By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The beauty industry continues to innovate. Hair care products catering to the African American community is a big part of it. The entrepreneurial spirit this segment of the industry was founded on is alive and well in our region.

Madam CJ Walker, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and innovator from the early 1900s, secured her fortune selling hair care products and paved the way for women of color in the industry.

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Now more than a century later, Black hair care went from being a billion-dollar industry to a trillion, proving the first African American woman millionaire’s legacy is deep-rooted today.

“I’ve always wanted to be an innovator like her,” said Maeyonni Westbrook with MK Glam Beauty Vending.

Westbrook is creating her own space when it comes to hair care and beauty. During the pandemic, the hairstylist thought of a novel idea.

“Hair salons and beauty supply stores were closed so resources for hair products were unavailable,” she said.

MK Glam Beauty Vending was born. Sitting inside this Southwest Philly ShopRite on Island Avenue, you can find hair extensions, hair products, makeup and …

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“This is my edge control. I have my own line of edge control,” Westbrook said.

Across the bridge in Clementon, Jana’s Cosmetology Academy is in full gear.

Opened last September, Jana’s Cosmetology Academy is the first Black-owned in New Jersey. Like Madam CJ Walker, who built an empire around what was missing, Atiya Johnson, who took over her mom’s salon when she was only 17 years old, felt it was necessary.

“I noticed a lack in education and a diversity of cultural hair,” Johnson said.

And the school is thriving, with students graduating and moving on to jobs in the industry.

“We truly believe in elite education,” Johnson said.

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More than a century after her passing, Madam CJ Walker continues to inspire Black women to capitalize on the trillion-dollar hair industry.