Biographer Shapes Pioneer Franchiser’s Story Into Children’s Book

Martha Matilda Harper, an entrepreneur who created modern retail franchising,  is the central character in Jane Plitt’s new “Martha’s Magical Hair,” a children’s picture book, designed to inspire children to think about going into franchising.  The book features an interactive approach to introduce franchising as a means to empower people.

“Harper transformed her life and the lives of other poor women by using business for social change,” explained Plitt, an entrepreneur herself and author of Harper’s biography, “Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream.”

According to Plitt,  in 1888 Harper launched her healthy hair and skin salon for women (and later men) in Rochester, N.Y., and promoted the business with her ravishing floor-length hair. She also designed the first reclining shampoo chair.

Key leaders applaud “Martha’s Magical Hair.” Franchise attorney Steve Feirman of Nixon Peabody in the District of Columbia said the book “deserves a spot on the bookshelf next to Goodnight Moon.” Debra Jacobs of the Patterson Foundation said, “Any parent interested in instilling the power of possibilities … will be turning the pages.”

Books may be purchased at or on Amazon for $8.95

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