Madam C.J. Walker Facts

Madam C.J. Walker Facts
Madam C.J. Walker was an African-American activist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who became one of the first African-American women to become a millionaire. She was born Sarah Breedlove, on December 23rd, 1867, near Delta, Louisiana, to Owen Breedlove, and Minerva (Anderson). She was one of six children. She was the first child in her family to be born free, following the Emancipation Proclamation. Sarah married Moses McWilliams in 1882. They had one daughter together. After her husband died she remarried, but left her second husband in 1903. In 1905 she was selling hair care products, and she started a hair care business. She went on to grow a large company and developed hair products for African-American women. When she died at the age of 51 she was considered the wealthiest African-American woman in the United States.
Interesting Madam C.J. Walker Facts:
Sarah Breedlove became Sarah Walker when she married her third husband. She took the name Madam because it was common for women in the French beauty industry to use the name.
Part of the inspiration for developing hair care products came from developing a scalp condition that caused hair loss.
Madam C.J. Walker worked as an independent retailer of cosmetic products and as a hairdresser. She sold products for Malone, which would eventually become one of her biggest competitors in the industry.
Madam C.J. Walker established the headquarters for her company in 1910. Her company was named the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.
As Madam C.J. Walker's company grew she hired a lot of women to in key management positions.
Madam C.J. Walker trained her employees as beauty culturists. Her training system was called 'The Walker System'.
In 1913 Madam C.J. Walker and her husband Charles were divorced.
Following her divorce Madam C.J. Walker traveled to the Caribbean and Latin America to promote her products and business.
In the years between 1911 and 1919 Madam C.J. Walker employed thousands of women in her business. By 1917 she had trained almost 20,000 women.
By the 1920s Madam C.J. Walker's products were well-known throughout Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba.
Madam C.J. Walker focused on training her employees in more than just selling her products. She also taught them how to budget and grow their own businesses to become independent.
Madam C.J. Walker organized her sales personnel into local clubs, and established the National Beauty Culturists and Benevolent Association of Madam C.J. Walker Agents.
By the time Madam C.J. Walker died in 1919, she had become the wealthiest African-American self-made woman in the United States. She was estimated to have a net worth of the equivalent of $8 million by today's dollars.
Madam C.J. Walker died on May 25th, 1919, from complications of kidney failure and hypertension. She was only 51 years old.
Madam C.J. Walker is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx in New York City.
A play was written about Madam C.J. Walker in 2006, by playwright Regina Taylor. The play was titled The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove.
Madam C.J. Walker was inducted in the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.


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