Monique London is the owner and creative director of the all-natural and organic beauty brand London Ivy.
Apart from her beauty brand, Monique is the founder of Black Beauty Brunch. This event started in 2016 and began as a meet and greet event for Toronto’s self-identified black women, which has then evolved into a “judgment-free safe space where women can come and have an open forum to explore their concepts of self-love, beauty ideals, and representation.” As Monique would describe it, it is a place where black women are given room to take off their armor, reset, learn, and leave feeling celebrated.
“I am not the exception for you. You don’t just have ‘Monique, the black friend.’ Monique is a black woman that represents the fact that black women are all different.” - Monique London
Having studied in North Bay, Ontario, Monique talks about the struggles of being a minority in the university, sometimes being the only black woman in class. This made her realize the importance of having a safe space where she would talk openly, surrounded by people like her.
This experience began her journey on starting Black Beauty Brunch.
“Black Beauty Brunch -- it kind of throws people for a loop, because some people see the name and they assume it’s going to be like a make-up show, or they assume it’s going to be about skin care… No, it’s about the actual woman.” - Monique London
Monique also talks about how and why she started her beauty brand, London Ivy. She talks about the processes she had to learn and experience, the challenges of being in the beauty industry, and the advice she would give to young entrepreneurs.
"Do enough work that when you get there, you can be happy there, and you're not struggling and drowning." - Monique London
As an entrepreneur, Monique talks about the value of self-reflection and “unlearning” to achieve the right mindset to be successful.
Aside from being an entrepreneur, Monique also talks about being a mother and raising her daughter, whom she has also named “London Ivy.”
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