Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker, better known as Madame CJ Walker, is famous for creating hair products for African American's hair. She also created cosmetics for African American's.
Sarah Walker was born in 1867 in a poor house in Louisiana. She was the daughter of former slaves and when she was seven, she became an orphan. She and her sister survived by working on a cotton field in some parts of Mississippi.
Sarah got married at the age of fourteen and had her only daughter in 1885. Two years later after Mrs. Walker got married, her husband died. So she traveled to St. Louis to join her four brothers who were barbers. Mrs. Walker started working as a laundrywoman and saved enough money to educate her daughter. Then she got involved in activities with the National Association of Colored Women.
During the 1890's, Sarah began to suffer from a scalp disease that caused her to lose some of her hair. Embarrassed by her appearance, Mrs. Walker started to experiment with home-made recipes and products made by Annie Malone, a black business woman.
In 1905, Sarah became a sales agent for Ms. Malone and moved to Denver, Colorado. There, she married Charles Joseph Walker and changed her name to Madame CJ Walker. .
She started her own business and began selling Madame Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula. To sell more of her products, Mrs. Walker set out on a business trip to the South and Southeast. In 1908, she opened a college to train her hair stylists.
Madame Walker's marketing agency led her to be known as the first African American woman to become a self-made millionaire. It took 15 long years for Mrs. Walker to make a million dollars and at the age of 52, Mrs. Walker passed away.
Her idea for success was care, hard work, faith in herself and in God, honesty in business, and quality products.
Marjorie Joyner, an employee of Madame CJ Walkers Union, invented a permanent hair wave machine.