It has been a rewarding journey, and my best days are still the ones I spend talking with a customer in the hair care aisle!
What pain points did you see in the market that you felt the Mango & Tulsi Botanical Blend Collection would alleviate?
We listen to our customers and watch trends in the industry. We saw the need to expand on products tied explicitly to the scalp and the hair’s health as a whole. With innovation always at the forefront of the brand, it was important for us to tackle these issues in a way that wasn’t done before. We wanted to find new ingredients and even better formulations. This is where Tulsi comes in, making this launch the first collection for textured hair to feature this ingredient.
Who would you say this line is geared towards?
Products to maintain the hair/scalp underneath protective styles are one of the hottest haircare trends consumers are interested in. Scalp health is gaining more influence in haircare, with the focus going beyond dandruff and becoming a general marker for healthy hair. Besides styles, there are an array of other factors that can weaken and break the hair. We created this line for the curly and coily hair consumer who understands hair health is the foundation of beautiful hair.
What’s your favorite product from the collection?
One of my favorites from the line is the Mango & Tulsi Nourishing Instant 3-IN-1 Serum. It is a must-have for me since it helps to repair damaged hair & split ends. It works to seal cuticles for smoother, shinier-looking hair and helps to replenish my scalp for improved roots & stronger strands – all with a beautiful tropical scent! As a busy mom and entrepreneur, I love that it gives my hair the power of a 3-in-1 product.
Tulsi is a new component that you don’t see many other brands using. How did you discover it, and why in companion with mango?
Mielle saw a trend where our consumers’ hair and scalp were being compromised. Both were undernourished, and no one in the textured hair care marketing was truly addressing this. The scalp is a bridge between skin and hair and an extension of your face. It then made sense to leverage skincare for ingredients, and Tulsi is a trending ingredient in skincare that we also learned greatly benefited the scalp. Tulsi is known as holy basil and is rich in vitamin C and zinc. It helps to maintain moisture in the scalp, improving scalp health and strengthening roots. While Tulsi greatly benefits the scalp, we also wanted a powerful ingredient for hair nourishment. We paired Tulsi with Mango because it is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A & C and restores and balances moisture in hair (plus, it smells delicious). And there you have it… Mango & Tulsi is the first botanical collection for textured hair that nourishes hair and scalp back to health.
Many women are becoming frustrated with the natural hair movement and opting for perms and relaxers again. How can Mielle go about addressing the change in the natural hair space?
As innovation in haircare continues to evolve, we will keep our ear to the consumers, listening and leveraging technology and science to deliver affordable solutions to meet the needs of our ever-changing customers.
As an entrepreneur who grew this business from the ground up, what principles do you live by that has helped you maintain success?
I always keep the customer first. I learn from every interaction with customers, making that ongoing connection a top priority. I surround myself with a team of intelligent, high-energy, ambitious experts who are also wildly good humans. I intentionally try to maintain and model a balance between work and home, and quality time with my family is sacred. And I have always been guided by my faith. It is what started me on this journey, and it keeps me grounded and grateful every day.
How do you balance running a successful global brand while being a wife and mother?
Juggling a career and motherhood is hard no matter who you are! I have learned to spend my time on the areas where I have the most passion and add the most value – product innovation, creative/marketing, and customer engagement. But the secret to my success is surrounding myself with talented people who share our vision, see the potential, love to innovate, and move fast—starting with my incredible husband, who leads all our operations. When you have a team of people you admire and trust helping build your business, you can step away with total confidence. It’s a careful balance, and it’s not always perfect – but I’m so blessed to live this beautiful life.
I know it’s imperative for you to listen to your customer’s needs. With that said, what hair concerns can you see Mielle addressing in the future?
Innovation and education are at the foundation of the Mielle brand. We love nothing more than finding unique formulations and ingredients that improve the look and health of our customers’ hair and then helping them learn the latest usage techniques and tips. You will continue to see that from us, so be on the lookout for new products and solutions coming soon!
You can shop the new Mango & Tulsi Botanical Blend Collection below.