Our latest She Hustles Talks cover woman, is a lady boss creating the first Minority/ Black owned Day Spa dedicated solely to Men’s health and wellness in Rochester. She is a female, take charge in a man’s industry and creating an empire.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Monique Chatman?
I am a warrior. I believe I was born to lead and motivate. I may have a strong exterior, but my core is soft, giving and caring. Born a matriarch of 16 siblings, I have lived, suffered and succeeded past levels my imagination could have never afforded me to believe.

What made you decide to open your own business and create, The Groom Room Men’s Spa, and also Love Monkey beards?
Well, this story is simple. I was broke and looking around a room with women who were looking to go into the same field I was. So I had to think outside the box so that I wasn’t fighting for the same clientele as they were. Love Monkey Beards was a idea and a gift straight from my mother through a dream I had after her passing!

I was already making my own line of beard and bath products for fun and really never taking it seriously.
My Grandma told me to “Bottle that $hi! Up”, and I did just that.

What makes you hustle?
My grandson’s smile. His name is Jace, He is everything I’ve ever done wrong molded into this perfect little monster lol. He is my reason for begging my higher power to change my lifestyle, thoughts, processes and prayers!

I made him a promise at his birth that I would never miss a day of his life, as long as I am living and by gods grace I have kept that promise ,four years strong.

I have three beautiful, intelligent and strong willed children who I also want to prove that dreams come with hard work! So I set the pace for them.

What made you decide to open a mens spa being a female? Has it created challenges for you?
I have nine brothers. I have been naturally choreographing their self care updates and needs since they were born. I cut their nails (still to this day). I find it alot easier to interact and nurture gentlemen. The only challenge I have had in opening my Men’s Spa is ….women! They wanted their own menu of services, so I had to oblige.

Who are some of the strong women that you feel have inspired you?
There are many women locally who inspire me. Rayna B of the Mobile Spa has been my Spa sister and liaison for information since I opened.Carly Chung Stowe is a great advisor and keeps me on point with business organizing. Van of People’s Choice Kitchen always keeps me under her wing of resources. Mayor Lovely Warren has been a great supporter to my business success. But. I would have to give flowers to my old mentor who made being a black spa owner who can have it all, a daily visual for me .

What do you feel is the key to women empowering other women?
Simple, it’s collaboration! Once we stop seeing one another as competitors we can stop running the race beside once another and walk hand in hand to the finish line which is wealth and success.

When did the entrepreneur big bite you?
Honestly, This may sound weird but it hasn’t yet. And I run raggedy on a daily running multiple businesses.
I can tell you when I knew I wasn’t made to work for anyone. In 2009 I applied at McDonald’s and I wasn’t qualified. I laughed at the interviewer and told him, “Thanks I’ll figure it out “.

Tell us about some of your goals and dreams for you personally and professionally.
Personally my goal is to become kinder to Monique! I want to develop a unconditional and uncontrollable alter ego that picks me up when I’m down and knocks me down when I’m doing too much.

I want to get rid of diabetes from my life through diet and exercise.

Professionally I would like to have three more Day Spas for gentleman. I want to impact their lives and self esteem with professional and powerful services that make them aware of their importance.

I want to widen my reach in my mentorship group. My success stories let me know that what I’m doing is impactful and important to small businesses.

I would like to also open up a Dog Boarding Center with my children.

What are some of the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated field?
My voice is louder! Because I am knowledgeable in my craft my reach is a little different for target clients .

Name a female leader you look up to for mentorship and guidance.
No brainer, it is Rayna B of The Mobile Spa. We share information without a competitive edge. It doesn’t matter the time of day, I can call her for advice or use her to help me resolve a issue in my business.

If you could do one thing you have never done what would it be and why?
The one thing I would do is NOT hold a grudge. I have always been the one to allow silence/issues to linger. Life has shown me that tomorrow isn’t promised and I may not get the chance to speak my peace tomorrow. Why? My baby brother was murdered earlier this year and I didn’t get the chance to have a simple conversation with him to get us back on track. He was like my son and I allowed a petty grudge to go past it’s due date .

What are some of the things you find help you to be a successful business owner?
My grief has literally catapulted my hustle.
I dive into my goals so I won’t be on my death bed tell Jace
“ I wish I would have….”
“I should have”
“ I had that idea” or “ I was going to”
I am successful because I am afraid to be poor , again.

What is one piece of advice you have been given that you have never forgotten ?
“Nothing comes to a sleeper, but a dream”

My mother use to wake us up EVERY morning screaming this phrase and to this day when I write down a goal or business plan. I know I have to work to make it happen.

If you had to pick one service that you would consider your “specialty” what would it be and why?
Wow! Just one?
Ok , I’m going to say the Beard Facial. I am a pogonophile. I am obsessed with beards and beard care! I love to make sure they are healthy and happy.

What’s the most important risk you ever taken? How did it play out for you?
Opening my brick and mortar business.
It took every penny and trick I had in my hat to open. I didn’t pay my rent at home for four months to balance opening costs !

Literally everything I had went into The Groom Room. I would say it was, as my baby cousin Shamar would say “A big risk for a big reward.”.

How do you continue to constantly grow both personally and professionally? What have been some things that have worked well for you, and some that have not.
I have learned that being patient and taking deep breaths gets me through any situation. When I get overwhelmed I have to step back and weigh out different outcomes and directions. Instead making quick decisions.

Getting advice from people who have never done the very thing I am attempting to do has never worked out well for me .

Making those fast decisions, never plays in my favor.

Doing things I don’t enjoy…..never keeps my attention.

Getting too happy before the end result… yup you guessed it. Never works well.

Be bold. Be you. Beat the odds!

“Never allow anyone to pick your pace , position or power moves”

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