Email us for help
The story of Madame Sara Spencer-Washington would be lost to not only African-American history, but US history as a whole, were it not for her descendants and the work of author Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks. With a goal of introducing a new generation of children, "The Story of Madame Sara Spencer-Washington and the Apex Empire" is one of an entrepreneur who broke boundaries.
In 1911, Spencer-Washington moved from Virginia to Atlantic City, New Jersey and started the Apex News and Hair Company, a door-to-door cosmetics business and hair salon, which she transformed to an international empire. With hundreds of products, and 45-thousand agents around the world, Spencer-Washington opened beauty schools and expanded to Haiti and South Africa. She was honored at the New York World's Trade Fair in 1939 for her endeavors, and also served as a philanthropist and civic leader.
Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks had a passion for writing from childhood, and won awards for her essays. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University, she wrote for the school newspaper The Weathervane; her works have also appeared in Bronze Magazine, among other publications. Her first book for Sunbury Press was the 2017 release, "Chicken Bone Beach: A Pictorial History of Atlantic City's Missouri Avenue Beach," which was nominated for a literary award by the Schomburg Center in New York City.
Cheryl is also an accomplished singer-songwriter; she lives with her family in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania.