By Ryan Velez
Servicing natural hair has become a popular part of the beauty space for Black people, and one of the companies that took advantage of this way Miss Jessie’s, created by Miko and Titi Branch. While Titi passed away in 2014, Miko is going strong, and Rolling Out sat down with her to discuss the legacy.
Miko and Titi are rare examples of pioneers in natural hair, but Miko takes it in stride: “Being regarded as a pioneer is a wonderful acknowledgment of the innovative hard work and love my sister and I put into our business and the large group of people [who] were underserved in the early 2000s. Although not formally trained in areas of chemistry or business, my sister and I used our God-given talents of hairstyling, good communication, and organizational skills, and our childhood lessons and grooming from our grandmother, Jessie Mae Branch, and our father, Jimmy Branch, to create a product from scratch that would change what women with a certain hair texture considered to be beautiful.”
However, despite her success, she doesn’t want future entrepreneurs to feel that they can’t make it either. “If we can do it, you can do it too!” Being talented and surrounded around great role models were not unique to Titi and I. There are so many of us in the world but we simply need to know about one another’s story to perhaps inspire more entrepreneurs and leaders.”
Carrying on without her sister is hard, but Miko reflects on her and her contributions. “Titi was fearless and her contribution to giving, innovating and creating with love will never go unnoticed if left up to me. Titi and I were fortunate to write a book together on how we did it and we knew it was important to be candid with our experience so others could truly get the real message. Every jar or tube of Miss Jessie’s still has Titi’s amazing touch. Her legacy will live on forever because she spread love to many while she was here on Earth.”
The two are still being recognized today for their contributions to Black business, delivering the keynote address at the L.E.G.A.C.Y. Awards gala and receiving the Ground Breaker award. Miko mentions that the company is also still launching some “amazing” new products.