Meet the first Black, self-made, and female millionaire in the US!

In search of hair loss remedies, Madam C.J. Walker designed her own inspired by a conditioner formula that "came to her in a dream".

When the formula worked miracles on her own hair, she designed, developed, and marketed a successful line of hair care products for women of color.

What lessons can we learn from her life?

Madam C.J. Walker featured on a US stamp in 1998.

Take The Leap

"I got my start by giving myself a start."

-Madam C.J. Walker

Annie Turnbo's hair care products helped Madam Walker with her own treatment, so she became a sales agent for the Poro hair care line and learned the craft. πŸ’‡πŸΏ

Madam Walker then began to experiment with formulas of her own and would eventually go on to empower thousands of women of colour to feel like their best selves. πŸ”¬

The lesson here? If you just get started and act on your curiosity, you never know where you might end up. 🌠

Tin of Madam C.J. Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower

A tin of "Wonderful Hair Grower" from sometime between 1910 and 1920.

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

A person walking on a painted arrow along a path Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Even through challenges and setbacks, Madam Walker (an appropriate name!) kept moving forward and trying new things. Along the way she:

  • Built relationships with other Black entrepreneurs to learn the product and business. 🀝

  • Spent a year and a half travelling through the Southern and Southeastern US selling her products door-to-door. πŸ‘£

  • Continuously developed her products, marketing, and sales strategies to best reach her customers. πŸ’ž

  • Built a factory in Indianapolis to scale her production. πŸ“ˆ

  • Trained 25,000 sales agents throughout her career. 🌟

It wasn't a gigantic leap that led to her success, but rather continued and diligent work to support what she believed in.

Use Your Platform For Good

In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Madam Walker was well-known for her philanthropy and activism. Throughout her career she:

  • Employed and mentored other entrepreneurs of colour πŸ‘©πŸΏ

  • Donated to community initiatives and schools 🏫

  • Petitioned and protested in support of Black rights πŸ“£

Through these actions, she empowered and inspired others to do the same.

cartoon image of a hand holding a loud megaphone

Whether your platform is a tight circle of family and friends, or millions of followers on social media, use your influence to support and amplify the voices of others. πŸ’ͺ🏿

Quiz

How can you learn more about Madam C.J. Walker today?

Take Action

If you're curious to solve a problem in your own life, just get started! You'll learn along the way and might even help others out too.

A woman saying,

Take a page from Madam C.J. Walker's book, and:

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This Byte has been authored by

KV

Kamelia Valkova

Community Animator at Rumie (and I love nature!)