It’s the true story of the first millionaire woman in America, a real self made woman who built a successful business in the most hostile conditions. A wonderful story about how you can build sustainably from your own vulnerability, about how you can break through as a young woman of color, semi-illiterate and poor, single mother and daughter of slaves, in the age of discrimination. Sarah Breedlove, the heroine of the film, a woman far from the canons of beauty, says that “the secret of success is to get what you can’t buy with money”. In her case, she created a community of women whom she knew how to restore confidence in her own strength in an age when women of her condition were considered the chaff of society. An extraordinary example of what genuine female solidarity can do.
In the early 1900’s, Sarah Breedlove began making and selling her own hair products for women of color.
It’s a true story about a female entrepreneur built from scratch by a young woman of color, the daughter of slaves, who became a widow with a child under the age of 20, after a short marriage, but marked by domestic violence.
From the daughter of slaves to America’s first millionaire woman
Marked by all these sufferings, the young woman who earned her living as a washerwoman was at risk of losing her hair due to a scalp condition. A miraculous ointment helps her heal, then she herself creates a better version of the hair cream and the “Walker method” of hair care specific to African-American women. From here to an empire of built hair cosmetics is a whole odyssey that lasts less than 10 years. It is worth seeing how this formidable woman has evolved – from kitchen cosmetics, to cosmetics, hair salons, beauty school and sales and philanthropic actions for the community. All through his own work, with a fantastic intuition, but also with the desire to (self) educate. Her great pride was that she was able to secure, even from her modest laundress’s salary, her daughter’s access to a public school. She was aware that only education could provide a secure basis for growth in entrepreneurship. That is why, later, this pioneer and visionary lays the foundations of the “Lelia” College of Beauty Culture, named after her daughter. Unfortunately, he died prematurely at the age of 52 due to a long-neglected kidney disease. Her daughter continued her business and charities.
Actress and writer Octavia Spencer, starring Sarah Breedlove, plays a memorable role, earning her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. The way she gives face and voice to this heroine, not at all common for Hollywood canons, brought her the sympathy of the public, but also of the critics..
Octavia is best known for her role as housewife Minny Jackson in “The Color of Feelings,” for which she received the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, BAFTA, SAG Award and Oscar for Supporting Role.
An extraordinary lesson in solidarity between women who want to overcome their vulnerabilities
“Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Mrs. CJ Walker” is one of the best female entrepreneur series you can see. You will see what it means to build from scratch in a world of men, carrying the heaviest labels on a woman – black, slave daughter, single mother, semi-illiterate, not physically attractive, all in the age of discrimination racial. You will see the enormous power of ambition, the desire for self-education and lifelong learning, intuition, the ability to risk everything, but also the desire for emancipation for all women in the community. An extraordinary lesson in solidarity between women who want to overcome their vulnerabilities.