Sarah Breedlove Walker, better known as Madame CJ Walker revolutionized hair care and cosmetics for African American women early in the twentieth century. Madame CJ Walker was born in 1867. During the 1890s, Sarah began to suffer from a scalp ailment that caused some hair loss issues. She began experimenting with a variety of hair care treatments. Changing her name to Madame CJ Walker, Sarah founded her own business and began selling her own product and method. To promote her method and products she traveled around the country giving lecture-demonstrations.
In 1908 she opened an office in Pittsburgh to train her agents. In 1910, she settled in Indianapolis, where she established the headquarters of her company to manufacture her cosmetic and train her sales beauticians, better known as Walker Agents. Her products formed the basis of a thriving national corporation employing at one point over 3000 workers. Madame Walkers Company offered meaningful employment and personal growth to thousands of women. Her aggressive marketing strategy combined with relentless ambition led her to be labeled as the first known African American woman to become a self-made millionaire.
I believe she is considered an Icon in the industry because she reached a community of people not only making their hair look good but by improving their lives. She organized conventions for her company that recognized not only successful sales, but also philanthropic and educational efforts among African American. She was driven into the industry through ambition, strategies and philosophies which inspired a community of people and gained her fame and respect in the industry of Hair Care.