Miss Jessie’s Co-Founder Miko Branch joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss her new book, Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch–Naturally.
When asked how Miss Jessie’s got started, Branch explained that it started during “bath-time” with her son.
“It was during bath-time that I was no longer able to keep straight hair straight because he splashed [water] around. If you wanted to get your hair done by me in the hood — which is where we was, you had to see me with my hair looking like this. Anyone who has naturally curly, kinky, wavy hair knows once the water hits it, it looks like this.”
Branch went on to say that as a result of her experiences with hair, a conversation started in Miko and Titi Branch’s salon about natural hair.
Miko added that she and her sister did everything they could to “support services in the salon for naturally curly, kinky, and wavy hair and then finally we came up with a product to support everything — curls, kinks, and waves.”
Branch told Martin the Miss Jessie’s hair care line of products were inspired by their grandmother, Miss Jessie Mae Branch, who was a “Southern, strong, very independent woman who was an amazing cook.” Branch said when they came out with the hair products, they wanted to “pay homage to our grandmother.”
The Miss Jessie’s company story is not without tragedy. As reported by NewsOne, Titi Branch died from an apparent suicide on December 4th, 2014.
“The loss of my sister Titi Branch has been tremendous, not only was Titi a pioneer in the natural hair movement, not only did Titi help to restore self-esteem for millions of women–not only in this country and beyond, Titi was also my sister. Titi was also an aunt, Titi was also a daughter. Titi was also part of a family who loved her very much.
“So the loss of Titi is tremendous, the good news is that Titi and I have created so many things together, one of which is our business, Miss Jessie’s, so everyday her spirit is with us and we’re able to just carry out a lot of the principles that she and I set forth together.”
Branch said her new book is a “wonderful way for me to keep Titi’s legacy alive.”
Watch Roland Martin and Miko discuss the rise of Miss Jessie’s and the legacy left behind by Titi Branch in the video clip above.
For more information about Miss Jessie’s and to purchase products from their natural hair care line, visit www.missjessies.com.