In our eyes Ms. Sarah Breedlove, better known as Madame C.J. Walker, was one of the most influential female entrepreneurs in American history. For those of you who don’t know Madame C.J.’s story we’ll start from the beginning… Motivated by her own scalp condition, Sarah Breedlove began creating her own home remedies combatting hair loss in the 1890s. Her elixirs proved to be extremely successful and thanks to the support of her family, Sarah eventually opened the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Madame C.J. appealed to a market previously underrepresented. That, coupled with her powerful products, led to a company generating, what today would be considered, multi-million dollar profits.
But let us not be confused, Madame C.J., did not just sell hair care products and the occasional cosmetics, she created a successful, and today often mimicked, sales model. She worked closely to train her team of sales beauticians, commonly referred to as “Walker Agents.” Her model was revolutionary for the time (1910), and since has inspired cosmetic giants such as Avon.
But what inspires us the most about Madame C.J. was the entrepreneurial spirit she cultivated among her workers and countless women in the United States. She would offer a variety of training programs that helped women build, launch and grow their own businesses.
Thank you Madame C.J. for pushing the boundaries and being an inspiration to all women across the United States.