The vision started at a kitchen table in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn. Hairstylists Miko and Titi Branch looked to find a way for women of all backgrounds to embrace their kinky and curly hair.
Miko Branch says, "We learned from our grandmother, Miss Jessie how to mix things from scratch and we came up with things like Curly Pudding."
Miss Jessie was a profound influence on both Miko and Titi as she was a tough "go-getter" believed in her own independence.
"She was a wonderful role model for us and later when we were going to create our own business, we tapped into people like our grandmother because we didn't have mentors in the formal since of the word. So we couldn't think of a better person to mimic other than our grandmother Miss Jessie," adds Branch.
So the Branch sisters decided to name their company, Miss Jessie's, after their grandmother. Since then they sought to spread the sprit of entrepreneurship to other women who are looking to succeed.
Branch says, "My sister Titi Branch and I thought that it was really important for us to share our story. It was clear to us that we were influencers in the areas of hair, but we thought that there was a larger message in how to be your own boss, how to do things that you love."
"And we thought that if we just shared our story, each one could teach one... and if we can do it, you can certainly do it too," adds Branch.
Miko still continues her hairstyling business as it is a great way to test new products in their salon and bring new items to market that are meaningful.
"Creating products one after the other, we are able to touch many people at one time. There's a shift and first we started off as stylists but then we started to really understand that we are running a very very important and lucrative hair products business," says Branch.
Titi Branch passed in 2014, but Miko says her spirit is present everyday, "Titi was the great communicator between the two of us, and I think Titi trained my well. We were fortunate enough to build a business together from scratch, we spend over four decades together."
"I believe she's proud, I do want to add that love was the key, love still is the key and that desire to be helpful really made a difference in our business. And even though Titi is not here in the physical sense, she is certainly here in spirit. And every single person who experiences a jar of Curly Pudding or a tube of Miss Jessie's, they can feel Titi and her love," adds Branch.
Miko shares her, Titi, and Jiss Jessie's story in her new book, "Miss Jessie's" Creating a Successful Business From Scratch -- Naturally".