Salut Curly haired community! Here we go! Whooo!!!
I haven’t blogged in years but here we are. I was speaking with a customer and she tells me, “Jess, you have great products, but no one knows who you are.” I then replied, “You’re RIGHT!”
Where shall I begin? I was born in Oakland, California. My family nucleus is pretty large so gathering almost every day was pretty normal. I am the youngest child for my mother. I share that space with two sisters, Jamie & Jazz. For my father I am the 3rd out of 5.
I remember going to the hair salon with my mother as a child. She had a hair stylist named Ernie. He was so cool to me. I loved to watch him do hair and converse with mom. I thought, no one knows how to do hair MAGIC like this guy
When I was 10, my mother decided it was time for me to get a relaxer. Mind you, I had already seen my other siblings and cousins at my grandmas with a box of $5 Just for Me relaxer, sitting, stewing and burning after 5 minutes of application! Mom made sure that my first experience was with Ernie. It was pleasant and oh so memorable because as I said before, Ernie was some kind of magician in my child mind. It was silky and long (for us long was just a little past the shoulder). You couldn’t tell me nothin'. We’re talking about 1996. Relaxers, finger waves, dookie braids, and the side ponytail ruled my surroundings. I didn’t know anything different.
I always wanted to cook and only a few people knew this. Getting up in the middle of the night to host my nightly Cooking with Jess show was so fulfilling to my soul. I also liked to pamper and take care of all thing’s beauty for others.
Right after High school, I moved to Birmingham Alabama for culinary school. Here I began to form my training in fine dining cooking. I always had 2 or more jobs at a time while studying and training. After 4 years, I returned to California to work at Terra restaurant in St. Helena California. It was a dream come true to get this opportunity. I then began working at Le Cordon Bleu as an assistant teacher.
1 year later, I was promoted to head instructor and school ambassador. From there I learned so much about myself and others. Were you ever an extremely shy young adult, then one life opportunity changed this quality? Le Cordon Bleu was this opportunity for me. While working, I was a bit burnt out and decided to go to cosmetology school. I was already a braider all through high school and I discovered I liked doing hair too. I really appreciated the industry (In the back of my mind, I was thinking I could be like Ernie).
I left Le cordon bleu feeling burned and tired. I passed my state board exams in cosmetology and was ready to learn as much as possible. I worked as an assistant and had a chair. It was a great and humbling experience. Here I was, someone that had already built a career in cooking, to then turn around and start over? Was I mad?
After 1 year, I was well on my way. Let’s say I had ants in my pants. A guy that I was dating asked me what my dreams were. “To cook in France.” He then said, “There’s no one holding you back but yourself.” UM DUH. Why hadn’t I thought of that? I bought a plane ticket 3 months later. My sistah Jazz had just cut out all my relaxer back in 2011. I was a 1 year natural and my hair was growing FAST. I stayed fresh in my curly wigs or in AWKWARD hair phase hairstyles. The Youtubes vids weren’t as poppin’ as they are now.
Whooo this is getting long as hell!!!
In France is where I would meet my Swiss husband. I was 4 months from having an expired visa and my bestie was about to graduate from University. We met at a BBQ and the host pushed us two SINGLE folks together. Let’s talk my hair journey at this point. I was constantly in a wig that I made in France. I literally brought all of my supplies with me just in case I couldn’t find what I needed. Underneath, my hair was growing rapidly with my weekly regiment: Wash, condition, MOISTURIZE & two-stand twist (my go to any day of the week).
Long story short, I married that Swiss man in 2014. We now have two children, Ezra 3 & Maxine at 5 months now. I have finally found the courage to make my home recipes for the masses! I want to create a product that the European curly community can stand behind.
Thank you for going down memory lane with me. Can't wait to catch up next week! Don't hesitate to drop a note, ask a question or just be YOURSELF!