Titi Branch, Co-Owner of Miss Jessie’s, Passes Away

titibranchWhether you are a fan of Miss Jessie’s products or not, there is no debate that the company is a pioneer in the natural hair movement. I first discovered natural hair products and decided to stop relaxing my hair when a friend told me about Miss Jessie’s products and praised the Curly Pudding for enhancing her curl.

Last night, one of my curlfriends shared a video with me that was a compilation of pictures of Titi Branch in memory, titled “My Titi,” and now the validity of the video’s content has been confirmed. It brought me great sadness to learn that Titi passed away earlier this month, apparently as a result of suicide. She was only 45 years old.

Miko Branch (Titi’s co-owner and sister) and the official Miss Jessie’s Twitter accounts also posted tweets in her memory.

Since I posted the video last night, some of my viewers have shared their own stories of depression and suicide. If you are hurting, please do not hesitate to speak with someone. You may feel alone, but I promise you, you are not alone. Often in the black community, therapy is seen as something “for white people” or we are ashamed to seek help. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chat with a counselor online at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. Please take care of yourselves. My thoughts are with the Branch family – losing a family member to suicide is one of the most painful things imaginable.

Be well. xoxo

One comment

  1. This is just very sad news to digest. More and more over the past four or so years, I have been hearing and reading tragic news about young Black women taking their lives-this issue has touched me personally a few years ago with a good friend succumbing under these circumstances.
    Although, I had never tried Miss Jessie’s products (I considered a few times- who didn’t want to have curls like the demonstrations models on that website??), I guess Carol’s Daughter made an impact on me first and then I switched from there to other products that were primarily organic and caught my attention.
    Still, I can remember when Miss Jessie’s was located in Brooklyn and walking by a few times before venturing in to the salon to take a flyer and a card (I wasn’t making much money and the prices seemed a bit steep).
    I thought they were two beautiful women who seemed focused and had a legion of faithful customers and even though I wasn’t one of those customers, I love the fact that they emphasized the beauty of bringing out the curls of all textures (they were the reason I even know what shingling was) and I felt joy for them when they announced their expansion into Target for the first time.
    All I can really say is that Ms. Branch’s loved ones will be in my thoughts and I will say a prayer for them today in what is undoubtedly a very very sad time.

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