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Beauty

DooBop Founder Speaks on Madam C.J. Walker

Moments like this come when you least expect them — when you’re so moved to want to live more intentionally, to follow your passions and fearlessly go after that ‘thing’ you know you were always meant to do but never found the courage enough to carry out. This is just one way I was inspired by my conversation with Jodie Patterson, co-founder and chief creative officer for DooBop.com, the first online seller of beauty products geared towards women of color.

As I write this, I am listening to “SHE” by Alice Smith — allowing lyrics like, “She had a power that they tried to tame, couldn’t tame her, tried her everyday to take it away,” to further stir the excitement of this blog post connecting Madam C.J. Walker’s legacy to the revered “beauty gladiator” (as referred to by Fast Company) that is Jodie Patterson today.

“Beauty without struggle, that’s the movement that I stand for,” says Patterson. “I stepped into the industry wanting to help women be their most beautiful selves in a very natural, symbiotic, easy way. Not trying to change yourself but instead highlighting and becoming your most beautiful self.”

One can easily find Patterson’s take on beauty to be uplifting and refreshingly pure, but it’s not until you talk about her motivation over the years, that you find she intentionally modeled her business around the ideals of the first self-made female millionaire in our nation’s history, a woman more widely known as Madam C.J. Walker.

Madam Walker rose above race, gender equality, and social justice to build a beauty empire that she intended to be a benefit to her race long after her time. She was a visionary, with a foresight that is today, unmatched. As a huge proponent of hard work, Madam Walker was unapologetic about her success, stating, “I had a dream and that dream begot other dreams until now I am surrounded by all my dreams come true.”

An example of Madam C.J. Walker's beauty products

An example of Madam C.J. Walker’s beauty products

Patterson’s first encounter with Walker occurred while on bed rest during her final months of pregnancy.

“I had just gone through Fashion Week, I was exhausted, and the doctor put me on bed rest,” Patterson recalls. “My niece sent me a link to a documentary on YouTube about the business of black hair care. The video takes the viewer on a journey from Madam C.J. Walker to the present. It showed a very influential black woman servicing a community in Harlem and making a lot of money off of a very smart product and being very diligent and entrepreneurial. That was when I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to do something similar — take a very personalized approach based on experience, from the consumer’s perspective. That was my inspiration: to be a modern-day Madam C.J. Walker.

To read the full story, visit blog.preservationnation.org.

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