In Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch— Naturally (published by HarperCollins in April 2015), Miko Branch shares how kitchen-table conversations, her childhood upbringings and passion for educating women on how to take care of their God-given natural hair shaped the present-day Miss Jessie’s culture and values. In 1997, Miss Jessie’s began as a salon that received recognition and a reputation for expertise on natural hair. In 2004, Miss Jessie’s natural hair product line launched for curly, kinky, and wavy hair of all types and textures.
Miko and Titi Branch are sisters and co-founders of Miss Jessie’s— named after their beloved paternal grandmother, Jessie Mae Branch, who would impart wisdom at the kitchen-table, create homemade hair care recipes using quality ingredients and provide a loving environment for all. Readers are given a holistic view of Miko and Titi’s relationship as sisters and business partners— closeness, encouragement, different perspectives on the growth of the business and for a season, at odds legally with one another about the ownership of Miss Jessie’s. Miko, younger sister dedicates the memoir to Titi and shares with readers a loving letter as well.
Throughout the memoir, there is business advice and lessons learned along the way that can be applied to product and service-based businesses within and outside the hair-care industry. There are 13 chapters for readers to comb through with aspirational words from Miko oftentimes lining the narrative on the page. Surprisingly, you should note that Miko and Titi Branch were businesswomen even in their teenage years. Overall, the two ran five different businesses together.
Business advice ranges from hiring the right individuals, educating customers, setting expectations when working in a family business, how to build your dream business and how to be a risk-taker.
One of my favorite takeaways are the eight key ingredients for being an entrepreneur and business owner shared in the epilogue. Four of the key ingredients include Common Sense, Choose Your People Wisely, Don’t Be Greedy and Live Within Your Means to name a few.
Here's a fun fact, I rock my God-given natural hair and I love it! - Ale'ta
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