We had the good fortune of connecting with Monnique Sykes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monnique, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When it comes to risk, I don’t really think about it. I just operate in faith and not overthink things. The biggest risk that i took in my life was moving out of the country after the passing of my mom. Losing my mom in 2015 and leaving an abusive psychotic ex husband, I decided I needed to start over. So I moved to Panama the country lol, not Panama, Fl in 2016. I was there six months, but I came back to the states and I had a friend that lived here in Atlanta. So I moved in with her in 2017. I never planned to come to Atlanta; but it was the best decision I could have ever made. Atlanta has this energy where everyone is on the come up. Everyone is doing great things and not being stagnant to the rat race of a 9 to 5, but they are bosses with the success to go with it.
Atlanta gave me a different outlook on life. Coming from Richmond, VA; it made me see myself as more than a worker bee for a big fortune 500 company. Then I met a guy who was from Atlanta and he taught me how to start a business and build business credit and that’s where the journey started. He saw something in me that I knew was there; but a lot of the times we as entrepreneurs have the talent, but we get discouraged and don’t believe in ourselves. I had to overcome that. He saw my drive and my determination to be more than just a worker.
Then losing my dad in 2018; another hurdle I had to overcome, really made me start thinking about my foundation and my legacy in this world and what I have to offer. My life is full of risk in personal and in business, but what i have learned is to never give up and keep striving and persevering through the ups and downs of life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As a multi-faceted business woman; I have developed several businesses in the same niche. My first business that I developed was my natural and organic hair care line called “Mobeaute”. I am truly proud of my haircare line because it will be showcased in New York in August 2021. To have your brand in a store of any kind is a very big honor. It was not easy to get where I am today. With the many downfalls of being an entrepreneur and many long nights of trying to perfect my brand; in the end hard work truly does pay off. There have been many times where I got discouraged and thought that my ambition to succeed was a mere dream, but with struggle comes victory; if you just stick to it. I also have a youtube channel that is motivating me to keep on going and I always had trouble not believing in myself. That is my biggest challenge. The validation that sometimes we as entrepreneurs think that we need, in actuality the only thing we need is to keep being innovative and creative and it will pay off if we don’t give up.
I also decided start a body contouring med spa called “Mobeaute GlamBar” and I am excited to be venturing into a new field where I will be incorporating my organic products and develop other natural products that will line up with my brand. The lessons i have learned along the way is that everyone does not have the patience, drive or the mental capacity to be an entrepreneur. It definitely is not for the faint at heart. With being a serial multi-tasker and having had high-pressure jobs in my corporate career; knowing that I do not fold under pressure. You have to have a go getter mentality with a drive for success. The level of being ambitious only goes so far. You truly have to put in a lot of work and you need a team. That’s one thing that I am learning as I really see my businesses take off on another level. I have always been a control freak when it came to my business, but you have to start thinking smart and delegate to the team that you have to help you to have a successful business.
My brand is really about inspiring others to be the best version of themselves. I want to encourage every person to reach for the stars and never give up. I remember the times when I was battling with depression and did not want to be in this world anymore. The pain of losing my parents took a toll on my mind; but once i started to create and think outside the box, I was able to pull myself up out of the deep abyss and find the joy in helping others and also with the escape of creating Mobeaute hair products gave me a outlet and helped me to find my peace again. Well lets just say if it can be created I can make it. Art, beauty and just being a creative being is my biggest passion and its therapeutic for me. Being creative is a way that I can express myself. So when I decided to open up Mobeaute GlamBar, it was a no brainer why I wanted to open up a spa.
I love giving people the confidence that they need as well as sculpting their bodies into a vision of art. And I can connect with others and help them to have a better quality of life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well off the top of my head came Little Five Points. That area is so eclectic and there are so many great shops that you can go to and find the most standout, vintage looking pieces and I love that because I love fashion and I love to be different. Little Five Points screams all of the things that I love.
Now when it comes to a place to have fun; I think of a Selfie Museum. We would get dolled up and take a lot of pictures. They actually have three to choose from. They have so many cool rooms with lot of colorful decorations and I think it would just be a good time. Now when it comes to food, there are so many choices here in Atlanta.
If you are looking for a place with great food, hookahs and a DJ, I would definitely take my best friend to Babylon Cafe. Omg I went there for my birthday and when I tell you I had such a good time. Babylon Cafe is a Middle Eastern restaurant located in Buckhead on Lenox Rd. and they had the best chicken tikka I have ever had. Well that was my first time actually eating middle eastern food and that basmati rice was so good. There prices are resonable and the hookah and live DJ made my birthday so special.
We would also have to go to Krab Queenz, hands down the best cajun butter potatoes I have ever had. If you like Juicy Crab than you would flip over Krab Queenz. They are similar to any other crab place, but there butter seasonings sets them apart in my opinion.
Now I know people don’t go to the movies like that, but I love the Starlight Drive-In. So i would add that to the itinerary and see a comedy movie and just relax and remember the times we had back home. We had a drive-in and no one came, lol. That’s the difference between Virginia and Atlanta. It doesn’t matter where you go, there are always people out having a great time. Those are some of the places I would take my best friend and we would have so much fun and I would throw in a few mom and pop spots like Gutbusters for breakfast and Hattie-B’s for that famous chicken.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The person that I want to dedicate my shoutout to would be my favorite cousin. My cousin is 4 years older than me and she has been in my life since i was a born. My cousin has always supported me and always encourages me to follow my dreams and to chase after every vision that I have. She never once told me I was crazy to start an online boutique doing dropshipping in 2019. Instead she made me believe that i could be successful as an entrepreneur. Once the pandemic hit, I decided to shut down my dropshipping boutique.
Of course I had another crazy idea to start another online boutique in 2020, but this time I decided to start a natural hair care line. My cousin said “you are going to very successful and you can do anything” and she supported me idea too. When I told my cousin that I wanted to open up a car dealership, my cousin never once said I don’t think you should do that. Of course I ventured to another idea with starting my medspa, which will be opening in August. She has always poured into and after both of us losing our mothers; she is really all that I have. Even though my cousin lives in Richmond, VA; we see each other everyday and video chat and talk for hours. I run every crazy idea by my cousin. Her opinion matters and that’s why I shoutout my favorite cousin Autumn Hudson.
And of course as I stated in the previous question, I will always be thankful that Jerod Moore came into my life. Without his counsel and the guidance to become a boss, entrepreneur and more than i ever thought I could be; I will forever be grateful for our relationship. If he never pushed me and guided me with the steps to start a business; i would not be where I am today. The true mind of a business man with so much vision and passion for me. Sometimes it was overwhelming all of the great information he gave me to get where I am today; but he knew that I was smart and would take his counsel and grow to be who I am today. So he most definitely needs to be recognized for believing in me when I could not see the potential that I truly had.