By Laura Holton
Miss Jessie’s award winning product range and hair salon was created by sisters Titi and Miko Branch after discovering a niche in the market for natural products aimed at curly hair. The brand has a cult like following of women who are looking for natural hair care and is considered an industry leader for kinky curly and wavy textures.
Born to a Japanese mother and African-American father, Titi and Miko have a unique hair texture that caused them difficulty when looking for a salon that would cater to their needs. As children, they found that salons catering for African-American hair would only offer relaxers to straighten hair or greasy hot combing treatments. In salons for straight hair, the stylists were unused to dealing with curly hair and struggled to know what to do. This led the sisters to look for their own solutions, and later to share these treatments with the world.
Miss Jessie’s is named after the paternal grandmother of the two women, who they described as a “tell-it-like-it-is” woman whose two biggest passions in life where cooking and hair care. The girls would come to visit their grandmother during the summer, distressed over their unruly hair. Whenever their grandmother could not find suitable products in the store to help them out, she would make her own concoctions using ingredients that she found in the kitchen. The sisters were inspired by these remedies and began to learn how to make their own to style their hair.
The salon was opened in 1997, specializing in natural treatments for curly, kinky and wavy hair of all textures. This was soon followed by the Miss Jessie’s product range, launched in 2004, offering natural alternatives to the traditional chemical based products, including styling cremes, moisturizers and deep conditioning treatments. Uniquely, the products are marketed at a particular hair type and texture rather than ethnicity.
The sisters’ original product was Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding, the first ever hair care product designed to enhance curls and give the hair shine. It won several awards, including the 2009 Allure Best of Beauty Award, the 2008 Shecky’s Best Wave Enhancer and the 2009 Essence Seal for Hottest Natural Haircare Product in Atlanta.
Following this, Miss Jessie’s released Curly Meringue, a product created to keep curls held in place longer. Next came Curly Buttercreme and then Baby Buttercreme, both products designed to help hair with moisture retainment.
Originally the products were sold solely in the Miss Jessie’s salon, and on the company website. With growing demand, the sisters realized they needed to extend their market, and began selling through Sodafine retail outlets in Brooklyn, New York, and later in Ricky’s in New York City.
The fame and success of the brand has been demonstrated through Miss Jessie’s appearance in many magazines, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Allure, Essence, Lucky, Marie Claire, WWD and Elle, as well as being featured on NBC’s The Today Show. Many celebrities have voiced their support of the products, including Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Halle Berry, Keri Hilson, Rhianna and Randy Jackson.
Learn more at MissJessies.com