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Savvy Sistahs Soar : Madame C.J Walker

Madame C.J. Walker 1867-1919

” I got my start by giving myself a start”

Entrepreneur and philanthropist. Born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, in Delta, Louisiana. Madam C. J. Walker was one of the first female African-American entrepreneurs. Driven by her own struggles with hair loss during 1890s, Madam C. J. Walker began experimenting with different hair care treatments and products. In 1905 she invented a method for straightening African-Americans’ “kinky” hair: her method involved her own formula for a pomade, much brushing, and the use of heated combs. In 1910 Madam C. J. Walker settled in Indianapolis. It was there that she established the headquarters of Madame C. J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train her sales beauticians. These “Walker Agents” became well known throughout the black communities of the United States and the Caribbean. Madam C. J. Walker died on May 25, 1919, at her home in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. At the time of her death, Madam C. J. Walker was sole owner of her business, which was valued at more than $1 million.

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  • Angela Randolph

    I just wanted to inform you and your readers of this very important fact – Madame C.J. Walker’s historic company still exists today and has never stopped manufacturing all of the original hair oils! Please visit our website at to view and purchase the full product line. The website also contains valuable information about Raymond Randolph’s purchase of the original Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in 1985 from the Walker Trustees in Indianapolis, Indiana and how his family continues to keep Madame Walker’s “true” legacy alive. Due to our ownership of Madame’s historic company and the historical documents and memorabilia of the company, the Randolph Family can provide the most detailed and historically sound information about Madame C.J. Walker and her company by calling toll free, 866-552-2838 or going to the contact us page of our website. 

    Angela Randolph

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