Fact 18: Madame CJ Walker

Sarah Breedlove, known as Madame C.J. Walker was the first black woman billionaire in America when she created her own hair products.

At a  young age Sarah started losing some of her hair so she experimented with store bought products and her own concoctions she would mix together. She came up with a method called the “Walker System” where she would use scalp treatment,a mixture of lotion products, and a flat iron comb. Eventually she caught the attention of a hair product specialist, who was a millionaire, named Turnbo Malone. With Malone, she moved to Denver  and while there her husband Charles Walker helped her advertise her products and they made Denver her headquarters for the business. Her husband also encouraged her to change her name to something more recognizable–Madame C.J. Walker. She also had another branch in Pittsburh, Ohio that was managed by her daughter.

 

photo credit: askmeaboutmyhair.com

 

By 1910, Walker switched her headquarters to Indianpolis, Indiana and her business was known as the Madame C.J Walker Manufacturing Company. She even trained beauty culturalist and employed over 3,000 workers and they would go foor-to-door selling her products. The products were only for African American women hair. With her booming business, she profited several millon dollars and became the First Black Woman Billionaire.

She traveled to Latin American and the Caribbeans to promote her business and recruit more business women to sell her product and teach them different hair care methods. When she returned, she moved to Harlem, New York and ran her business from there. She began a Walker building before her death that was designed to be an arts center emphasizing in cultural. After she passed, it was registered as a national landmark.

 

photo credit: pinterest.com

 

 

sources: biography.com; history.com

featured image photo crediy: biography.com

 

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