Textured hair care brand Mielle Organics, which specifically centers Black women, has been acquired by P&G. The move comes amid consumer concerns that the brand is at risk of losing focus amid rising interest from white shoppers.
In 2022, Mielle Organics was the third fastest growing brand in terms of online search volume, per Spate.
Following the acquisition, Monique Rodriguez and Melvin Rodriguez, who co-founded the brand in 2014, will serve as CEO and COO, respectively, and operate Mielle as an independent subsidiary of P&G Beauty.
For longtime Black and Brown customers, Mielle Organics' success and subsequent "discovery" by white consumers has led to concerns that the brand's products could become harder to get, more expensive or, perhaps most concerning, reformulated to become more "universal," per recent coverage by Refinery29 and others.
In the past, Black-centric brands such as Shea Moisture have been dogged by consumer frustration over formula modifications and the perception that original core customers, namely Black and Brown shoppers, were being left behind.
While no reformulations have come to light from Mielle Organics, today's news may feed additional worries.
When the brand announced the acquisition on Instagram, follower @seizethade echoed many of the comments in the feed: Please keep your chemist close because we can always tell when ingredients change after mergers 😭
Meanwhile, Mielle and P&G have each committed $10 million to Mielle Cares, the brand's non-profit aimed at providing resources and support to advance education and economic opportunities in Black and Brown communities. P&G’s investment in Mielle Cares further expands its work in advancing gender and racial equity through platforms like My Black is Beautiful and Widen the Screen.
“We founded Mielle Cares to give back to our community who has been so instrumental in the success of Mielle,” said Melvin Rodriguez, co-founder and chief operating officer for Mielle Organics. “Mielle remains committed to leading with purpose and impact and serving as a beacon in historically underserved communities. Expanding our impact in Black and Brown communities will become an even greater focus in the years ahead.”
“From the moment we stepped into P&G, we saw a diverse team of leaders who share our values and vision for innovation, education and community empowerment, including several Black leaders who play a key role in the hair care and beauty businesses,” said Monique Rodriguez, co-founder and CEO. “This partnership gives Mielle an opportunity to serve more textured hair consumers with the great products and formulas that our community loves.”
She added, “Today is a remarkable moment for our brand and for the climb of Black entrepreneurs everywhere as we collectively continue to break barriers and accelerate the opportunities for growth. I am thrilled that we will make an even greater impact in how we give back to the community.”
Monique Rodriguez continued, “This moment was made possible by our hardworking team, the visionaries who came before us, and the trust and partnership with investors like New Voices and Berkshire Partners. Now we can pay it forward by continuing the cycle of investment and mentorship through Mielle Cares.”
She concluded, “P&G Beauty is a best-in-class organization, and we are excited that this partnership will bring additional resources so that Mielle can continue to serve our incredible customers with rapid innovation and greater reach in the community. Melvin and I will continue to lead Mielle with the focus on excellence, customer commitment and integrity that have been the core of our brand since day one nearly nine years ago.”
“Monique, Melvin and their entire team have done an incredible job building Mielle Organics into a leading hair care brand beloved by millions of Black women, and we’re excited to help them continue their success,” said Lela Coffey, vice president of P&G’s multicultural hair care business. “P&G Beauty’s role will be to support the Mielle Organics team with what they need to achieve their vision–including increased access in Black and Brown communities and investing in research and innovation–while enabling the core tenets of their success to continue as they are today.”