XO QUAY Blog

XO QUAY Blog

Q/A with Monique Idlett-Mosley, Business Pioneer + Philanthropist

In honor of Juneteenth, we're continuing our Community Conversations series, which amplifies voices and stories to help inspire our community. We talked to Monique Idlett-Mosley, the founder of Always Believing Foundation and co-founder/managing partner of Reign Venture Capital, a venture capital (VC) firm supporting and investing in women- and minority-led startups. This former entertainment executive and business pioneer talked to the Quay squad about her story, helping others breaking through glass ceilings, and Juneteenth. Read on for our Q/A with Monique.

“The evolution of self is never ending.”

Q: Let our community know what you're all about.

A: I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur. From a young age, I made sure that I put myself in places where I could learn and grow. I was very fortunate to have a mother who taught us that we are never our circumstances—that we can be as big as we can dream. So, I always stuck close to the idea of dreaming big and having vision.

I knew that to do some great things, I needed to be an example of disruption. And I needed to be the example of what VC firms should be like, which is inclusive. I'm a huge advocate for being in rooms where all voices matter. So, three years ago, my business partner and I formalized Reign Venture, where we specialize in the funding of businesses for women and people of color.

Q: What does it mean to you to advocate for success stories?

A: We all have the power within ourselves to advocate for others who can't use their voices. For me, my entire career has been about advocating for the underserved the underrepresented. Based on how I grew up, I've always made sure that I'm never comfortable being the "only one" in the room.

Q: Why is learning and educating yourself about history crucial in evolving as a community?

A: I was born to a mother whose parents are Greek and Russian. My father is Indian, French, and African American. My mother understood that the world was going to see me as a Black woman.

With Juneteenth, I think it's important to understand the scope of hundreds of years of enslavement. That it IS a freedom celebration. My mother, to this day, will call me and ask me, "Are you working? You better not be," and she means it.

Research [Juneteenth] and know that we still live in a nation that hasn't come to terms with its truth. We have obligations as human beings to acknowledge that truth. To try and understand each other, not tolerate, but accept each other. Part of acceptance is continuing that curiosity to learn. I try to learn about everything. All cultures. All experiences. Because that's what makes this nation so amazing.

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

A: I wouldn't tell her anything. The person that just spoke to you today is a combination of all my experiences. And without those, I don't know that I would be here. We all know that there are different paths and easier routes we can take—winning versus lessons. And I say lesson because I don't talk about failure. There is always a lesson in there for us.

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5 Essential Sunnies Styles to Try Now

It's easy to express your selfie when you've got the perfect shades. Quay’s trendy sunglasses come in a wide range of styles for all face shapes and fashion statements, so there's no need to settle for just one pair. Today, we’ll break down the iciest sunnies that enhance your face and your fit.

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How to Clean & Take Care of Your Glasses

How to Clean & Take Care of Your Glasses

The next step after choosing your pair of Quays is all about care and keeping them A1 from Day 1. Scratches, scuffs, broken arms­—thanks, but no. We’ll show you how to up the lifespan of your sunnies and blue light glasses, from proper wiping techniques to protective measures and more.

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featured

GO BEHIND THE SCENES: DESIGNER FRAMES

Extra cool. Extra fine. Extra luxe. It’s all about the details—YOU’RE IN LUXE.

Introducing the luxe collection of sunnies made from extra-fine materials + dressed up in extra-good features. Premium frames, luxe details, polarized lenses for just $85. 


Go behind our new collection with product designers Colleen + Adesha. 


The design process starts by identifying key runway looks. Then, our in-house designers break down those trends, make mood boards, and sketch to ensure each frame is thoughtfully created with our squad (and quality) in mind.  

Our Product Team went straight up premium developing each style’s construction + components when designing the Luxe Collection. They incorporated the most high-end acetates, lenses, and hardware for that head-turning look + feel. 

SHOP THE LUXE COLLECTION 

 

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education is quay featured

WINNERS OF THE $120,000 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

This is why we partnered with Saweetie this past April when we launched our second Education is Quay Scholarship Program. We received thousands of entries, and due to the unprecedented number of essay applications (and incredible videos submitted), we decided to award money to even more winners.

$120,000 USD to help fuel the dreams of 12 scholars because we believe your vision has the power to change the world.

Our 12 winners wrote an essay on how the money would help fuel (and further) their education. Then semi-finalists were asked to create a video on what self-expression means to them. Meet our scholars and see some of what they had to say:

    DIAMOND B.

    The ability to express myself has allowed me to cultivate this experience and transform into the confident warrior that I am today.

        HEIDI T.

        I would use this scholarship towards gaining additional knowledge and experience aimed at advancing healthcare accessibility and quality of care through courses at my university as I complete my biochemistry degree.

            VIENNA S.

            self-expression is key to my well-being. It's the way I tell the story of who I am, how I feel and what I believe.

                LILIANA G

                 

                I aspire to earn my Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience and earn my Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Psychology before I turn 26. I yearn to investigate how group behavior and human cognition influence public policy.

                    GABRIEL S.

                    Self-expression is like the soul's fingerprint. It is in the way that we speak, the way that we dress, it is even in the way that we move.

                        FEBIE L.

                        Anyone who is willing to dedicate their life to nurturing another life should have every opportunity to do so. I wish to educate myself on assisted reproductive technologies that help couples overcome infertility.

                            KEANU C

                            Possessing a selfless attitude, good problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and commitment to patient advocacy are all the things that have led me to choose nursing.

                                ENRICO D.

                                One day, I stared at myself in the mirror, told myself I was enough, and burst into tears. I am my own person. I am valid... I’m loving myself, living in the moment, and embracing love and support from people who offer it.

                                    MAE J.

                                    I plan to someday go beyond advocating, learning, and researching; I’m determined to become a clinical psychologist who provides direct support to individuals who struggle with mental health issues.

                                        LAIBA Z.

                                        I believe that people shouldn't have to hide themselves to blend in with the crowd. I finally gained the confidence to not let the opinions of others stop me from expressing myself.

                                            VANESSA S.

                                            My self-expression is constructed by little dots of my cultural experiences that have created the person that I am today.

                                                MYRA J.

                                                I will graduate with my Bachelors at the age of 19 due to my persistence in high school and I have begun my Master’s degree program. I also started a company named “Mexituras” to help bring awareness to Artisans in Mexico who make $1 for every hour worked.

                                                   

                                                  SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA

                                                  • Must be located in the US, District of Columbia, Australia, New Zealand 
                                                  • Must be at least 16 years old at the time of application  
                                                  • Applicant's educational goals have a clearly defined purpose + mission, plus a specific use for the funds as explained in your application  
                                                  • Applicants must attend or plan to attend a two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school

                                                  TIMELINE

                                                  • April 14th Scholarship open for applications
                                                  • June 9th Scholarship application period ends 
                                                  • July 1st  Semi-finalists are notified + given their video prompt 
                                                  • July 15th Final due date for video entries 
                                                  • On or around August 2nd Recipients will be notified + announced

                                                  SELECTION PROCESS

                                                  • First-round written submissions are reviewed + semi-finalists will be invited to a second round, where they will create a one-minute video submission. The Quay team will review the group of finalists from the second round to select final winners.  
                                                  • Twelve (12) winners will each receive $10,000 USD for a total of $100,000 USD in scholarships. All fifty (50) semi-finalists will also receive merchandise gift cards, redeemable for one (1) pair of sunnies or blue light glasses ($85 value).

                                                  EVALUATION CRITERIA

                                                  Semi-finalists Answers will be evaluated in the following proportions: use of funds (20%), writing ability (20%), creativity (20%), originality (20%), and overall excellence (20%).

                                                  Finalists Answers will be evaluated in the following proportions: answers video prompt question (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%)

                                                  WRITTEN APPLICATION QUESTIONS

                                                  • Full name  
                                                  • Email  
                                                  • Phone number 
                                                  • Physical address, including country 
                                                  • Anticipated high school graduation date 
                                                  • Birth date  
                                                  • Annual household income 
                                                  • Ethnicity  
                                                  • Essay 1 (250 words or less): What are your educational goals, and how would you use this scholarship to support those goals?  
                                                  • Essay 2 (250 words or less): Self-expression is a core value at Quay. What does self-expression mean to you? 

                                                  Submissions are now closed, and the winners have been notified. Thank you to everyone who participated.

                                                  Have more questions? Contact quayscholarship@educationdynamics.com

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