Miko Branch Sits Down with SFL to Discuss Miss Jessie’s New Products and Making it Big in Business by Honoring the Spirit of Her Grandmother and the memory of her sister
If you have natural hair, chances are you’ve heard of or tried Miss Jessie’s hair care products. The products help treat and style hair with curly, kinky and wavy textures. One of the masterminds behind the coveted products, Miko Branch is still focused on improving the brand while helping people embrace their natural textures.
Branch recently sat down for an exclusive interview on the secret to her success and what lessons she has learned along the way.
As the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s, Branch started the hair care product line with her late sister, Titi. Determined to create a product that would tame textured hair for every ethnic background, Branch and her sister looked to their beloved grandmother, Jessie Mae Branch, for inspiration.
When Branch and her sister were children, their grandmother would concoct all sorts of homemade mixtures at her kitchen table to tame their wild and unruly curly hair. They used their grandmother’s hair ingredients and developed what ultimately became Miss Jessie’s, which has grown into a successful brand with best-selling products like Curly Pudding, Baby Buttercreme and Pillow Soft Curls.
As the visionary behind the Miss Jessie’s brand, Miko became a pioneer in the natural hair care movement, creating premium products that revolutionized the industry by not being exclusive to one type of ethnic group or hair care type, but rather to all types of textures and coils, regardless of background.
When asked about her products and which ones are best for curly, kinky or wavy hair, Branch spoke about incorporating moisture for kinkier hair types with the Curly and Baby Buttercreme products. She also stressed the importance of co-washing to maintain moisture in your hair, especially during the harsh winter months. Branch raved about the Leave-In Condish as a great foundation for any styling method. For those transitioning from relaxed tresses to natural hair, Branch encouraged giving Miss Jessie’s Transitioner’s Magic a try. Whatever your hair texture, Branch stands behind her brand’s ability to provide the best hair care treatment for natural hair.
The best-selling products are Curly Pudding and Pillow Soft Curls. With a large variety of products, ranging from cleansers, conditioners, treatments and stylers, everyone will find one that is perfect for them wherever they are in the hair journey.
Consistency is Key
Branch takes pride in preserving the products’ consistency over the years.
“We know that people love products for what they are, and we like to keep them consistent with what people love,” Branch said, admitting the business had a slow build before growing rapidly. She embraces all customer feedback, both positive and negative, which helps the company develop new products for the whole hair regimen. They also employ social media in creating innovative marketing for the brand.
Branch still marvels at how far the brand has come since its debut in 2004, having won numerous awards and accolades in the hair care industry. Her memoir serves as a business guide about how she and her sister started their business from scratch.
“It’s incredible to see our products in Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS,” Branch said. “It’s also incredible to have made a difference in a lot of people’s lives, whether it was a mother showing her daughter how to embrace herself naturally or whether it’s teaching a woman who may have been relaxing her hair over 40 years how to care for her hair.”
She really enjoys the fact that more women are embracing their natural hair textures after years of relaxing their hair.
“In the early 2000s… many of us who had a tighter, coiled curl honestly didn’t know what we had,” Branch said. “Now, the secret is out. We are learning, we’re talking, we’re proud and we are looking good!”
Embracing her role as an influencer in the beauty and hair industry, as well as in business, Branch says entrepreneurship is a valuable journey that she encourages more women to explore. Being an entrepreneur gives her insight into who she is as a person while also teaching her to be a better businesswoman.
“If many people try their hand at being their own boss, they’ll like it and we might see more entrepreneurs out here,” she said.
Look for Miss Jessie’s new products this year, including an array of innovative solutions for textured hair needs. Please visit MissJessies.com for more on Miko, her book, Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally, and the new products.