After meeting registered nurse Monique Rodriguez, I immediately sensed an entrepreneur on the brink of shaking up the natural hair care industry.  

With major political movements come new leaders of the era.

With the shift in leaders comes a handful of deceitful conglomerates hoping to cash in on a group with a lengthy history of oppression and underrepresentation. However, Monique Rodriguez isn't one of them. The registered nurse wants to tie back the importance of health and wellness aspect to the natural hair movement. Enter: the birth of Mielle Organics. Here is the original interview published in 2014, when the brand was virtually unknown.

My name is Monique Rodriguez and I am from the Chicago area.

I am African American; my dad's side of the family is Creole. I currently work as a registered nurse. My hair type is a combination of type 3b and 3c. 
I decided to start my own business after a tremendous amount of research. I learned that our skin absorbs a great amount of whatever products we put on our body and is absorbed in our bloodstream. This prompted me to start reading labels and studying the different preservatives, mineral oil and petroleum that are put in our hair and skin products, which I found to mostly be cheap and unsafe safe for the body.

I wanted to create a line that stays true to the word natural and organic.

The ingredients used in my products are certified organic [and made with] with natural herbs from the Earth. They all work well together to promote growth, retain length and maintain overall healthy hair. I always use my products on my hair then my children's hair to make sure I absolutely love it before it goes public. I don't believe in [there being] an overload of ingredients in a product for it to work. I believe in simplicity, so I take out all the unnecessary ingredients and doses that are not effective in growing and maintaining healthy hair. Our ingredients are simple, natural and still affordable.

With my background in science, I understand how the body works, as well as what will stimulate the hair follicles and produce growth.

I believe that if you truly believe in a product working what other person to be the test dummy other than the owner myself I have tested and used to ensure my products are effective. My hair has reached tailbone length with some of my tried and true techniques and remedies; I just wanted to combine them all together to work effectively in giving consumers the hair and health they have always dreamed of, too.

A photo posted by Mielle Organics LLC (@mielleorganics) on

My first line of products will be focused on natural health, hair growth and retention. 

I will have a vitamin for women and children using natural herbs vitamins and minerals. There will also be a mint almond oil to target scalp care. It works well with the vitamins to not only take care of the insides, but also properly care for the outside; in order to produce healthy hair and growth, you have to maintain a healthy scalp. This oil improves circulation to promote growth and includes a conditioning oil that prevents breakage and improves elasticity [of the curls]. There are more exciting products that are still in the works.

It is important to know what you are putting in and on your body. A lot of products use unsafe preservatives that are absorbed through your skin. All natural and organic are ingredients that are made by nature are much safer than using chemically-altered products.

Cetaphil and Dove Moisturizing Lotion make my simple day and night skin routine. On my hair, I use Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil as a sealant and daily moisturizer. I also use a moisturizing cream from our line that I am working on but is not out quite yet. It keeps my curls soft, moisturized and not weighed down. I also apply a gel, depending on the type of look I want. I also like the Aussie 3-Minute Conditioner because it makes my hair soft. My favorite co-wash right now is by As I Am. And finally, vitamins and water keep my curls moisturized.

To stay up to date with my business endeavors and long curly hair tips, follow my personal Instagram @exquisitemo. Bring my vision to life by following the Mielle Organics Instagram, @MielleOrganics!

You can also ask me questions on my NaturallyCurly Q&A right now!

Editor's note: Since the original publishing of this article on April 25, 2014, Monique has gone on to create a line for kids called Tinys and Tots.

The line features the following products, made with certified organic ingredients:

Each product, including the Children’s Hair & Healthy Vitamins, was formulated to be gentle for children. Sacha Inchi Oil, a South American superfood that contains Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants, is the driving ingredient in each of Mielle’s hair maintenance products for children. For questions about the line, ask Monique by clicking here now!