In my last blog post, I wrote about the women who made it possible for me to believe that Madinina Kiss is going to be the next beauty empire in this nation, even internationally. I am so glad that Miko Branch, thought well enough of “us” sisters, to leave a blueprint so that we as African-American women can continue to leave our mark in the beauty industry. I am grateful for Annie Malone, and Madam C.J.Walker for the footprints left, that women like myself, can follow.
And then there was Miss Jessie’s. Two sisters, Miko and Titi Branch of Japanese-American and African-American parents, re-igniting the Natural Hair Movement and revolutionizing it. Unlike our foremothers, Annie and Madam C.J., who were meeting the need for “straight hair” Miss Jessie’s was reclaiming our natural hair. I remember it so well. I will admit that I did not understand what was happening at the time. But I knew, it was something. It had to be in the air…lol. I no longer desired to have my hair chemically treated. I don’t remember how I came across the Miss Jessie’s Curly Hair Movement—but I remember traveling to D.C. to get that “curl” pattern. Miss Jessie’s LLC, is the company behind the premium hair care product line, Miss Jessie’s, that caters to the diverse spectrum of all curly and textured hair types. Miko founded the company with her sister, Titi, and they named it after their beloved and fiercely independent “do-it-for-yourself,” and “tell-it-like-it-is” paternal grandmother – Jessie Mae Branch.
Miko and Titi Branch were from “around the way” as I too live in Queens, NY in the same area of South Ozone Park as they did, and still do. So it makes me proud, not only as an up and coming pioneer in the natural beauty industry but also as an African American woman who shares community ties. Sadly, in December 2014, Titi passed away.
Miko carries on the legacy Titi Branch and continues to develop innovative, original and effective solutions for textured hair needs. She has received numerous accolades for being an innovator, pioneer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and leader.
Miko also is the author of the national best-selling business memoir “Miss Jessie’s: Creating A Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally” (Harper Collins) and has been recognized by WWD’s Most Influential Women in Business, Ebony Power 100, and the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award. She has been featured on the March 2016 cover of Black Enterprise Magazine as a result of her remarkable business acumen.
Miko on the stages of life women go through (including women entrepreneurs)
• In your thirties, you get to know how who you are. You start to tap into how you are built.
• In your 40’s you are going to embrace and love yourself. What you did in your previous decades affects you now. 40’s is the decade of satisfaction or regrets. It’s a transitional time. This decade is a time where you get to make some changes and you still have the opportunity to make corrections.
• In your 50’s, it is what it is–just accept it.
As CEO of Madinina Kiss, a natural, handmade Bath, Body and Hair Company in NYC, I am honored that Miko will an Honoree at the women’s organization I belong to- The National Association of University Women where Miko will be awarded the 2017 Entrepreneurial Excellence Honoree Award. Click on flyer to attend this event
Miko is my inspiration, as I read for the third time Miss Jessie’s “Creating A Successful Business From Scratch…Naturally”. With my planner and book in tow, Madinina Kiss is building its empire, brick by brick, stone by stone. I cannot wait to meet her in person!