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    Tuesday
    Apr212015

    In Review: Miss Jessie's Creating A Successful Business From Scratch- Naturally By Miko Branch with Titi Branch

     

    One of the first personal sacrifices I made after joining my husband in business and becoming a full-time entrepreneur was my regularly schedule hair appointment.

    I had been a regular salon girl from the age of eight.  I started out with a press and curl at Miss Gussie’s, and shortly graduated to relaxer at Mr. Daves.  Every 2 Saturdays, for 15 years- straight – you would find in some salon, somewhere getting my hair did.

    The decision to cut back on my salon visits was a strategic one.  I was spending over $150 a month on my hair.  That money was put to good use in the business. Although I sacrificed the luxury of a stylist, I was not about to sacrifice style. So, I went on a little quest to find ways to maintain my own hair.

    I had already stopped relaxing my hair and gone natural a few years earlier, but I was still blowing it out and straightening it myself. While chatting with my friend Fre, she happened to mention a hair cream, by Miss Jessie’s that she was using to style her daughter’s natural hair.  At that time, you could only access the cream by visiting the brand’s website.  I ran home, logged onto the site, and read a few explanations… But most of my time was spent viewing the before and after photos that seem to be the focus of the website.  I placed an order that evening… that was 10 years ago.

    I have been naturally curly ever since, and an entrepreneur even longer than that. So when news that Miss Jessie’s CEO, Miko Branch along with her sister Titi Branch, was releasing a book, I was excited-naturally (pun intended.)

    Miss Jessie’s Creating Successful Business From Scratch-Naturally is a memoir and business guide. It’s a book about family, tradition, ideas, vision, business, purpose, innovation, struggle, success, motherhood, sacrifice, sisterhood, God-given skill, and promise.

    If you have made the decision to pursue your passion…

    If you have built a business from the ground up…

    If you are creating a legacy for you and your family…

    You understand the heart of the Miss Jessie’s brand.

    Miko Branch at her book signing event in Atlanta

    3 Major Takeaways from the #MissJessiesBook:

     Nothing about my sister and me blended in, but we never felt the need to be followers.

    Miko says to incorporate your unique life story into your business dreams, and I agree.  The Branch sisters were able to build a multi-million dollar business, because they embraced their rich family history and were inspired by what made them different from everyone else.

     Turn crisis into opportunity. There is no better time to take a risk that when you have nothing to lose.

    What seemed like the worst things that could have happened, turned out to be the best things for the Miss Jessie’s Brand. The loss of the Curve salon space turned into an opportunity for innovation. The Curly Hair Movement and solutions for women, who were ready for change, were birthed in that brownstone in Bed-Stuy.

     I will always have my two hands and my God-given talent. Take away everything I have built, and I will always be able to feed and support myself and my son.

    Miko’s focus on educating herself, perfecting her craft, and listening to the needs of the women she was servicing was the key to the success of Miss Jessie’s. Before there was a salon or a product, there was a skill. Cultivating that skill made room for everything else to fall in place.

    For added value, Miko shared nuggets that can be applied to business and life- throughout each section, as well as Miss Jessie's 8 Key Ingredients.  

    Miko had a relatable tone that I really appreciated. Her transparency is what really made this book a business guide. The fact that I have been a Miss Jessies’s customer all of these years was an added bonus.  I could literally recall the phone-call I made, for assistance back in 2005, and imagine Titi or some other employee greeting me on the other end. As Miko spoke of packing up products and shipping them out to customers, like me, I could recall opening up my package of Curly Pudding and Baby Butter Cream. As a business owner/mompreneur - working in a family operated business, I can relate to hard work of creating something from scratch, bouncing back after setbacks, and the heart and hustle necessary to make things happen.

    Well done Miko!  What you and Titi created gave me the tools I needed to embrace a part of me that was lost for years.  I am a proud member of the Curly Hair Movement… I am Miss Jessie’s.

     

    *To order your copy of the Miss Jesse's Book or catch Miko Branch on tour visit MissJessies.com for details. 

     

     

     

    Until next time, Love...


    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."

    Tuesday
    Apr142015

    I Hope You Choose To Be Great

     

    You ever take a good look at your life and think what the heck?!

     

    You look around your home, and nothing seems familiar.

    You scroll through the contacts in your phone, and can’t find one person worth a convo.

    You think about your career, and can’t remember why you chose it.

    You look in the mirror, and don’t recognize the person looking back at you.

    You look at your partner in life, and feel no connection.

    You take inventory of your entire life, and think how did I get here?

     

    This may sound crazy, but you are exactly where you need to be. 

    Being in that space of… I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure if I’m right- that is the space where all the magic happens. And by magic I mean the very difficult, often painful, totally confusing, and sometimes lonely process of transformation.

    Transformation usually happens just after some of the toughest times in life.

    Just after that what the heck moment in life, can be the moment everything makes total sense. BUT you have to step into that moment.

    You’ve been dancing around the idea of making changes for too long.You’ve been letting your fear of the process keep you from being great.

    You can go from- I don’t know who I am, to here I amI don’t know what to do, to I do this… I’m not sure if I’m right, to this feels so right.

    Your what the heck can become this is it! - the exciting process of finally becoming who you are supposed to be.


    So here you are. In what seems like a really crazy space. You have options.

    1. You can whine about it. Retreat from it. And stay the same old you.

    2. You can make good use of all of that awesomeness inside of you, step into your moment of transformation, and be great.

    I hope you choose to be great.

     

     

    Until next time, Love...


    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."

    Tuesday
    Apr072015

    How To Be OK (When Everything Goes Wrong)

     

    If this week turns out to be
    the worst week of your life...

    If everything you try,
    fails...

    there's always next week.

    If you have to let go
    after holding on for way too long...

    If life as you know it,
    changes...

    I bet you'll survive.

    If you have to start over
    after years of tireless effort...

    Lose your job...
    Run out of money...
    Make the wrong choice...

    you will still be OK.

    There has never been a time, in your entire life, that you didn't do what you had to do to be OK.

    Check your record. You've always figured it out.

    You may have done things the hard way.

    Taken a few detours... fell off, but you landed on your feet.

    So take a few seconds to let out a good cry (you know, the kind that is released from your gut??)

    And when you pull yourself together, I want you to do this:

    Remember that time you thought you couldn't do it,

    and then you did?

    Do that again.

     

     

     

    Until next time, Love...


    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."