Rose Morgan, the beauty mogul who turned her small salon into a $3m business in the 40s

Rose Morgan/Photo credit: Brown Girl Collective, Facebook

The Morgans are known to be creative when it comes to starting a business to benefit their immediate community. So when African American beauty mogul, Rose Morgan, persuaded her neighborhood kids to sell artificial flowers on her behalf at the age of 10, it did not come to many as shocking. By age 14, she had decided she was going to be a hairdresser, and took steps to place her dream on course by enrolling at the Morris School of Beauty.

When she graduated, she rented a booth in a community salon and began her journey to greatness. Despite the small size of the salon, her exceptional skills attracted a good number of customers. One of such customers who changed Morgan’s fate was singer and actress, Ethel Waters, who was extremely impressed with her work and arranged for the hair stylist to visit New York as her guest. When she made the trip, she discovered that New York City held massive opportunities for her.

On her next visit to New York, Morgan set up her own beauty parlor within six months. As her business grew, she employed five people and signed a ten-year lease on a vacant dilapidated structure. By 1946, she branded her salon as Rose Meta House of Beauty and had about 29 staff, including 20 hairstylists, three licensed masseurs, and a registered nurse, according to history makers. By the early 1960s when she diversified and added a wig salon to her portfolio, she had employed and trained over 3,000 people.

Through hard work and determination, she quickly grew her business into a massive success. Morgan transformed Rose Meta House of Beauty into the largest Negro beauty parlor in the world during her time, and within a few years, the salon had amassed more than $3 million in sales, an incredible achievement for a business owned and operated by an African-American woman during the late 1940s. Her salon was a hub of activity, attracting clients from all over the country who were seeking the latest beauty treatments and styles.

The beauty mogul was born in 1912 in Edward, Mississippi, and grew up in Chicago. Her father, Chaptle Morgan, was a prominent sharecropper in his time. She was a trailblazer in her industry, known for her innovative business strategies and commitment to providing the best possible service to her clients. Morgan was a true visionary, always looking for ways to improve and expand her business, and her hard work paid off in spades.

She retired in the 1970s. Today, her legacy lives on, and her beauty salon continues to inspire entrepreneurs around the world. Morgan’s story is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit. It serves as an inspiration to all who aspire to achieve greatness in business and in life.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 6, 2023


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