Black Dog Venture Partners Acquires 20% Stake in Sober Roots, St. Pete Minority Owned Beauty Brand

Scott Kelly to become Chairman of the Board

St. Petersburg/Tampa FL — January 2, 2023 – Black Dog Venture Partners announced that is has acquired a 20% stake in St. Petersburg based beauty brand, Sober Roots ( Scott Kelly, BDVP’s CEO will become interim CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Scott Kelly, CEO of BDVP commented on the investment, “I met Monica at our Tampa Bay VC Fast Pitch and was inspired by her journey and ability to push through her struggles to succeed and was compelled to get involved. We have already begun deploying capital to expand distribution and have brought in our Influencer Model Agency division to promote the brand. Monica will be pitching to investors at our St. Petersburg VC Fast Pitch on February 2, 2023.”

Monica Smith, Sober Roots founder shares her story, “I am bi-racial, mixed with white and black. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 2001. I am the fourth child of my mother’s six children all mixed with black and white.

I had some bumps in the road growing up with gang violence, becoming a single parent at the age of seventeen, homelessness, and drug addiction. After getting sober in 2012 is when I changed my life and decided I wanted to help others.

I worked for a non-profit organization for 9 years helping women until changing careers into entrepreneurship after creating her haircare product in 2021.

After learning I had colon cancer in 2020, I had to have surgery and go through six months of chemo. The effects of the chemo on my hair are what prompted me to create the hair product. My self-esteem was so crippled by the experience of losing my hair I felt like a monster. I know what it is like to hide behind a wig, a hat, or the walls of your home because your appearance does not match who you are inside anymore. After conquering addiction and cancer, I felt more like a monster than a champion, but that’s when inspiration struck.

I wanted to create a product that was different and would stand out from competitors by its quality ingredients and the culture behind the brand. Sober Roots is an Alcohol-free leave-in conditioner made with organic, essential oils to help hydrate, nourish, strengthen, and repair the hair. Sober Roots’ natural oils penetrate deep to revive your weary hair without being greasy. Each deliberate ingredient lends its bountiful properties to promote health, growth, and confidence. All I wanted at that moment was to grow my hair back, thick, and healthy. All the products I found contained alcohol, which sucked the moisture right out of my dry, curly hair. I got desperate for something that would not cause more damage. An opportunity came around, and I jumped on it. I created a light conditioning cream full of natural oils to promote strength and growth for people of all hair types. Some of the ingredients include organic avocado oil for natural protein, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, organic argan oil, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, and more organic essential oils Sober Roots Leave-In Conditioner is more than a haircare product. It is your confidence, fully restored, in a 4-ounce bottle. Confidence in the ingredients you use and a community of natural haircare users to support this journey to a healthy crown.

I am still at the beginning stages of the brand Sober Roots, and I am confident It will be amazing. I am trying to raise capital to help market the product, expand the line of organic products we can offer, and create a partnership with distributors. I am also seeking product ambassadors who believe in the mission to take on a role in the company to promote the product by receiving a commission for every product sold.”

I would like to create a brand culture that helps others who may have had a similar experience with hair loss or trauma get past their situation and recover to a healthier lifestyle. I have years of experience in an organization that’s sole mission was to support the community using compassion and respect to help others in need. That created a passion in me to help others and that is why I want those same virtues to be a part of the values within Sober Roots.

About Sober Roots

Sober Roots is more than just a hair product; it’s confidence in a bottle; Your hair is 90% of your selfie, take care of it; No one ever said I regret taking good care of my hair; Invest in your hair, It’s the crown you never take off; Hair that slays starts with the right care; Transform your hair, transform your life. Learn more at

About Black Dog Venture Partners

Black Dog Venture Partners is a business accelerator that provides access to funding through our network of 13,000 investors, business development through our network of 40,000 business partners, sales/marketing and executive coaching services for disruptive companies. The firm also hosts their VC Fast Pitch Events which connects startups with the nation’s top investors. Learn more at



Contact: Scott Kelly,, 480-206-3435

Images: courtesy Scott Kelly

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