We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Tessono and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my journey as a naturalista in 2014, I wanted to bring my damaged hair back healthy. I gravitated towards popular shelf brands as many women of color do. After years of using different products by different brands, I wasn’t completely satisfied with how my hair felt and looked. I researched several of these brands and learned about their harsh ingredients that it contains. In disbelief, I decided to make my own natural hair products. I took one of my Aloe Vera leaves and mixed it with oil blends and butters. Knowing all the benefits Aloe Vera contains, not only for your hair but as well as for your skin, I knew this was something I needed to produce and share. I created Jess Naturals LLC to give other women of color the opportunity to healthy hair and smooth skin without questionable harsh ingredients.
After my first use of my own products, to my surprise, my hair was softer, more shiny and curls was defined beautifully. I became a walking billboard. My goal is to be a household brand name, but most importantly I want to share my knowledge of healthy haircare to other women on how to treat and maintain their crowns.
What should our readers know about your business?
All of our natural hair and skin products are handmade using fresh Aloe Vera leaves. Handcrafted to perfection in small batches to ensure freshness.
I am happiest when all products are bottled with my label attached. It gives a sense of self gratification that I’ve put my best in making this product that a complete stranger, friends and family trusts. Spending their hard earned money to purchase what I’ve handmade, confidently knowing the end results from using my product.
It’s not easy being in the beauty industry with so many competitors that also sell hair and skin products, but it is easy to educate someone the difference my products has to offer and its natural ingredients. Realistically, who actually googles the ingredients on the back of the shampoo and conditioner labels? Why does it contain fifty ingredients to cleanse and condition your hair? What does all of these ingredients actually do to my hair and skin? These are questions your want to keep in mind. Knowledge is key!
I’m always a walking billboard! As for that, I naturally gravitate to women who is natural or is in the transition phase. Yes, being natural isn’t for everyone! It takes a lot of work, dedication and money LOL. But caring for your hair and skin is a common language for everyone. I want to share my experience and knowledge of different natural healthy ingredients and what it can do to your hair and skin. I’d like to also share different techniques to maintain your healthy hair. It’s amazing how many women of color who decides to transition to becoming natural have no idea how to maintain or treat their hair. So I openly enjoy sharing my expertise advice to those who lack knowledge.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wynwood area is the best place to bring someone visiting Miami, FL. It’s very cultured, diverse and family friendly. You can experience multi-cultured food from awesome restaurants, enjoy a good cocktail from bars/ lounges and sightsee arts and wall murals. There’s plenty of museums to visit such as the selfie museum as well as plenty shops for shopping. The best part about the Wynwood area is that you do not need a vehicle as everything is in close proximity.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Dr. Jessica Hudson Bozeman and Maziel Carrasco have been supporting me from the very beginning. From business meeting brainstorming ideas, to being my trial and error guinea pigs experimenting my products, to late nights packaging orders for shipment.
I took into consideration their positive feedback as well as constructive criticism from a consumers viewpoint.
Thank you ladies for the continuous support and words of encouragement to keep pushing and never give up.
Happy to have you ladies in my corner!
It’s only up from here!
Derrick Burke & Edren Rhodes