The first woman to become a millionaire independently, without inherited money, and she was black.
She got married at the age of 14, and at the age of 20, she became a single mother. The first female millionaire who made a fortune with her 10 fingers.
She entered the Guinness Book of Records as the first woman to become a millionaire independently, without inherited money.
Sara Breedlove was born in 1867 in the south of the USA, in the state of Louisiana. Her parents, older brothers, and sister were slaves in the cotton fields.
But Sara was born free. When she was 7 years old, she lost her parents. After her parents died, she moved in with her sister and her husband.
As a child, Sara worked as a housekeeper and did not have time for schooling. She later shared that she only had 3 months of formal education when she attended Sunday school.
She was only 14 when she married Moses McWilliams. She didn't do it because she loved him. The truth was that her sister's husband was a very violent man, and marriage was the only way for Sara to escape from that family. Four years later, Sarah and Moses had a daughter, Alleluia. Two years later, Sarah's husband dies. So Sara became a single mother and a widow at the age of twenty.
In 1888, Sara moved to St. Louis. Her brothers worked there as barbers. She started working in a laundromat and as a cook to pay for her daughter's education in a public school. Sara earned about $1.50 a day.
Like all the workers in the laundry, Sara got sick from chemicals: skin disease, lack of water, and heating in the house made Sara almost lose her hair. Thanks to her brothers, she learned the basics of hair care. A little later, Sara learns about the Eni Malon series of hair products, and later meets Eni in person. He starts selling her products on the street.
Still working for Malon, Sara, now at the age of 37, moves to Denver with her daughter and begins to think about her own line of cosmetics for African-American women. After many experiments, she succeeds. He starts building his own business.
In 1906, Sara married Charles J. Walker and later became famous under his surname. Charles becomes her business partner: He did advertising and helped his wife with promotion.
Sara went door to door trying to sell her products, but also to teach women how to care for and style their hair.
In the same year, Sara decided to expand her business, so she and her husband traveled around South and East America. Her daughter had grown up and graduated from school, so she helped her mother with all the shipments from Denver.
Two years later, Sara moves to Pittsburgh. The family opens a beauty salon, but also a school that trains people to know everything about hair care so that they can apply Sara's products.
In 1910, Sara moved to Indianapolis, where she opened the headquarters of the company Madam C. J. Walker.
He builds a factory with a laboratory, a hair salon, and a beauty school where he teaches his sales agents. By 1917, Mrs. Walker employed about 20,000 women. Her agents earned from 5 to 15 dollars a day. Sara wanted African-American women to be financially independent, so she encouraged women to open their own businesses and taught them how to handle money.
The richer she became, the more time she spent on charities and giving. She gave lectures, fought against social injustice, and donated money to funds. Before she died, she donated more than 100,000 dollars to the poor and various organizations and social institutions.
In her will, she stated that 2/3 of her future profits should be given to charity.
She died at the age of 51. She was considered the richest African-American woman. When she died, her fortune was thought to be between $500,000 and $1 million. During her lifetime, Sara was not a millionaire, only 2 years after her death, her wealth increased, but while she was alive, she hoped that she would be. And not because she needed the money, but because she wanted to do more good deeds.
You have to respect and value women like this, and I truly admire her.
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