Madam C.J. Walker, the hair care entrepreneur and America’s first self-made female millionaire, is being immortalised as a Barbie doll.
Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker has been inducted into Mattel’s Barbie Inspiring Women Series to celebrate the US’ National Black Business Month, which took place in August.
The Louisiana native built her business in the 1900s selling Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula.
To promote and sell her products, she built a factory, hair and manicure salon and two training schools.
Mattel was helped by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, journalist and author A’Lelia Bundles – also the founder of the MADAM by Madam C.J. Walker hair care line (launched at the beginning of the year by Unilever) – who was said to have worked closely with the toy company to properly execute everything from packaging to hair development.
The doll, designed by Carlyle Nuera, even features a Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower accessory.
The US$35 likeness launched on 24 August and is already marked as ‘sold out’ on Mattel Creations.