Madam C.J. Walker
Born to slaves and orphaned at the age of 7, in 1905 Madam C.J. Walker created Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower, which paved the way for the African American hair-care and cosmetic industry. She was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. She is also known as the first female entrepreneur and original "self-made woman."
She often said, "I got my start by giving myself a start."
One might look at Fenty, Savage x Fenty, Fenty Beauty, and Fenty Skin as simply the products of celebrity. However, Rihanna's Fenty brands have revolutionized the way beauty, skin care, and lingerie brands approach diversity and inclusivity in marketing and product formulation. She was the first woman to create an original brand for LVMH and also the first woman of color to lead an LVMH brand. When Fenty Beauty was first launched, it was praised for wide range of skin tones the products cover. With Savage x Fenty, Rihanna once again led with inclusivity of skin tones and sizes. Recently, Rihanna tackled sustainability efforts with a refillable lipstick.
“I stand up for what I believe in, and a lot of the time that can be against people’s opinions.”
Coco Chanel is synonymous with "revolutionary woman." She popularized women wearing trousers as something fashionable and not just something for work. Her designs were inspired to free women from corsets and long skirts. She turned things that were considered "unmarkedly unglamourous" into luxury must-haves. Did you know that the iconic Chanel bag was the first to include a shoulder strap? Another one of her practical ideas to give women more freedom.
"My life didn’t please me, so I created my life."
If you know me, you know that Lucille Ball is one of my greatest inspirations. Without her, we would not have all fallen in love with Lucy and Ricky, the first interracial couple on TV. Without her, we would haven't Star Trek. She was 41 when "I Love Lucy" premiered and she married a man six years her junior. She was the first woman to be pregnant on TV, at a time when it was considered scandalous and inappropriate. Lucille Ball ultimately became one of the most iconic figures in the entertainment industry, but not without a long and challenging journey, including having to take a two year hiatus due to rheumatoid arthritis.
“I cured myself of shyness when it finally occurred to me that people didn’t think about me half as much as I gave them credit for. The truth was, nobody gave a damn. Like most teenagers, I was far too self-centered. When I stopped being prisoner to what I worried was others’ opinions of me, I became more confident and free.”