This week Barbara Hannah Grufferman of Best of Everything After 50 is hosting Fashion Flash! She is a living breathing symbol that there is life after 50, and a great life at that. Last week she was wonderful on the Today Show talking about loneliness during the holidays. On Facebook she shared an amazing recipe for Brussel sprouts with pistachios. My favorite image of Barbara this week was posing with a chocolate cake with a birthday crown on her head proudly announcing she had turned 58. She makes getting older look fun and easy and I always feel energized after reading her posts.
I was so shocked and saddened to read of the apparent suicide of legendary hair care entrepreneur Titi Branch, founder of Miss Jessie’s. I met Titi last summer at Cosmoprof and like so many others, I was drawn to her beauty, charm and radiant smile. She was a well known curly hair guru and when I showed her photos of my curly haired granddaughter, she knew exactly what I needed to do. Titi took the time to take me through the process, step by step, to explain best way to style curly tops. She loved the post and we made plans to do more articles.
Titi was a brilliant entrepreneur and a genuinely good person . Born in Queens, New York she graduated from University of Maryland with a degree in economics. After a stint as a field producer for ABC-TV she opened Icon Creative Artists, a booking agency for hair and celebrity photographers. With her sister Miko as partner, in 1997 she opened Curve, her first salon catering to curly hair. With the development of her own line of hair care products to enhance natural curly hair in 2004, she changed the name of her Brooklyn salon to Miss Jessie’s– after her feisty grandmother. In April 2015 her first book Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch– Naturally is scheduled to be released.
It is so hard to believe that someone as smart, successful, beautiful and loved as Titi would die by suicide. Depression and mental illness is one of the last taboos that we tend to keep hidden– and with tragic results. Black Girls Smile is a dynamic organization that is dedicated to promoting mental health for young black African American women is a resource that needs support. If you or anyone close to you seems to be troubled, especially during the holidays call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go online at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.