It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

By Andréa Butler

Dear Readers and Supporters,

After 10.5 years, I have to shut down Sesi due to lack of funding. Despite working extremely hard to bring on advertisers (the way magazines are traditionally funded), the majority of brands had no interest. I’ve also exhausted all other funding options that have kept Sesi just above drowning. (Trust, if you’ve thought of a funding option, I’ve done it.)

I’m so, so, so sorry to all of our readers who’ve grown to love the mag; to future, would-be readers who may be looking for a magazine like Sesi; and to our fall cover girl and any would-have-been cover stars who also deserved to be seen. I’m sad my team and I will no longer be able to bring you a magazine created just for you.

And tbh, I’m also angry. I’m angry that the big-name brands I’ve reached out to have consistently and systematically devalued Black teen girls and the only print magazine in the U.S. created for them. Brands like McDonald’s, Verizon, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Warner Bros., Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson products, COTY products, L’Oreal products, Revlon products, PDC brands, Estee Lauder products, KAO USA brands, and hundreds more would not even invest, at the very least, $2,250 on an ad in Sesi. But, many of them will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in those other magazines. (Since 2022*, a full-page ad in Sesi has been $5,000 and a one-third page ad has been $2,250. In contrast, one full-page ad in those “mainstream magazines” typically costs around $100,000.)

I’m also hurt that many Black-owned brands weren’t interested in advertising partnerships with us, either. (I had naively believed they’d be more open to partnering with Sesi, and we’d all grow our businesses together.) Let’s just say, if you’re thinking of a relevant brand right now, I’ve more than likely reached out to them — multiple times. Only the brands listed below, however, are the ones who advertised with us at some point.

Publishing a teen magazine for Black girls has been my dream since I was 17 years old back in 1998, and I’m proud and grateful we were able to bring it to life for a new generation of Black girls for as long as we did. You all were my inspiration, and I hope you felt the love all of #TeamSesi has for you throughout the pages of those 46 issues.

I have shut down our order forms and will be cancelling auto renewals over the next few days. We will not be accepting any more donations from this point on, either. (Any donations received to this point will still go toward the magazine — paying freelancers and vendors and sending refunds to subscribers.)

Please bear with me as I work toward processing those refunds. I will be the only person doing so and will be funding them with my freelance jobs, so it will take a long while for me to get to everyone — there are thousands of people to refund (and many freelancers and vendors to pay, as well). If you would like a refund, please fill out this refund request formto help me keep track of everyone. If you do not want/need a refund, you don’t have to do anything.

Thank you to everyone who’s ever subscribed, donated, and/or shared about the mag! I’m also thankful to the handful of brands that did advertise with us.

Please know, this was not an easy decision to make, but keeping this magazine alive has been a fight for the entire 10.5 years I’ve been publishing it. Even as recently as these past few months — up until October 28 — I was still posting about our lack of funding, keeping that “mustard seed of hope” that there was still a possibility we’d be able to raise enough donations or even find an advertiser. But, that did not happen.

There were a total of 24 brands/organizations that paid to advertise with Sesi spread out over 10.5 years and 46 issues. (For comparison, “mainstream magazines” have close to this many brand ads in a single issue.) They are:

(the real MVP — advertised in 24 issues: 2016; 2018–2023)

Chausiku book series
(adv. in 2 issues: 2014)

Flava Lab Apparel
(adv. in 4 issues: 2017–2018)

Sweet Basil Macarons
(adv. in 4 issues: 2017–2018)

Mixed Chicks
(adv. in 4 issues: 2018–2019)

First Strings Swimwear
(adv. in 4 issues: 2018–2019)

PGA Works
(adv. in 4 issues: 2019–2020)

Hewlett-Packard (HP)
(adv. on twice: 2021; 2023)

Zandra Beauty
(adv. in 1 issue: 2015)

Haute Kinky Hair
(adv. in 1 issue: 2016)

EM Naturals
(adv. in 1 issue: 2016)

My Chocolate Curls
(adv. in 1 issue: 2016)

Black Girls Golf
(adv. in 4 issues: 2019–2020)

CHY Artists/Author Paula Chase Hyman
(adv. in 1 issue: 2020)

Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt YA
(adv. in 2 issues: 2020; 2021)

Candlewick Press
(adv. in 2 issues: 2020)

The College Life book series by J.B. Vample
(adv. in 2 issues: 2019)

Naturally You Fragrances
(adv. in 1 issue: 2021)

(adv. in 1 issue: 2022)

Eden Bodyworks
(adv. in 1 issue: 2014)

Candid Liv Books
(adv. w/four social posts: 2018)

Plum Perfect Makeup App
(adv. in 1 issue: 2015 and on social media: 2016)

(adv. in 1 issue: 2015)

Riley’s Way Foundation
(adv. in 1 issue: 2022)

If you have any questions, please email me at

Andréa Butler, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, Sesi

*Before then, our ad prices were even less: In 2013 and 2014, our rates began at $158; in 2016, our rates started at $315; in 2018, our rates began at $540; in 2020 and 2021, they began at $1,080.


Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™