Wednesday, March 30, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years, Reason Four

Today you will discover a pioneer in the haircare industry. A woman that revolutionized business formula and changed the fate of many women.

Martha Matilda Harper was a Canadian businesswoman. Born is 1857 in Oakville, Ontario she was sent out of the family by her father to work as a domestic servant. She was just 7 years old. So, how did this servant girl impacted the world. Here are some facts:

1. Martha was very concerned with the quality of the hair products available on the market at the time. She had a floor length hair and that encouraged her to create an all natural hair tonic. After working in servant's position for 25 years and saving enough money, Martha focused full time on the creation of her tonic. Later she opened a salon that used only this particular product. Over the years business had developed a full line of natural hair care products. Harper salons did not use any of artificial products or do chemical perms.
2. In 1891, Martha, following a successful launch of several salons, created first ever business format franchising system. At he pick of the business there were 500 stores. This system revolutionised the business world. Look at all the franchises we have now, McDonald's anyone?
3. One of the most significant contributions was Martha's interest in poor women and her willingness to change their lives. She hired only former servant women and helped them either through training or providing them with flexible financing to open their own salons. This significantly improved women's lives. Martha's business offered women flexible hours, paid personal leave, and profit sharing. This was revolutionary at the time.
4. Another of Martha's contribution to the world is the reclining shampoo chair. From now on, I'll be thanking Martha every time I get my hair done.
5. Martha's salons took customer service to the all new level. They offered scalp massage, evening hours and even a childcare. Among one of her famous clients was Jacqueline Kennedy.

Martha Matilda Harper was an amazing woman entrepreneur. She revolutionised the women's world and the world of future business. The first Harper Method Founder's Shop continues to operate in Rochester, New York and considered to be the countries oldest, and longest running beauty shop. She certainly is a Current Women of her time.

I wanted to thank for suggesting this name for my "100 Reasons for 100 Years" series. My gratitude is also extended to Wikipedia and Martha Matilda Harper Organization. There is still room for your suggestions. Don't be shy, comment or twit me at Also, don't forget to participate in the poll (see bottom of the page).

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

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