Madam C.J. Walker 1867-1919 The Beginning Madame C.J. Walker was born on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana, she was the daughter of Owen and Minerva Breedlove. Her parents were slaves both working as sharecroppers. When Walker was 7 years old her parents past away and she ended up moving in with her sister Louvina and her husband. Her New Life When Walker was 14 she ran away because her brother-in-law was beating her. At the age of fourteen married a man named Moses McWilliams and in 1885 gave birth to a baby girl, Lelia. About two years later her husband was murdered. On Her Own After the tragedy of Moses, Sarah moved with her daughter to St. Louis, Missouri where she worked as a cook and housecleaner. Her Hair falling out All of the stress and hardship had begun to take its toll on her and she found her hair falling out. She tried several products which claimed would help her condition but nothing seemed to work Nothing Worked She realized that there were almost no hair products available for Blacks So she decided to go into business, selling hair products to Black women Financing Her Business In 1905 Sarah's brother died and she moved to Denver, Colorado to live with her sister-in-law. When she arrived in Denver she had only $2.00 in her pocket yet she worked during the day as a cook in order to finance her part time business. “Madam CJ Walker” she met Charles Joseph "C.J." Walker, a newspaperman with a great ability for marketing. She married Walker on January 4, 1906 and the couple set up the "Madam CJ Walker Manufacturing Company" and began placing advertisements in Black newspapers throughout the United States. Although they were successful team, they disagreed as to how much the company should grow. After years of struggling and suffering, Sarah wanted her company to grow immensely and divorced him in order to devote herself to the business Her Hard Work She continued on with many of the ideas he had passed on to her, including going door- to-door to sell the products. Her hard work paid off and in 1906 she brought her daughter Lelia, a recent college graduate, in to manage the company. Lelia College In 1908, Sarah started Lelia College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which trained women to sell her products door-to-door and by 1910 had more than 1,000 sales agents. Her Success By 1914, the woman who only nine years earlier had only $2.00 to her name was now worth more than one million dollars Her products ranged from hair conditioners and facial creams to hot combs specially made for the hair of Black consumers. The She pasted away on May 25, 1919 Sources Bellis, Mary. "Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919)." 2005. New York Times Company. 20 Sep. 2005 <http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blwalker .htm>. Bundles, A'Lelia. "Walker, Madam C. J. Walker". 20 May. 1999. The Lewaro Corporation. 20 Sep. 2005 <http://www.madamcjwalker.com>.
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