Ally Kessee is a born and raised Jacksonian and an alumna of Murrah High School. She is a Biology major at Tougaloo College. There is an immense amount of things in the world that have yet to be discovered regarding science, she says, and she wants to take part in that discovery. Kessee has been a science-lover since middle school, but it wasn’t until she took Mr. Greg Powell’s AP Biology course in 11th grade that a new appreciation for the subject was sparked. “There is just so much out there that we do not know about regarding science and there are so many jobs that need to be done to help the community and the world,” Kessee says. Kessee chose Tougaloo College in particular because they are known for their medicine program, her desired field.
In the midst of her scientific studies as a full time college student, Kessee is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of her startup hair extension retail business, The Kessee Kollection. Kessee launched her “Kollection” of extension bundles in June of 2017. Growing up , Kessee was always surrounded by successful, hardworking people. The daughter of two business owners, ideas of hard work, self-sufficiency, and dedication were instilled in her at an early age. Her father, Patrick Kessee, is the owner of Pat Kessee Bonding, a business that specializes in bonding people out of jail. Ally’s father displays a large amount of responsibility and patience in owning this business and taught her to be smart with her money making decisions. Shannon Jones, her mother, owns a law firm called Jones, Jones & Jones PA, which is a business is run by Kessee’s mother, aunt, and grandfather. Another one of Kessee’s biggest inspirations, Amour Jayda, started her own hair extension company when she was 17 years old and became a millionaire within a year.
Kessee knows that all of these people have played a major role in her development as a strong and hard working individual. “If it wasn’t for my foundation, I would be a mediocre student not reaching my full potential as a person,” Kessee says.
The hardest part about starting her business, for Kessee, was starting with $0.00. Her original plan was to save the money she earned from her summer job at school and use that to get her business off of the ground. However, when she called her father and told him about her plan, he agreed to be the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the business and support her in her dream of becoming a business owner. She decided to order her extensions from a hair vendor outside of the country.
The 18 year entrepreneur started her business as a way to have her own source of income. Being a full-time college student didn’t leave her much time to work a full time job. She thought of her business idea as a less time consuming way of being self-sufficient while being a full-time student. Kessee finds that the balance of running a business and getting her school work done fairly easy because her business is not yet as widespread a others. After she graduates, she want her business to continue. The oldest of three sisters, Kessee believes that this business will be something big that will benefit her and her family in years to come.
To those who dream of being an entrepreneur, as well as those who have given up on being an entrepreneur, Kessee says to have patience. “Because this is such a common business to be in,” she explains, “getting people to trust that my product is valuable can be difficult and I have to basically build from the ground up.” Although starting from the bottom and working your way up can be strenuous, Ally insists that the key to starting a business successfully is persistence.