The Founder of Miss Jessie's Got Retail Placement by Asking a Stock Boy for Intel After an entrepreneurial failure, Miko Branch launched a new business out of necessity -- and identified a lucrative, underserved market in the haircare industry.
In the Women Entrepreneur series My First Moves, we talk to founders about that pivotal moment when they decided to turn their business idea into a reality—and the first steps they took to make it happen.
Miko Branch started working as a hairstylist for two reasons: She loved hair, and she knew she could be her own boss in the industry. When a string of entrepreneurial successes, failures and misfires ultimately led her to focus on serving women with curly hair -- primarily African American women who, like Branch, wanted to wear their hair naturally -- she found a lucrative niche. Along with her sister, she started experimenting and creating a product line for curly hair, one that could support the very cut she'd popularized. Today, those kitchen experiments have grown into Miss Jessie's, a multi-million dollar product line sold in retailers across the country. Branch breaks down her start and details how life's necessities -- paying the mortgage and keeping her son happy and healthy -- drove her toward success.