MONIQUE AQUINO | VIBE CURATOR | LOS ANGELES, CA

by - 8:00 AM





Meet Monique Aquino, who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA


Monique is serious vibes. Not only is she an esthetician but she puts the esthetics in esthetician. Looking through her page will either make you feel like you need to up your creativity game or it will get you lost in her photos with some serious vibe envy. And on top of that she also beautifies peoples faces too. Count us in!


Instagram: @dillondelacroix | @mobettabeautyla
Website:     
www.mobettabeautyla.com

          


HI MONIQUE! WHAT RAD THING DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

The one thing I love, love, love to do is curate. I curate everything from music, experiences, a meal, my home, an environment, an outfit, a photograph, and all the way to how my business uniquely operates. I guess you can say I'm a self-proclaimed vibe maker, hahah. I do it as if it was my real job, it's my being. My real day job, I work as an esthetician and I love what I do. :)


TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW/WHERE YOU GREW UP


I'm a bonafide LA gal. I have a small family, 2 siblings and we are all 8 years apart. I grew up wanting to be in fashion, and worked doing that for 15 years. From the ripe age of 9, I would watch runway fashion shows on VH1. I loved Anna Sui at the time. I would sketch and do illustrations, but never went into fashion design. I also use to love the shit out of some Ikea catalogues. I remember as a little kid I would merchandise my room to look like one of their catalog pages. I guess my eye has always been drawn to aesthetics. As for obsessions, i have an obsessions with small tchotchskies, small trinkets, more so I collect anything hand objects! Nostalgia really drives me over all. I love being take back to a moment of time, and a bit of history. It also rules how I like to shop. I love shopping second-hand. The older the better!


TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY

When I owned my store, I always took a shit pay in order to help keep the store afloat. Let’s just say I paid myself $12/hour at the time. As the year went by, I became a habitual lash addict and observed my spending habits on it. It was never a question between eating or getting my lashes done, lashes had to be done because of the way they made me feel. I felt damn good about it.

So then I came to an epiphany, that if my broke ass could afford spending around $100/month on lashes, then this addictive beauty habit appealed to every income bracket. Because as women, whatever makes us feel and look our best, we will do whatever it takes to get there. Getting your lashes done is the new standard of getting your nails done. So that’s when I decided to get into it as a side hustle, while I still worked in fashion.

During my last stint in fashion which was a couple of years ago, I went through a pretty miserable lay off at a fashion Australian label. It was also the same year Nasty Gal, BCBG, and American Apparel all closed their doors down, and the fashion momentum got lost on me. I decided it was time to bounce. From there, I opened up to working for myself full-time, going from seeing 4-5 clients a week, to soon seeing 4-5 a day. From there, I realized I was making good money, more than I was in digital marketing and this really excited me.

Today, I’m a licensed Esthetician and I haven’t been happier in any other industry. 




TELL US ABOUT OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES YOU MAY HAVE FACED IN YOUR JOURNEY AND HOW YOU OVERCAME THEM

When I lost the business, it felt like I lost everything all at once. I lost my business partner, (who was my best friend at the time), and I was living with a boyfriend and of course as the universe would have it—we broke up right around then too. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. After the breakup, I was homeless crashing on people’s couches until I got back on my feet.

I was tired of being on the struggle bus most of my life. This was my tipping point. I was finally so super uncomfortable with my whole life situation, as literally everything was not going for me. Instead of falling into my self-victimizing role, I wanted to do everything to get out my real-life nightmare. From there, I decided in order to change my circumstances, I needed to change my whole approach; I needed to change my whole trajectory. I needed to learn a completely new trade/industry that I never had on my radar, BEAUTY.



WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED TO DO YOUR BEST? 

Living like each day is the last, and knowing tomorrow is never promised. Also emotions. I blame my water sign self for that. I am a true idealist, and even though it feels like the sky is falling and the world is about to end lately--all you can do is do your absolute best to your god-given ability. Love hard when there's love to be had, but also know when to take no shit. Keep staying in a dream-like state. As for technical stuff, having a to do list always helps out. Crossing off your tasks feels so good. 


HOW WOULD YOU LEVEL UP OTHER WOMEN?

I'm a woman's woman. Always have been, and I am fortunate to have so many incredible woman that are pretty much the same. At the beginning of quarantine, I was doing a newsletter for work that was sort of a "stay-at-home" survival guide. I work on so many dynamic women, who all do such crazy and insanely talented things, so I was using my platform to highlight that stuff and to keep eyes on each other during this time. It felt really great to do that. I want to continue to get that back up and running, but I'm currently changing my focus to set up a curated online shop of my favorite things on Mobettabeautyla.com. Other than that, I like sharing. Sharing is my thing. As long as there's good stuff to share, I'm going to keep doing that and it's mostly women-run businesses. 


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SOMEONE WHO WOULD WANT TO BE IN YOUR CAREER/FIELD? 

Take risks. Research as much as you can. I thought going to Esthetician school would cost me around $10k for a 6 month program. But I dug around and found LA Trade Tech, and it was such an incredible experience. The tuition was $1196 at the time, and because I was a CA native/resident, tuition was waived! All I had to pay out of pocket was around $3k for uniform and my kits i had to use for school and State Boards. As for books, there's a great book that my teacher Mrs. Ley had us read called "A Little Off the Top." Mrs. Ley is an incredible teacher by the way. I owe my life to her. That book really helps with Law of Attraction type stuff in the salon/spa industry, but also helps you think about numbers and having a positive attitude in the industry. 


WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF/BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE (3-5 YRS)

Pre-covid, I had planned on opening my own beauty studio this year. But as with a lot of things this year, a lot of what you knew changed. I still plan on opening a small beauty esthetics boutique in the future. It will happen in the very very near future! For now I am just trying to survive and not die from this pandemic. LOL.


CAN YOU RECOMMEND A LOCAL SPOT YOU LOVE THAT OTHERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT? 

Love Dama in DTLA. It's kind of the most normal-ish restaurant experience, cos it's not some makeshift shit in the middle of a sidewalk.  Fortunately Dama was built for space from the beginning, and it has a lovely atmosphere and never compromised their food. The food is some of the best. I love resale shopping. Some of my favorites are Squaresville Vintage and Wasteland. 
















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