Monii is Bringing Innovation With a Multi-Purpose Beauty Essential

Monii was born out of the founder’s challenge like all good ideas. For Mona Patel, inspiration hit on a cold November day when she was air-drying her long, thick hair. Her sweater was soaked. 

“The idea just came to me,” says Patel. It’s a pet peeve of mine when wet hair drips on my clothing. I can’t sit around in wet damp clothing.”

So she grabbed an old cotton burp cloth she had saved from her children and threw it over her shoulders, securing it with a safety pin. She asked her husband to take a photo and began her journey to create the ideal product to let people air dry their hair without drenching themselves. 

This was Patel’s first entrepreneurial endeavor. As a CPA with a degree in Accounting, she worked at companies like Deloitte and Fannie Mae for nearly two decades. But her background made her a professional problem solver. With Monii, Patel wanted to solve the common problem thousands face when they try to step out of the shower – especially textured-haired women.

She launched in October 2022, two and a half years after inspiration hit.

Monii is Bringing Innovation With a Multi-Purpose Beauty Essential

Unlike the typical terry-cloth towels that fall off the shoulders or hair turbans that can be uncomfortable and can pull the hair, Monii is crafted to be water-absorbent, secure, comfortable, and even fashionable. It has a terry cotton liner topped by a satin outer layer. In addition to absorbing drips from wet hair, the Monii protects skin and clothing when putting on makeup, using styling appliances, or coloring your hair. 

Monii is now available in eight styles, including six colors and two white-satin bridal versions with rhinestones and pearls. Prices range from $48 to $120.

How did Monii evolve from a burp cloth to a stylish cape:

The idea was to create something that could drape over the shoulders, stay in place, and absorb the water. I didn’t even know how to sew. 

Over Thanksgiving, My cousin and I went to Joann’s to buy cotton terry fabric. We created a pattern, and she sewed the prototype. I used it and said, ‘This is it!’ 

Then I had to figure out the whole industry. I had to do a lot of research. My network didn’t include anyone who could help me. By heart, I am a problem solver. The Monii has been revised a dozen times. 

The idea to use satin came from a good friend with curly hair. She said, ‘You know Mona, satin is good for black women. If you incorporate satin, you‘ll be making a product for a lot more people.’”

I also wanted to provide other colors besides black. It was intended to be functional – not a fashion statement – but it was something beautiful. People said, “I can wear this out on the street.”

We’re getting interest from stylists. When doing a client’s hair, The Monii makes it so much easier to comb. It doesn’t get caught in the fibers of the terry cloth.

Monii is Bringing Innovation With a Multi-Purpose Beauty Essential

How does the Monii compete with other products on the market, and how are you getting the word out?

In my mind, the Monii isn’t replacing anything out there. It’s truly a market disruptor. We’re not trying to compete with a towel or a cape. They are water-repellent. These are water absorbent. There hasn’t been anything revolutionary in the getting-ready market.

When people get it and use it and love it. They tell their friends about it.

Now I’m getting in front of people. I’m participating in holiday gift shows and shows. I let them touch it, feel it, and see the quality. 

Monii is Bringing Innovation With a Multi-Purpose Beauty Essential

You didn’t create it for curly girls; that is your biggest market. Did that surprise you?

Yes. I didn’t anticipate it in the beginning. I was thinking about my pain point. However, the curly hair community is very passionate about their hair. They hate water dripping on their neck. They tell me it has become a staple in their life.

I’m also getting a great response from curly hair stylists. But most of the feedback has come from the curly community and how much they hate water dripping on their neck. They tell me it has become a staple in their life.

Will you be shopping the Monii this season? Let us know in the comments.

Michelle Breyer

As co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, a website for curly hair she began with her business partner and friend, Gretchen Heber, Michelle Breyer helped create the leading community and resource for people with curly hair. Frustrated by the lack of information on curly hair and the limited products available in the marketplace, the duo launched the site in 1998 with the help of a 14-year-old web designer. When Procter & Gamble called three years later to advertise to the NaturallyCurly.com® audience, Breyer knew they had indeed created a force in the industry, providing helpful information and unparalleled expertise for what was then considered a niche market.

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