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001 The Original Million Dollar Badass with A’Lelia Bundles

Here’s the Recap:

We go way back in this episode…all the way to America’s very first self-made female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker.

Madam Walker was born a slave, worked as a washwoman into her thirties and then became a self-made millionaire by the time she died at 51. Makes us looks lazy, right?!

In this episode, I’m interviewing the great-great-grand daughter of Madam C.J. Walker, notable New York Times author and journalist, A’Lelia Bundles, about her grandmother, her passion for storytelling and her own path as an entrepreneur.

Here’s what you’ll get out of this:

  • Why it’s vital that black women are making their own fortunes
  • How a mentor or guide can help us bring our biggest dreams to life
  • Why A’Lelia never gave up on her mission to bring her great-great-grandmother’s story to the world
  • How storytelling plays a role in my business, A’Lelia’s work, and played a huge role in Madame Walker’s business
  • The moment when Madame Walker’s husband felt like she was making “enough” money and she was like, “Umm, no.”

Listen Now!

What We Covered:

  • 00:45 – Episode intro
  • 04:04 – Rachel welcomes A'Lelia Bundles
  • 05:20 – A'Lelia talks a bit about her recent travels
  • 07:45 – Rachel asks if A'Lelia considers herself an entrepreneur
  • 11:18 – A'Lelia talks about the new Madam C.J. Walker hair care line at Sephora
  • 13:15 – Rachel asks how A'Lelia's legacy impacted her growing up
  • 15:45 – A'Lelia gets guidance from her college professor
  • 18:30 – A'Lelia's first publication
  • 22:10 – The inspiration behind the upcoming Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer
  • 25:18 – How Madam C.J. Walker approached the idea of making money
  • 31:15 – Using Stereopticon slides as the very first PowerPoint
  • 32:33 – How Madam Walker's marketing strategy was ahead of her time
  • 36:30 – How would Madam Walker respond in today's political climate?
  • 40:00 – What projects is A'Lelia working on now?
  • 42:10 – How to connect with A'Lelia


[bctt tweet=”When you write a book… if you don't sell it, then you might as well have not written it.”]
[bctt tweet=”There's no better skill for being an entrepreneur than storytelling.”]
[bctt tweet=”Everyday we have people telling us that our stories, our lives, our very existence, is not worthy… and we have to keep telling each other it is.”]
[bctt tweet=”It's important that we make our lives matter, as women of color.”]
[bctt tweet=”My money comes from black women and I don't have to apologize for that. – Madam C.J. Walker”]
[bctt tweet=”There is no royal flower-strewn path to success, and if there is, I have not found it. -Madam C.J. Walker”]

Links Mentioned

Schlesinger Library at Harvard
Shaina Taub Shares Suffragists in Song
A'Lelia's Website
On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker
A'Lelia on Twitter
A'Lelia on Instagram
Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture at Sephora
New Voices Fund
Roots: The Saga of an American Family Paperback by Alex Haley

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