It Started With One Chair: The Real Story of How Miss Jessie’s Became a Multi-Million Dollar Brand

Miss Jessie's Book: Building a Successful Business from Scratch--Naturally
12 Apr 2015

I’m excited to be a part of the Miss Jessie’s Book Blog Tour along with other phenomenal women! Miko Branch, the Co-Founder of Miss Jessie’s, is a Bold & Fearless pioneer with a passion for helping women feel beautiful while building a transformational legacy. Read on to find out how this sister did it, and is empowering others in the process. ENTER MISS JESSIE’S GIVEAWAY

Anyone who’s pursued the path of entrepreneurship knows just how challenging it can be­—even though to the outside world, it looks effortless. This is one of the reasons I appreciate the realness of Miko Branch in her new book Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally (Amistad/Harper Collins). Miko is the co-founder of the multi-million dollar natural hair product company, Miss Jessie’s. She and her sister/business partner, Titi catered to naturals before the term “naturals” ever became a noun.

This book is part memoir, part business crash-course. Miss Jessie’s takes you on a journey from the sisters’ humble beginnings with their strict African American father and Japanese American mother in Jamaica, Queens (New York), to the building of a game-changing brand that women of all backgrounds love. Miko gives us a glimpse into some very personal moments, growing up with a somewhat eccentric and elusive mother who she thought was the most beautiful woman in the world with her bone straight jet black hair, while her father struggled to style her and her older sister, Titi’s, multi-textured, tightly coiled tresses. ENTER MISS JESSIE’S GIVEAWAY


Miss Jessies Book
Having experienced what starting and running a business was like while working for her father, Miko caught the entrepreneurial bug herself and eventually decided to follow her passion to own a hair salon—an endeavor that began with one chair in the small Brooklyn apartment she shared with Titi.

One of the greatest lessons I learned from Miko’s approach to starting and growing a business was the importance of starting small and refining your process and operations before expanding your business.

What I really love about this book (which every entrepreneur should read) is how Miko pulls back the curtain on her success and allows us to see the very real struggle behind her notable achievements. From the early days of her business where things got so slow she had to take on a side hustle to be able to make her rent for the next month (lesson: don’t be too proud to take on unrelated work to keep the lights on), to the very long hours her and Titi put into manually refinishing and restoring their very first salon, you get an unfiltered view of what it takes to build a business from the ground up. ENTER MISS JESSIE’S GIVEAWAY

Miss Jessie’s success story has been eighteen years in the making—eighteen years of hard work, grueling hours, quiet sacrifice, costly mistakes, smart decisions and inspiring comebacks.

Miko’s road to success has been paved both with incredible blessings and devastating loss, including the unexpected death of her sister and business partner in December 2014. She dedicates the book to Titi and pays tribute to her memory by continuing to build upon the Miss Jessie’s legacy.

This book will have you anxiously turning the pages to find out what happens next, and trying to figure out how you can insert some of Miko’s savvy business advice into your own enterprise. Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally will have you rejoicing in the success of one of the most influential women in business who has come close to losing it all, only to find strength in the process of rebuilding her life and her business—and inspiring many of us to do the same.

*Disclosure: I was given a free advance copy of this book and Miss Jessie’s product for this review. All opinions are my own. Book available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Interested in snagging your own Miss Jessies’s products and a signed copy of Miss Jessies’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch–Naturally? See below to find out how to enter this awesome giveaway! You MUST complete both steps:

1. Fill out the PromoSimple widget below with your information.

2. Leave a comment on this post telling my why you think it’s important to support other women in business and how you go about doing it.


Julian B. Kiganda

I hope you enjoyed this post! A little about me: I’m the founder of Bold & Fearless and a Transformational Brand Strategist. My gifting is in helping purpose-driven women transform and build million-dollar brands. I’m also an author, transformational speaker and multi-passionate entrepreneur. In 2014, I published my first highly-acclaimed book co-authored with my sister: Whose Shoes Are You Wearing? 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. To learn more about how you can connect or work with me, visit


  1. Their story is so inspiring! I absolutely believe in everything she's shared. Love the book – I'm on my second read. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: May 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      I agree Carin! It’s one of the best business books I’ve read and will definitely be a staple in my library. I’ve already started implementing some of Miko’s recommendations in my own business. Here’s to your success!

  2. Fidelia God-blessed Says: April 22, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I've just read about her sister's death a few days ago as well and would love to read about their success story. God rest Titi's soul in eternal peace.

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: May 3, 2015 at 2:11 am

      It’s a really powerful story. On the top of my list of business and personal growth books!

  3. Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 22, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Thanks for stopping by Kelly! This is definitely one of the most inspiring and REAL books I've read in a very long time.

  4. This was such an inspiring story. I've definitely learned that I should use my natural talents and I can be successful.

  5. I wish I could be part of this tour..I can't wait to read the book!!

  6. Viola Llewellyn Says: April 16, 2015 at 4:16 am

    I need to read this

  7. Tiya Sumter Says: April 16, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Julian, I love this post and can't wait to read the book! I am so inspired by Miko. I remember years ago seeing these sisters and deciding I want hair like that! And I've been working ever since to maintain that naturally kinky curly combo. I love that she is sharing her truth and inspiring other business owners. It's important for woman to support one another, because for the most part, we usually hear the opposite. Backbiting, gossipping and plain on negativity amongst women. It's time we connected and supported one another. We really do need one another. We should be one band one sound!

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 16, 2015 at 2:21 am

      Thank you so much Tiya! Yes, the book is really inspiring and I hope it motivates more women to collaborate so we can share in one another’s success.

  8. I love supporting women business by buying their products and sharing/spreading the word about their products to others.

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 15, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Yes, yes! And it's so fulfilling when you see other people support that business because of your endorsement.

  9. Janeane Davis Says: April 15, 2015 at 2:38 am

    It is important to realize that there is a lid for every pot and that we all can start a business and be successful if we are willing to put in the work and dedication.

  10. This story and the book is so bittersweet.  I remember starting my natural hair journey and the only products available were Miss Jessie's.  They've come a very long way and assisted so many women with their transition and maintaining their natural hair.  It's so sad that the tour is only happening with one sister. 

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 15, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      It really is bittersweet and shows what type of woman Miko is as she honors her sister by continuing to build upon their legacy. I loved how we really got to see their sense of sisterhood in the book.

  11. Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 14, 2015 at 10:36 am

    I was so inspired after reading the book, which has so much great advice.

  12. Nadeen White Says: April 14, 2015 at 5:18 am

    What an amazing story. I was sad to hear of her sister's passing however their achievements are inspiring and remarkable!

  13. As a small business owner & blogger myself I understand the value of supporting one another. I can be great, and you can be great but we can be greater together. I am only as strong as my village. I want to make sure that my village is strong, going places, forward thinking and taking control of their lives. I share content, I purchase from small business then I share my purchases with social media so others can support.

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 14, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Michellette, I absolutely agree with you! And it takes a certain level of maturity to be able to put your ego aside and realize that the whole is more powerful than the part. Keep shining!

  14. This is so inspirational! It seems like the Miko has a great marketing strategy for reaching her customers. I think it's very important to treat each customer with respect and care. If they don't feel valued then it's likely that he or she will not return. 

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Crystal, I've learned that great customer service is one of the most important keys to getting repeat business and becoming successful. And in the book, Miko really shows how her and Titi went above and beyond to create a loyal, and very satisfied, customer base. It was truly a great read!

  15. Love this! Their story is so inspiring. I'm sad she has to do the tour without her sister, but proud of her for carrying on. 

    I think it's important to support other women in business becuase quite simply, we need each other! We can't build empires all on our own. We need support in every way, it's a special thing to be able to connect with and call on other like-minded women to help us rise. My motto is we go farther, together.

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 14, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      So true Amber. One of my favorite African proverbs states:

      If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go farther, go together.

  16. Rana Durham Says: April 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    It is very important for women to support each other in business because we need to stand together for causes that make us look, feel better and encourages others! My way of supportting women in businesses is giving reviews , talking about it on social media so that others out there know what these great businesses are that are owned by women ! 

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 14, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Love it Rana! Indeed, spreading the word about our businesses is one of the best ways to support one another.

  17. Fabulous article!  I have admired the sisters for years.  Their road to success just goes to show us budding women entrepreneurs that behind this successful brand (and ours) stands two strong sisters! 

    • Julian B. Kiganda Says: April 14, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      I agree Kirstin…their story is such an inspiration and a reminder of what is possible with hard work, brilliance and sisterhood.

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