Madam C. J. Walker
In the 1900s, millionaires were making their fortune through the monopoly of goods such as coal, lumber, and transportation. But this first African-American female millionaire in America, Madam C. J. Walker made her fortune on beauty products.
After her husband’s death, C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove moved to St. Louis with her daughter, where she began to work as a laundress. At the time, black women had a lot of issues with their hair, including dandruff and other scalp diseases. After experimenting with products in her home and other items in the market, Breedlove developed a shampoo and ointment with sulfur that helped stimulate the scalp and made it healthier for hair growth.
With her new husband, Charles Joseph Walker, Breedlove developed and marketed a line of beauty and hair products for black women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. Madam Walker’s hair products were distributed and sold door to door throughout the United States.