Monika Mathews is creating her own legacy at QueenCare in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood (and soon to be in the Central District neighborhood at her second location opening this week!). The beauty (pun intended) of this small business doesn’t just lie in the natural, handmade beauty products — it lies in Monika’s mission to foster a better future for her community. Through her youth programming, Monika gives teens the opportunity to build valuable entrepreneurial skills while working at QueenCare.
Learn more about Monika and QueenCare in this week’s business Business Spotlight Q&A.
The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
QueenCare is tied directly to my legacy work. This is more than just a moment. This is really a lifetime commitment across generations that is beginning in this time right now. I believe that participating in community development and efforts by investing in the lives of our youth, making sure they’re altruistic, and youth who are going to be our future leaders — I feel like it is my purpose to support them. It’s like my life’s mission. So that, to me, equates to legacy. It’s a life-long commitment that will pass through generations and serve as a model for my children and my grandchildren. And not just for my family, but everyone who is connected to it as well.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in and why?
[QueenCare] was raised in Columbia City. I’ve been a long-time resident of Columbia City, probably more than 10 years, so I’ve watched this community change, I’ve watched it grow. It’s home to me. And when I was presented with the opportunity to open my business a block away from where I reside, [it] was pretty sweet. It kind of solidified just how I’ve grown up in the community. I’ve always lived and worked and played in the same area. I’ve always invested in the community where I live. It’s just home in Columbia City. This location is very special because it represents family and community coming together to be an extra layer of support for our young people.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
QueenCare has a double bottom line. Obviously, we are in it to be profitable, but the main reason we’re in it is to develop the lives of young ladies. We want them to gain marketable skills so they can be able to compete in King County and live wherever they want to live. Period. And they have to be prepared to be able to do that. Us providing paid internships for young people is just another economic development opportunity for them as they develop those skills. When we invest in our young people, what we’re saying is we’re investing in our future.