SARAH BREEDLOVE AKA MADAM C.J. WALKER

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by Tim Sullivan 

(if you like this piece, Tim asks only that you donate to Planned Parenthood)

Today's fierce female is Sarah Breedlove, the first female self-made millionaire in U.S. history, better known as Madam C.J. Walker.

Born in 1867 in Louisiana, she was orphaned at age 7. By age 10, she had entered the workforce as a maid. Married at 14 and widowed at 20, she eventually moved to St. Louis, where she found work selling hair products to the African-American community. She used trial and error to develop her own product lines and took her business on the road, eventually becoming the largest rival to her former employer.

After moves from St. Louis to Denver to Pittsburgh, she eventually settled in Indianapolis, where she established a factory in 1910. Her business took off, and her group of traveling saleswomen spread "the Walker Method" of hair grooming across the country. By 1917, over 20,000 women had been trained on how to market and sell her products. 

As her business grew, Sarah devoted herself to philanthropy and civil activism. She established the National Association of Colored Women and hosted one of the first known conferences for women devoted to entrepreneurship and commerce. She was on the executive committee of the NAACP, she gave away over $100,000 to orphanages, and willed over 2/3 of her estate to charity. She died in 1919 at the age of 51, when her business was at its height.

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

"There is no royal flower strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for whatever success I have attained has been the result of much hard work and many sleepless nights."

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I got promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

“I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity. I want others to look at us and see that we care not just about ourselves but about others.”

Clearly, Sarah Breedlove AKA Madam C.J. Walker is a Boss Ass Bitch.

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