The beauty industry is lucrative, and for many reasons, it’s because of Black women. Despite who curates the product, we have found, advocated, and recommended goods that make us feel our best. And while we are the key drivers in this particular market, business owners who look like us are struggling to find funding with less than one percent of Black women able to secure a $1 million investment into their business, “For me, I honor those who have come before me and broken glass ceilings so I can come and shatter glass ceilings. I am creating and paving a way for those who are coming behind me to do not what I have done, but probably even better,” Monique Rodriguez, Co-Founder of Mielle Organics tells ESSENCE.
Today, Monique, and her husband Melvin Rodriguez, who stands as CEO and COO of the brand, are announcing their partnership with P&G Beauty. The beauty conglomerate has one of the strongest portfolios including Gilette, Febreeze, Olay, and now Mielle joining their lengthy class list.
Over the last few weeks, Mielle has accumulated a critical conversation across social media platforms. While Black women have supported Mielle since its inception in 2014, many other communities are also finding the products helpful and expressing their positive sentiments on the internet. This has caused consumers’ favorite products, like the Rosemary Mint Oil to become increasingly hard to find. “I can completely understand why people are frustrated because of the lack of access to our products. I can also appreciate that new consumers are now discovering Mielle, and discovering this amazing oil,” Rodriguez explains. “And honestly that is why this partnership with P&G is so important.”
While Mielle is sold to stockists like Target, CVS, and Ulta Beauty as well as securing funding from New Voices Fund, founded by ESSENCE Ventures CEO, Richelieu Dennis and a nine-figure investment from Berkshire Partners, there’s still a disadvantage the brand has faced when trying to reach the needs of its ever-expanding consumer. This further validates why this partnership is not only crucial to Mielle Organics but Black beauty founders.
“What makes this partnership with P&G and Mielle Organics special is our shared commitment to serving consumers and making an impact in our community,” said Monica Turner, President, of P&G North America. “Mielle Cares program, which is focused on education, mentoring, and entrepreneurship in Black and Brown communities, is something we look forward to supporting,” says Monica Turner, President, of P&G Beauty North America.
P&G will serve as a partner to Mielle to provide additional resources in order to expand the brand, and partner together for further innovation. To safeguard its commitment to Mielle and its Black and Brown consumers across verticals, Mielle and P&G have each committed $10 million to the Mielle Cares non-profit, which provides information and resources to advance initiatives important to Black and Brown communities.
“The work of racial equality and inclusion is not new for us,” said Lela Coffey, P&G North America Vice President for P&G’s multicultural hair portfolio. “My Black is Beautiful is a platform that P&G Beauty started twelve years ago, with a distinct mission to celebrate Black beauty and ignite meaningful dialogue about our unique influence on culture.
While this partnership curates a new reach for Black-owned hair care products, Rodriguez ensures that the authenticity of the business she and her husband created nearly 10 years ago will remain the same. “The community is the foundation of Mielle,” she concludes. “I can assure you that at Mielle we have no plans to change any of our formulas and joining P&G means all of our loyal customers can truly expect the same high-quality products tomorrow that is on shelves today.”