C.J. Walker Overcoming the Odds
This women’s history month we would like to celebrate the life of Madame C.J. Walker. Born in Delta, Louisiana to two slaves, she was one of six children. At the tender age of 10, both her parents died from sickness and she became a domestic worker and lived with her older sister. To escape the abuse from her brother-in-law she married Moses. They had one child together before he died and then she went on to marry two other men until she finally took the name from her last marriage and became Madame C.J. Walker. She started selling hair products from Annie Malone and then was able to create her own line of products soon after. Her husband helped her with marketing her products, which spread all over the United States and into the Caribbean. She died from kidney failure on May 25, 1919. Madame C.J. Walker’s papers are at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis, and her two properties are on the National Register of Historic Places: Villa Lewaro in Irvington and the Madame Walker Theatre Center in Indianapolis.
Women Giving Back
On the evening of November 9, 1946, Margaret Roselle Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inter-city club. The two women envisioned an organization that would help empower black women to better themselves as well as the communities in which they lived. Today The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated (The Links) philanthropy, is felt across not only the United States but in various countries throughout the world. VIVO360 is honored to have The Links, as not just a client but a true partner in helping them fulfill their vision with many distinguished women who are members and individual achievers, who make a difference in their communities and the world.
Young Women Rewriting The Rules
It’s a struggle for women to break into specific industries, but for Nija Charles it’s just another day at the office. She is the songwriter and record producer for some of the biggest names in the music industry. She took an interest in music at an early age when her aunt and uncle started to experiment with the production software, Fruity Loops. It was at that moment she wanted to pursue a career in music, so she enrolled in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the University of New York. During her second semester, she met her manager Christian who flew her to Los Angeles to work with other producers in the recording industry. Since then she has produced for chart-topping artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Cardi B, and Jason Derulo. You make us all proud Nija!
Changing the Way Women View Style
Sara Blakely founder of Spanx changed the way women viewed themselves by making a needed change in the intimate apparel industry. Blakely was born in Clearwater, Florida; she is the daughter of an artist and trial attorney. Her intention for going to school was to become an attorney, but she didn’t score as well as she thought and instead accepted a job at Walt Disney World and during this period she did stand up. Eventually, she took a sales job selling fax machines door to door. She had to wear pantyhose but did not like the way the seam looked when wearing open-toed shoes but loved the idea that the control top model eliminated panty lines. She experimented with cutting off the feet of her pantyhose while wearing them under a new pair of slacks. The pantyhose continuously rolled up her legs, but she achieved the desired result which was a body contouring look. Still working at her current job she spent the next two years researching her idea. She found a factory in North Carolina to create her product and patented the design. She arranged a meeting with Neiman Marcus where she was able to sell her product in seven stores. She sent her product to the Oprah Winfrey Network, and Oprah started using her product. That was the defining moment that pushed her product to the forefront of the market place making her a millionaire in the process.