One of the first self-made female millionaires was Madam C.J. Walker, who in the early 1900s, developed and operated a cosmetics empire focused on African-American women. She was quoted as saying:
I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From the washtub I was promoted to the cook kitchen and from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.