RIP Shanquella Robinson: Charlotte NC mourns death of business owner

Bruno Cooke November 9, 2022
RIP Shanquella Robinson: Charlotte NC mourns death of business owner
Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

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News of Charlotte, NC braider and business owner Shanquella Robinson’s death appears have first emerged on October 30, 2022.

But a recent TikTok upload by video maker In Killing Color has publicised the story more widely.

Robinson ran a braids and extensions business in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was by all accounts a much-respected hair stylist in the area.

Social media has seen a steady flow of tributes following her death. She was reportedly in Cabo, Mexico at the time, although no cause has yet been confirmed.

TikTok video upload from Jan 18, 2022 | TikTok user its.quella (Shanquella Robinson)

RIP Shanquella Robinson: Death of hair stylist stuns Charlotte, NC community

News Maven, which is owned by the same company that operates Sports Illustrated and The Spun, reports that Shanquella Robinson was found dead on October 30, 2022.

She was on vacation in Cabo, Mexico, it adds, when she died. 

Some of those posting on Facebook following her passing have also mentioned her being on vacation.

It is not yet clear what exactly caused Robinson’s death. News Maven mentions “mysterious causes.” 

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Who was she?

Per her own Facebook profile, Shanquella Robinson lived in Charlotte, North Carolina.

She studied at Winston-Salem State University from 2015 to 2019, before which she attended West Charlotte high school.

Many appear to have known her as simply Quella. She ran a successful hair extensions and braiding business in Charlotte, under the name Exquisite Braids, and a women’s clothes shop called The Exquisite Boutique.

Since news of her death emerged at the end of October, and especially in the last two or three days, her most recent Instagram post (from March 22, 2022) has been flooded with words of tribute and condolence. Many seem to have learned of her death via TikTok.

Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

TikToker In Killing Color uploads video about Shanquella Robinson’s passing

Many of those commenting on Robinson’s most recent Instagram post have come from TikTok.

There, podcaster In Killing Color as been talking about the story, and summing up what they claim to have discovered about the Charlotte, NC businesswoman’s death.

In just five hours, IKC’s video has picked up more than 2,500 likes and 175 comments. 

“RIP 💞💞💞 ,” one TikTok user has commented on Shanquella Robinson’s Instagram. “I saw a TikTok about you. Your braids on TT looked amazing. I’m so sorry to [Shanquella] and her family.”

Tributes flood social media following Charlotte woman’s death

“Heaven couldn’t wait for you,” wrote one of Robinson’s friends in a Facebook post on October 31, the day after the first reports of Shanquella’s death reached the social media platform. 

“I’ve been through many things in my lifetime,” posted another. “But grief has by far been the worst pain I’ve ever felt. … Quella this really just broke me all the way down all over again. You stuck by my side through so much. … Praying so hard for everyone that loves you because to know you is to know you were loved by so many. You could light up a whole room and you were so genuine with everyone, no matter what walk of life they came from.”

One of Robinson’s friends wrote on the social media platform that Shanquella’s death is “hitting a little different,” especially knowing “I was communicating with this girl literally while she was out of town. How do you tell someone’s parents they died on vacation?”

“Quella you hurt me with this one,” wrote another, the day before. “But you’re in heaven with your grandma now. I know you gained your wings with open arms. You were so solid, kind, sweet, pure and loyal.”

Another wrote: “RIP baby girl. … I love you so much. You shined so bright. I’m going to miss hearing ‘cousin,’ and every time I saw you it was all good energy, good vibes. Love you Quella.”

[UPDATE (November 16, 2022): Shanquella’s mother, Salamondra Robinson, reportedly told Queen City News (per Everything Lubbock) that an autopsy revealed her daughter to have had a broken neck. The US State Department in Mexico nevertheless refutes claims that Shanquella Robinson was murdered. “She had a heart of gold,” Salamondra said of her daughter. “She loved everybody, and pretty much everybody loved her.”]

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.