I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen and from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. . . . I have built my own factory on my own ground… I got my start by giving myself a start… There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.
– Madam C. J. Walker, 1912, is a pioneer of the modern hair care and cosmetics industries, and America’s first African American millionaire and female entrepreneur.