Madame CJ Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana. She is the fifth of six children of Owen and Minerva Anderson Breedlove. She was the first Breedlove child born after slavery.
Madame Walker married three times, Moses McWilliams died of unknown causes in 1888, John Davis husband of nine years, and her very close friend Charles Joseph Walker husband of six years. She had one child by her first husband, Lelia McWilliams she later changed her name to A'Lelia.
She came up with a system called the Walker system, the system's key elements where shampoo, pomade "hair grower", a great amount of brushing, and the application of heated metal combs through the hair. This method transformed stubborn lusterless hair to shinning smoothness. Before this time African-American women who wanted to straighten their hair had to lay it on a flat surface and press it with a flat iron.
Walker established her first business in Denver in July, 1905. She added the prefix Madame to her name and took her inventions on the road, and soon demonstrated her excellent marketing skills door-to-door. By September 1906 she left Denver and began to travel throughout the south and promoting her products, giving lectures, and demonstrations in homes, clubs and churches. She had a major increase in her success and opened a second office in Pittsburgh in 1908, which her daughter A'Lelia managed.
In 1910, Walker transferred her Denver and Pittsburgh offices to a new headquarters in Indianapolis, were a plant was built to serve as the center of Walker enterprises. The company's name was the Walker College of Hair Culture and Walker Manufacturing. Madame Walker was president and sole owner of her company. She employed about three thousand people. Walker constantly made headlines because she was a great woman who achieved so many things through her own time and effort.
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