TACOMA, Wash. — “I have to tell you that my very first impression of Tacoma is that I am literally in love with the city,” says Monique Idlett-Mosley, one of the stars of the second season of Undercover Billionaire.
The Discovery show dropped Idlett-Mosley in Tacoma this past Summer, with a car and $100, challenging the successful businesswoman to put together a million-dollar business in 90 days without revealing her true identity.
“I wanted to take one for the team as a woman,” she said in an interview from Tacoma over Zoom, “and in particular as a black woman. I want to show that we are up for the challenge, that we can navigate through businesses and communities in a positive way.
“And so for me, I was representing the underdog.”
Idlett-Mosley has actually made a name for herself by representing clients like Kanye West, Verizon and T.I. She has headed a record label and co-founded Reign Ventures, an investment firm that focuses on start-ups run by women and minorities.
She also founded the Always Believing Foundation. According to the organization’s website the foundation’s mission “is to promote comprehensive wellness in girls by cultivating their mind, body and spirit through our holistic based initiatives.”
“I’m not afraid of adversity,” she says in a show clip. “My whole life has been adversity.”
In episode one, Idlett-Mosley, going by the name Monique Lemai, meets Senior Pastor Gregory Christopher of Shiloh Baptist Church. In return for three nights at the hotel, she volunteers at the church and begins networking. By the end of episode two, she has a job, a business idea for a juice product, and built friendships with both State Senator T’wana Nobles and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards.
Her secret? Idlett-Mosley says she always leads with kindness.
“That's what this show is about,” she says. “We have more in common as individuals than we have differences, and we are all in pursuit of the same thing. We want to take care of our families. We want to be good human beings. We want to be good to our neighbors. We want to be safe and we want our families to prosper. When you lead with kindness your communities are better and stronger and it's really beautiful to see that play out in Tacoma because Tacoma's been an amazing city from the moment I got here to now.”
And she's using the word "now " because Idlett-Mosley is in Tacoma during the interview. Shooting the Undercover Billionaire ended in October but she's still building her business, although the exact details of the business are secret until the episode airs.
What is clear is that her business, like her love for Tacoma, isn't just for show.
Undercover Billionaire is streaming now on Discovery+ and can often be seen Wednesdays on Discovery.