Miss Jessie’s memoir seeks to inspire others with business advice and lessons learned

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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$10 or less DIY wine glass bottle centerpieces

Do you love DIY projects?

Ale'ta assisted a good friend with their bridal shower in September by making DIY wine bottle centerpieces. Overall, this budget-friendly DIY project was right around $10. You can create timeless centerpieces for your special events and gathering by using creativity and household items. As the fall festivities approach us, give our simple DIY wine glass centerpieces a try! 

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DIY Project

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Supplies you will need:

  • (8) wine glass bottles ($8 — Dollar Tree) 
  • (2) White or red grape juice ($2 - Dollar Tree)
  • Mod Podge glue ($1 - Dollar Tree) 
  • Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Monogram letters / labels (DIY)

It's important to note, Ale'ta saved money by printing at home and using Mod Podge already in her home supplies.

DIY Project Steps (10-15 minutes max.)

  1. Create and print your monogram letters or labels.
    1. You can create a simple square-shaped letter monogram by creating a table of 2 columns and 4 rows in Microsoft Word with borders on all four sides. Choose a font that you love that fits your theme.
    2. Or your can choose to create your own free monogram here using initials and different designs. Note: you will still need to use Microsoft Word for printing purposes and can choose to create a table without borders on all four sides.
  2. Use your scissors to nicely cut your monogram letters or labels.
  3. Find yourself a clean working space to pour the grape juice equally in the wine glass bottles. With two white grape juices, you should be able to pour juice to the halfway point of each wine glass. Remember to place the cork back in each wine glass bottle once you are done! 
  4. Take your paint brush and squeeze a nickel size of Mod Podge onto it.
  5. Using your paint brush try to evenly coat the back side of your monogram letters or labels.
  6. Stick the monogram letters or labels on the desired area for each wine glass. 

What's great about using Mod Podge? It's washable so you can reuse the wine glasses for other purposes in the future. Mod Podge will also dry clear.

Simple ways you can repurpose your wine glass bottles:

  • Store olive oil or other kitchen cooking necessities
  • Store vinegar and oil for salads/greens
  • Candy dispensers
  • Flower vases
  • Candles

There you have it! DIY wine glass bottle centerpieces in under 15 minutes for your special dinner or event. Let us know if you gave this project a try— you can tag us on Instagram or Facebook

5 Planning and Vacation Resources for Your Next Girls Trip

Don’t you love spending time with your girls? Those are the moments when you can let your hair down, have giggle fits and talk about what’s on your mind. You and your girls may not have a fancy name like Flossy Posse! I am positive each of you bring wittiness, charm and wisdom that uplift one another.

There is always an element of surprise and entertainment during infamous girls trips! Let’s be honest, planning a girls trip that appeals to everyone can be a daunting task. Not everyone wants to party like a rock star, channel their inner adventurous side or embrace creativity through artistic expression. What’s a girl to do?

The options are endless unless you narrow down your girls trip with a theme. For example, if your girls are interested in traveling abroad consider choosing a country and activities that celebrate their traditions and customs. Your theme will also drive the types of culinary cuisine, night life activities and cultural events you all may enjoy together! Choosing a “traveling abroad” theme does not mean that you have to leave the country either.

Another example, “McGrapths Airlines” was the theme for an Orlando, Florida destination wedding and reception the Aleta and Allan team had the opportunity to serve as wedding coordinators. Our team assisted the couple with guest management by sending e-newsletters that matched their boarding pass invitations. Also, we developed event signage for the cocktail hour that complimented the overall theme.

The next time you poll your girls for your next girls trip take advantage of the following five useful planning and vacation resources.

1.     Family Vacation Auction (Florida Residents Only)

2.     LivingSocial

3.     Groupon

4.     VRBO – Home Away Family

5.     Airbnb

We have personally used Family Vacation Auction and Airbnb in the past for pleasure and business trips. Family Vacation Auction is simple and easy to use. It’s ideal for individuals and families, who are seeking hotel accommodations, tourist attractions and activities across Florida. For a business trip earlier this year, we opted for Airbnb for a nice condo in the Orlando area. With every recommendation, we highly suggest that you check customer reviews before investing your money.

Looking for an event planner for your upcoming social or birthday celebration? Aleta and Allan can partner with you to secure your amazing vendors, venues, caterers and entertainment! Contact us today by calling (904) 242-6961 or email info@aletaandallan.com.