MLR: The Business of Beauty

| By Sarah Jester

It takes a deft, creative set of hands to apply the perfect eyeliner wing, or to style a fabulous blowout. Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® MLR is quite familiar with the skill and drive required to be a successful beauty professional! MLR is a production and management company that provides beauty services to various corporations and brands.

“We are hair and makeup professionals who happen to produce next level brand experiences,” explained founder Luis (Lou) Rod. “All of our services are done with heart and hustle nationwide.”

MLR was founded in 2010 and received its certification in 2018. Rod was previously unaware of NGLCC, but began to investigate what it could do for his business after a client approached him about obtaining diverse supplier certification.

“After researching the NGLCC we learned that we were missing out on networking opportunities, workshops, competitions, and access to hundreds of industry professionals from around the globe,” Rod said. “After becoming certified we proudly shared our certificate with the client.”

Business has grown rapidly for MLR. Some of their notable clients include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hasbro, JetBlue, Reebok, Wayfair, and HBO. Rod attributes MLR’s success to the company’s unique approach to business, as well as its wide range of services.

“Brands are ditching promotional products and trust us with strategic and creative experiences for their customers,” explained Rod. “We also have the ability to design and construct booth furnishing for special events such as trade shows, conferences, and festivals.”

Rod is proud of MLR’s community work. The company’s goal is to help members of marginalized groups to feel great through service.

“Recently, we have produced pop up salon/grooming experiences for hurricane/earthquake victims in Puerto Rico,” Rod said. “We also have done the same for our Transgender community with our 'T-Time' experience. Services and cosmetic products were available at no charge. Our goal was to make people feel great about themselves after experiencing adversity.”

Rod had excellent advice to offer on the topic of self-care to aspiring LGBT entrepreneurs.

“Seek therapy first, then start your business,” he said. “It's important to practice self-care routinely as your leadership role will be demanding.”

Visit our website to learn how your business can become a Certified LGBTBE® like MLR!