Back in 2006 when I started Afrobella, the natural hair scene was just beginning to form. There was no social media yet, there were a few bloggers and a lot of online forums and Fotki posts (seriously, before Instagram and Tumblr, there was Fotki). There were a few natural hair brands that had big buzz and weren’t available everywhere (seriously, think back to those days of struggle before retail stores started to get the memo!). One of the most buzzed about and most popular brands was Miss Jessie’s.
I remember in 2006, the brand was only available for sale at Ricky’s NYC and of course I didn’t live anywhere near any of those stores. For the rest of the country, it was all about those annual BOGO sales and buying as much of their highly coveted, much buzzed about Curly Pudding and Baby Buttercream as possible. If I have to look back and name the folks who truly set off the natural hair movement as we know it today, on the entrepreneur side I really think of Lisa Price and Miko and Titi Branch as forerunners and inspirations to many.
Miko Branch has written a book about the journey, titled Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally. It’s a fast, all-engrossing read that traces their story from the kitchen table in their brownstone in Brooklyn to becoming one of the most well known curly hair brands available on the shelves of Target stores nationwide. It’s written with a warm and loving hand, and you can feel the personality behind it. And Miko tells her truth and nothing but – even the details about the split between the sisters and their legal struggles, then their loving family reunion and rebuilding is shared here. Along the personal story, there’s also the tips that truly helped the Branch sisters build one of the most influential brands in the natural hair product industry. It’s a must read for any aspiring mixtress or entrepreneur, or anyone who’s interested in the evolution of indie beauty and the natural hair world. Click here to get yourself a copy!
When the Miss Jessie’s team reached out to me to ask me to participate in their virtual book tour, I said yes, absolutely – anything to support Miko. Anything to celebrate Titi.Whatever they would like to do, I would be happy to support and donate my time. I honestly didn’t anticipate that would include helping them to actualize Miko’s first ever book signing event in Chicago, but that’s happening this evening!
Miko’s first book signing event will be low key, friendly, casual and FREE – just like she wanted it to be. It’s all about this book, the journey to sharing her story, and celebrating the life of Titi. Please click here for tonight’s details. See you later!