image of Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker was born in 1867 on a cotton plantation near Delta, Louisiana. She was the first child in her family to be born free. During the 1890s, Madam C.J. Walker developed a scalp disorder that caused her to lose much of her hair, and she began to experiment with both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments in an attempt to improve her condition. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture demonstrations. In 1908, Madam C.J. Walker opened a factory and a beauty school in Pittsburgh, and by 1910, she transferred her business operations to Indianapolis, the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company had become very successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars. Madam C.J. Walker was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.