Monique Royal of Houston, Texas, founder of The New Orleans Natural Hair Expo
What inspires you? The desire to be better than I was yesterday!
Social Media Handles: @itsmeitsmo, @neworleansnaturalhairexpo
Your favorite song currently and the artist: While We’re Young by Jhene Aiko
Currently reading: You’re a badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living by Jen Sincero
Favorite food spot in your city: Chinese Kitchen
Sweet Tea or Lemonade (it’s a Southern thing): Sweet Tea
Describe yourself in one word: Humble
If you attended University/College, where did you graduate? Southern University of New Orleans, BA in Psychology; University of Phoenix, MA. Ed Curriculum and Instruction; University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, M.Ed Educational Diagnostician
Favorite place to visit/vacation: Nassau, Bahamas
- Background information. Where are you from? If not from Texas, how did you and your family settle here? I am a New Orleans, Louisiana native. Currently, residing in Houston, Texas by way of Hurricane Katrina.
- Please provide 3-4 sentences about your role in the community or in your field, industry or career. What do you do? How did this “role” come about? How and why are you best known by others? I am the founder of the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo. It’s an annual expo that takes place in New Orleans (of course) during the Summer. In the beginning, the goal was to create a meetup for natural haired women in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. I guess you can say, God had bigger dreams for me. I am best known for creating the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo and of course my natural hair.
- Did you attend college and/or have formal training in your respective field or industry? If so, please elaborate on the year you graduated and from what institution. No, I didn’t! My degrees are in the Education field. By day, I do serve as the Special Education Chairperson for my campus. The event planning industry was something I became passionate about by attending other events. YouTube University and reaching out to others in the field has been my go to training for this industry.
- What factors of your upbringing influenced your career goals? Ex. If you’re a teacher, what made you go into that field? My family always allowed me to be me. My dad has always said if you want to do something, “do it!” That’s where the event planning comes into play. My mom was a teacher, so that was something that I grew up seeing. She made it look so effortless.
- How long have you been in this career? What did you do previously? I have been planning the expo for 5 years, and I have been in the Education field for over 10 years. I entered the Education field straight out of college.
- What long-term goals do you have? What steps are you currently taking in this direction? My long-term goals include creating something that lives beyond me, a legacy. Believe it or not, I’m simplifying my life. Putting more focus into the people and things that matter, including myself. Being focused allows me to plan and put more energy into creating the legacy that I dream of.
- Tell us about your social media presence. Do you use it in your line of work? Why or why not, is it important in your day-to-day responsibilities, platform or career? I’m on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also find the expo on these platforms as well. Social media is a huge part of the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo. It’s part of my day-to-day responsibilities to engage with our friends that follow us, and to share content that matters to them.
- Which public figures, role models and or historical figure shaped your goals as a child and in adulthood? Any that embodies your personal values? Michelle Obama! Her, her style, and her story is amazing to hear and read about. It’s always great to see women out there “killing it!”
What does it mean to you to be a millennial? How do you share that with others in your life, those you meet and with your peers? For me, being a millennial means that I can be whatever I choose to be. I can be an entrepreneur, mom, wife, traveler, etcetera. Also, if I choose to be one thing one day, and decide that’s not for me, I have the right to change my mind. I allow others to be themselves. My goal is never to meet someone and/or have someone in my life with the goal to change them. Allow your actions and how you carry yourself to influence and/or make them want to be a better person. Also, with the understanding that my definition of a “better person” may not be the same for them.
To learn more about Monique Royal and the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo, CLICK HERE.