Growing up in her childhood home with three brothers, Gloria L. Williams naturally became close to her mother and grandmother who were known for their massages and homemade lotions.
Back in the day, she said, her mother and grandmother combined a little bit of castor oil, lemon and orange in a pot and warmed it up on the stove. Decades later, Williams has her own line of foot creams and products, inspired by the recipes she learned as a child.
Everyone thought I would become a nurse and take care of people. As it turns out, I am taking care of people around the world, but in a very different way.
"I've always been attracted to helping people because that's what I saw the strong women in my life model for me. I knew early on that the human touch was healing and has a profound effect on a person's state of mind and health," Williams said. "Everyone thought I would become a nurse and take care of people. As it turns out, I am taking care of people around the world, but in a very different way."
For 20 years, Williams ran her own business providing manicures and pedicures. The quality of her work helped her land a job – one day a week – serving as the onset nail technician with HARPO Studios in Chicago. Three years into her role, Oprah Winfrey sat down in her chair for a foot massage. "I had no clue what was about to happen to my life," Williams recalled.
Ms. Winfrey tweeted a video of Williams preparing for the massage. At the time, she was wearing a bright green footnanny.com T-shirt.
"That was just the beginning," she said. "Ms. Winfrey helped me to think bigger and pursue my greatest goals." Today, Williams is CEO of the growing company she founded, featuring products that are formulated with essential compounds of soy, shea and cocoa butter to be smooth and not too oily. The foot creams are offered in a range of scents including lavender and chocolate.
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