#TampaBayInnovationWeek: Monica Smith

Innovation is a one-way road to economic growth

It can be challenging to offer new ideas in this fast-paced society. Fortunately, The Greenhouse and the St. Pete community are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs with impactful resources such as mentorship, community partnerships, workshops, and more.

For Tampa Bay Innovation Week, we are pleased to highlight entrepreneurs who have used their experiences to create a successful business through innovative problem-solving, like Monica Smith, founder and owner of Sober Roots.

Innovators help drive our local economy by identifying problems, finding creative solutions, and creating jobs. This helps St. Pete grow as a community.

Meet Monica Smith with Sober Roots

GH: Tell us a little about yourself and your business!

MS: I am Monica Smith, the founder of Sober Roots, a natural hair care business. My personal journey of undergoing chemotherapy and losing my hair inspired me to start this company. The goal is to provide high-quality, all-natural hair care products, made with carefully selected organic ingredients to promote healthy hair growth and nourishment. At Sober Roots, we believe in embracing natural beauty and providing our customers with the tools to do so. I am proud of the positive impact we have had on our customers and their hair journeys, and I am excited to continue promoting natural beauty through Sober Roots.

GH: What inspired you to start your business?

MS: I started Sober Roots because of my personal journey. After undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing hair loss, I found it challenging to locate natural hair care products that were both safe and effective. I wanted to provide an alternative to the conventional hair care industry, which often uses harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients. My passion for wellness and desire to promote self-care led me to create a line of products that support healthy hair growth and nourish the scalp.

GH: What was your mentor experience like at The Greenhouse? Do you think it helped your business? If so, how? 

MS: I had the opportunity to participate in The Greenhouse mentorship program, which was a valuable experience. I was able to receive guidance from experienced entrepreneurs and learn from their successes and challenges. The Greenhouse also provided access to resources and networking opportunities that helped me grow my business. I believe that the mentorship and support I received at The Greenhouse have been instrumental in the success of Sober Roots.

GH: What makes your business innovative? 

MS: What makes Sober Roots innovative is our commitment to using only natural, plant-based ingredients in our products. Our line of hair care products is formulated without harsh chemicals or artificial preservatives, making it safe and gentle for all hair types. Additionally, our packaging is environmentally friendly, reducing our impact on the planet.

GH: What do you think the City of St. Petersburg needs more of? 

MS: The City of St. Petersburg needs more support for small, locally owned businesses like mine. I believe that supporting local businesses is essential for the economic growth and development of the city. I would love to see more initiatives aimed at helping small business owners succeed, such as grant programs and mentorship opportunities.

GH: What advice would you give to other business owners who want to become more innovative? 

MS: For other business owners who want to become more innovative, my advice is to always stay curious and open-minded. Innovation comes from thinking outside the box and taking calculated risks. It’s also important to stay true to your values and mission, while also being open to feedback and adapting to change.


Sober Roots is a hair care company that uses natural ingredients to promote hair moisture, strength, hydration, and growth.

1679 1/2 27th Avenue North, Saint Petersburg, FL 33713

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