Monique Samuels: Essentially Real

By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief

PC: Drew Xeron


Spring boarding from a dramatic season as a principal cast member of the Real Housewives of Potomac, Monique Samuels is now evolving in her new role as an entrepreneur and the founder of Mila Eve Essentials.


PC: Billy Maloy


A deluxe line of eco-friendly, non-GMO, gluten free, cruelty and paraben-free, essential oils, Mila Eve Essentials was inspired by Monique’s supporters, and with their wellness at the heart of her brand, she is steadfast in her commitment to create a line that is both non-toxic and effective. Conscientious and thorough in researching and testing her ingredients, Monique is hands-on with every element of her business and will not put her name to any product she won’t personally use. Customer experience is important to her, and from the quality of her products and attention to detail she has put into her brand’s website, to providing recipes and information with each purchase, she is dedicated in her mission to provide quality, chemical-free, holistic, aromatherapy oils. A devoted wife and mother, Monique incorporates Mila Eve Essentials into every facet of her family’s life, which inspires the products she creates for her customers.


PC: Drew Xeron


Monique is generous, warm, and fun, and has a savvy business perspective that we could all learn from. Her passion is infectious, and she immediately draws us into her quest to enhance our physical and spiritual wellness through Mila Eve Essentials. Also the founder of Not For Lazy Moms, a community for new generation moms who are striving to be the best version of themselves within their parenting, relationships, careers, and self-care, she is now emerging as an entrepreneur whose focus is to assist us in bettering our lives.


PC: Drew Xeron


Whatever your opinion of her based on a past TV-show narrative, you might want to reconsider. Monique’s desire to amplify positive, emotional well-being through her brands is authentic, and as she takes us on that journey, the reality is she’s refreshingly and essentially real.



Coco Eco:

I'm really thrilled to interview Monique Samuels, who is our March cover girl, and our March issue is Spring Forward. Monique is going to share with us really exciting news about her organic beauty and lifestyle line. Mila Eve.

Monique Samuels:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

CE:

We're really honored to have you here. So a slight backstop: Obviously, you were on The Real Housewives of Potomac, and now you are expanding and pioneering into clean beauty and wellness. Can you tell us about your line please?

MS:

Mila Eve Essentials was actually inspired by my supporters, the people who have followed me on the show. They know I rave about essential oils and natural alternatives all the time, and they kept commenting saying, “Where can we get your oils?” And I would give them recommendations and they're like, “No, we want your oils.” So it got me thinking, and it's perfect timing for me because the market has become so oversaturated with oils that contain chemicals and all kinds of bad stuff, and because I have so many people who I have referred to using essential oils too, I thought it would be best if I come up with my own line. This way, you know you're getting 100% pure, chemical free, top quality essential oils, and the added benefit is that they are available for a fraction of the usual cost. So yes, that's what inspired the whole movement.

CE:

I really love that. Because, you know for me, with Coco Eco, everything is clean and chemical-free, and my thing is always if it's good for the planet, it's good for you, or if it's good for you, it’s good for the planet. I'm really inspired by your instinct to really have this be a clean line because people green wash all the time about having natural products. So your journey with Mila Eve Essentials, tell me all about it and about needing this to be clean; how you source and what your inspiration was, because it's a really incredible line.

MS:

Thank you. My inspiration is definitely my children. If I can't have a product that I can feel safe to put on my children, then I'm not going to use that product. I've always been a person who has searched for natural remedies and alternatives. I like things that are very clean, very organic, and when I went on my journey to find the perfect distributor, to start with, I wanted to make sure that they were a distributor that was certified MOSA. For people who are into essential oils, they know how important that is to have that stamp of approval. I wanted to make sure that the products were cruelty free. And I when I tell you I've sampled so many different aromas and since to the point where sometimes I would have to just sit it down for a second, because just smelling so many different ones, making sure that the quality was there. They also test for the quality, the color, the appearance, the aroma, so I wanted to make sure that whatever I brought by way of Mila Eve Essentials was just the best of the best.


PC: Billy Maloy


I really enjoy using the products. They're safe to use topically and they're safe to use for aromatherapy, which a lot of people don't realize sometimes when you purchase essential oils, and they say aromatherapy use only, that's actually a trigger, that's a warning sign right there. You should not use essential oils that are only aromatherapy grade; they're basically letting you know that there are chemicals in here. There may be fragrance inside of each oil. And what I have is 100% pure, distilled the proper way, and they are safe to use right on your skin and to diffuse. When you're using a diffuser, even if it's for aromatherapy, you want to make sure you are using top grade. When you're breathing in those essential oils, you're still absorbing them in your bloodstream, so that's how important it is to make sure you're using top quality, therapeutic essential oils. That's important to me and I want people to really enjoy using the products, but I want them to know that they're safe, and that there is a way to experience the benefits of essential oils and making sure that the products are completely clean. I really just love everything about it, and the feedback has been amazing.

CE:

I love that you're so strict about it because a lot of people don't know that inhaling is like putting something on your skin and going into your blood, because your skin is your largest organ. So whatever you put on - these chemicals - you're ingesting or if you're inhaling fragrance, I explain to people when it says fragrance, you're really looking at petrochemicals that you are ingesting in some form or another, which always horrifies people, but I think it's a message that really needs to be drilled home. Everything around that you ingest either orally or through your senses, can harm you.

MS:

Yes, and one thing about the people who are customers of Mila Eve Essentials is they know how particular I am. So they know if I'm putting something out here, it's something that I truly believe in. I've never been a person that will endorse or promote anything that I don't use myself and for my family, so I use them daily. We have our diffusers running every day several times a day. At night my kids must have their diffuser on when they go to bed. It was funny. My son actually woke up around two o'clock this morning and he started calling for me. Usually he calls for Daddy. My youngest son always wants Daddy - he’s a Daddy's boy, but he was calling from me, so I was like, “Okay, this is odd. Let me go in and see what's going on,” and I heard his nose is a little stuffy. So immediately I have an essential oil called Breathe Easy. I took some drops of Breathe Easy - I have all of them on their nightstand so they're always in hand’s reach - and I added a few drops of fractionated coconut oil and I massaged his chest and his back with them, and I just laid with him until he fell asleep and he breathed nice and clear after that. So we use them all the time - it's our go-to if my kids are having a bad day. My son, especially my oldest son, he'll come to me and he'll say, “Mommy, where's the Mind Over Matter? I really need it right now.” It's one of my favorite essential oils, and it's a blend and it's amazing, and it really works. They calm down and they're like, “Okay, I feel like I can go ahead and get back to my schoolwork now.”

CE:

You also talk about how you've got diffusers and you've got bath salts, so there's a lot in your line and I love that it's for physical and emotional well-being. The genesis of your brand just really inspires me. So tell us about some of your oils, the different oils. We've talked about lavender and eucalyptus, but please share so we know what we should be looking for.

MS:

Yes, so right now I actually have a total of 53 essential oils available on our website. We actually launched with 34 and we added an additional 19. So the oils, they're amazing. The one thing I love about Mila Eve, let me also say this, when we're posting different essential oils each one comes with a profile, so it actually explains to you where the oil comes from, how it's used, and we also give you recipes. We never want to just sell a person oil and it just sits on your shelf, and they don't know what to do with it. We'll give you all different kinds of tips and ideas so that you can incorporate the oils into your daily routine. One of my favorites is Hormonal Symmetry. It is a blend and it actually helps to balance your hormones, it helps to boost your libido, and it smells amazing. I use two drops directly on my wrists, I rub it together, I put it behind my ears on my neck areas, and it really does help, especially for us ladies during those times of the month. It helps to balance everything out so that you're more consistent, and it really works.


PC: Drew Xeron


We have so many oils and they're all for different reasons. If you want essential oils for sleep, we have blends like Sleep Tight, which is a combination of four or five different essential oils all put into one. For the people who don't really know what they want to mix their oils with, they know lavender and eucalyptus - those are the most popular scents, but if you have an oil called Sleep Tight, you know by the name that “Okay, this will help relax me for bedtime,” and it has different combinations of oils already put together for you, so we take all of the hassle out of the process. We have an oil called Positivity, which is great for boosting your mood. We have essential oils for everything you can think of when it comes to just giving yourself a mood booster, mental clarity, relieving stress, for sleep, for hormones.


There's so many different ways you can use them, and I love that you can just go to our website, type whatever your need is in the search box, and essential oils and products will populate based on whatever you searched for. So we try to take the guesswork out of it and we're also launching essential oils workshops that will be virtual, and we'll start out once a month and then as the classes start to fill up and grow, we're going to add different topics and we'll increase how often we have the classes. For me, it's not just about selling a product. It's really about educating people and letting them know that there is a natural way to help your body do what it's meant to do, which is to heal and these oils just assist you with that. If you need better sleep, it helps you to improve the sleep so that you get to that REM sleep quicker. Your sleep is more of quality versus a lot of hours of sleep, and then you wake up and you still feel groggy. So there are so many different uses. I could go on and on. I love talking to oils.

CE:

I'm absolutely fascinated and hearing you talk and the different things you mentioned. I'm like, tick yes I need that. Tick yes I need that. Oh, hormones. Oh, hell yeah. Oh, sleep. Yeah. You know, anti stress, positivity, libido. Great, I could just be your perfect candidate for every single product you have, I really love though, Monique that you are so thorough about this, and you've obviously done extensive research. You've obviously put a lot of yourself into this, and just going beyond just selling a product, you want to educate all of us so that we know what we're doing and how to use, and that we can become an oil addict too. Not many people put so much thought into their brand, and especially then with a website, you can type in your issue and boom, you're just led to and then it arrives, and there's recipes. It's just brilliant.

MS:

One thing I do love is that we're starting out and the company is growing with the consumer, so the people that are following Mila Eve Essentials and that are purchasing from us, we're starting out very small and we're adding products so that we don't overwhelm you. I remember being that first-time essential oil user. I received my kit, I have all these oils and I'm like, “Okay, what do I do with them? How do I know which oil is for what? How do I know if I'm coughing, which oil do I go to?” And after doing thorough research, you realize that certain oils have different properties. The more minty oils are great for reducing inflammation, and you realize a lot of times when you're coughing or congested, it’s from inflammation, so you know to go to the Eucalyptus, the Peppermint, the Rosemary, those ones that really will open you up. So it's been a long journey and I'm just excited to be able to share everything that I've learned, and I try to sum it up so that it's very easy, and easy to understand for the person that is using the oils.


PC: Drew Xeron


I make kits, so we have essential oil kits that come with a bath salt, a carrier oil, and four oils that you can use four different ways. We actually outline the way you can use it - I call it setting the mood. So I will basically give you an image of what your day looks like, and as you're going throughout your day, I'm giving you a way that you can also incorporate the essential oils into your day; into your daytime routine, your nighttime routine, and it kind of just helps you to visualize yourself in that moment, using the oils, which makes you feel more comfortable to actually use them and apply them every day. Our kits are amazing. I try to put them together strategically, and then I offer them for a price that is much cheaper than if you were to purchase each individual oil or bath salt by itself. We love offering that. We have a little card that comes with the kit when you purchase it, so now instead of just having to go right to the website, you can actually refer to the card that's right in your hand, and we have all of the different ideas and recipes right on the back of the card.

CE:

That's amazing. You've put so much into this. I'm blown away. Really. I'm really inspired by you. I love females in business. I just think it's so our time, and so to connect with one who's, you know, a badass, quite frankly, and a pioneer, I want to just take a moment to discuss that. I bring back that word pioneer. You are obviously doing that within essential oils, and clean beauty and wellness. What is your experience as an entrepreneur? Please share with us.

MS:

I absolutely love it and it's funny, it was always within me. Growing up, my Dad, my Mom, we always had businesses that my Dad would have me and my siblings working within the business, we saw it firsthand. The first time I ever experienced working for myself, I was like, “Oh, this is everything.” So to be able to take whatever creativity you have, to take things that you really enjoy and you're passionate about, and then to be able to turn that into a business, to me is the best feeling in the world. And then to have my children be able to take part in helping me with the business, they're witnessing firsthand what it's like to be a business owner and to be an entrepreneur, and that is the best example that I can be for them. So I really enjoy it.