Founded by sisters Miko and Titi Branch, Miss Jessie’s Products took the curly hair market by storm in 2004! Armed with curly hair product development from their salon/workshop, they were able to perfect their curly hair product’s performance. Known for its expertise in styling curly, kinky, and wavy hair of all types and textures, Miss Jessie’s Salon became the go to place for curly hairsolutions.
By way of dealing with their customers’ everyday curly hair care needs they stumbled upon a problem: there were simply no products on the market that catered to their clientele’s hair type. “There wasn’t a lot to work with, and finally we realized that we wouldn’t get that perfect solution unless we created it ourselves.” Recognizing a valuable opportunity to provide for this niche market, Titi and Miko, inspired by their grandmother’s can-do attitude decided to perfect their own curly hair product creations and Miss Jessie’s Products was born.
The inspiration behind Miss Jessie’s (and the source of the brand’s name) came from their paternal grandmother: the no-nonsense Miss Jessie Mae Branch. When they were children, Miss Jessie would concoct all sorts of mixtures and formulas at her kitchen table to help tame and style her granddaughter’s wildcurly hair.
The first product Titi and Miko introduced was Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding®. Never before was there a curly hair product that enhanced curly hair and gave it a brilliant shine. Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding® has won several awards including the prestigious 2009 Allure Best of Beauty Award, 2008 Shecky’s Best Wave Enhancer and the 2009 Essence Seal for the Hottest Natural Haircare product in Atlanta. Not satisfied with one curly hair product they developed a second curly hair product called Curly Meringue® which held the curls, of curly hair in place longer. With moisture as a principal guiding force they introduced Curly Buttercreme® and later Baby Buttercreme®.
After popular demand, their customers needed a retail outlet to get the curly hair products outside of their salon and website. Titi and Miko realized they needed distribution to supply the huge demand for their curly hair products. Miss Jessie’s had an undeniable cult following. It was considered the underground cult favorite forcurly hair peoples in the know. “We’d love to say that we had a master plan but honestly, our distribution started when we walked into a local boutique that sold vintage clothing named Sodafine located in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, NY”. As soon as the girls from Sodafine started selling Miss Jessie’s curly hair products, they became overwhelmed with the Miss Jessie customer who traveled far and wide to purchase product at this retail outlet. The Branch sisters then realized that they needed to place the products in another retail outlet. Miko, a longtime fan of Ricky’s (an eclectic beauty emporium with locations throughout NYC) decided that Miss Jessie’s needed to be carried by this cool chain she loved. Armed with the courage of the growing popularity of the brand, Miko dragged Titi into the store and spoke to the stock person. She said, “We have a product line that would be perfect for Ricky’s and I want you to carry it”. “He gave us the name of a manager, we sent in the products and immediately got the call that Ricky’s wanted to carry the line. At the time, the only curly product line that they carried was the ever popular Devacurl line” Titi laments.
Since Miss Jessie’s, Ricky’s has become the go-to retailer for curly hair products. Initially, Miss Jessie’s curly hair products were intended for the tighter, coarser ethnic curly hair that was being overlooked by the lighter weight products on the market at the time. “What we found was that Miss Jessie’s line had crossed all ethnic categories. Any curly you know whether you’re Black, White, Latina, Italian, Indian, Mediterannean, Jewish or anything in between can use a Miss Jessie’s product. These products were truly texture based as opposed to race specific,” Miko shares.
The company’s line grew to include Rapid Recovery Treatment™, Quick Curls™, Crème de la Creme™ (which won the 2009 Redbook MVP Award), Crème de la Curl™, Stretch Silkening Creme™, Curly Pudding Unscented™ and Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo™ but growth did not come without challenges. “When we first started, the biggest obstacle was the uncertainty of whether people would actually buy the product,” Miko and Titi recalled. “When a line is new, you really have no idea how it will be received.” When asked what is their biggest obstacle now, Miko and Titi laugh, “Trying to get products out fast enough!”
Today, Miss Jessie’s curly hair products are well-known throughout the hair care industry and are considered the leader in kinks, curly hair and waves. They have been featured in numerous popular publications including O, The Oprah Magazine, Allure, Essence, Lucky, Marie Claire, WWD and Elle, in addition to appearing on NBC’s The Today Show. Celebrity fans include Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Halle Berry, Keri Hilson, Rhianna and Randy Jackson to name a few. Miss Jessie’s continues to be a market innovator in the naturally curly hair segment and is excited to keep bringing out new products!