Josephine Bowman, the visionary and the backbone of her family, and Manetane Beauty LLC. Josephine was the original hair food creator. A woman who wore many hats. She was a wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, First Lady, homemaker, caretaker, seamstress, music teacher, bible enthusiast, prayer warrior, but her favorite title was…Child and Servant of God.
Mother Josephine Armstead-Bowman was born December 3, 1935, at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Mr. Korandus and Mrs. Annie Bee Lax-Armstead of Columbus, Mississippi. She received her general education from the Chicago Public School System: Gladstone Elementary and after graduation enrolled at Cregrier High School to continue her studies. She continued advancing her skills training as a cosmetologist and a beauty professional.
Mother Josephine Armstead-Bowman trained her children and grandchildren in the fear and admonition of the Lord and demonstrated the art of trusting in God, especially during times of lack, deficiency and despair. While training her children to pray, she would always begin her prayers with an Old Testament quote which was modified to fit her own understand, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might and thy neighbor as thyself”. After much confession, adoration, supplication, thanksgivings and giving of praise, she would then end her family prayers with a unified quote,” I’m not sick, I’m well; I’m not bound I’m free; I’m not down, I’m up; I’m not poor, I’m blessed; I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,” another modification of the scriptures. These were the foundations that her spiritual house was built upon and her legacy will continue through the lives of her children and grandchildren.
Josephine began at a young age making homemade cosmetics and hair products at home for her family. A mother who birthed19 children of her own Josephine was determined to use her cosmetology skills, coupled with the teachings of her father and create something spectacular for the world to enjoy. Josephine watched her father and aunt make many cosmetic products and studied their techniques and began to practice her craft. After the death of her father, Josephine knew that her hands were gifted and she was taught from the biblical stance that her gift would always make room for her.
Josephine handcrafted her hair food with love, as her oldest granddaughter Tomeika watched while taking in the steps and began learning exactly how NOT to measure. Josephine knew that she had something special with the growth of her audience who began requesting her “hair growth in a jar”. Josephine, taught and managed Tomeika in the kitchen teaching her, just as her own father taught her. Tomeika watched her grandmother more than a dozen times and knew she could do it without a shadow of doubt. Tomeika was wrong, she was burning the oils and herbs and never had the correct consistency. Josephine was patient, she coached and developed Tomeika just as she had in other areas of life. Josephine had a special way of keeping any and all of her students encouraged and engaged. In the early 90’s Josephine’s health began to fade and she couldn’t complete the demands of customers. She was forced to put her vision on hold and focused more on her health and her family. The years started to roll by and Tomeika wanted to make sure that if anything should ever happen to her grandmother, she would want her to leave her with something special. In late 2009 Tomeika began asking her grandmother to start making her hair food again. Josephine was in and out of the hospital, and never once complained. She got back in the kitchen, reteaching what she'd taught years before. Tomeika was able to bring back the joy and art of making natural hair care products and Josephine was proud. Tomeika purchased an LLC in 2010 and named the company, "Manetane Beauty LLC" They worked side by side, selling products and promoting healthy hair. Just as it did in the 90's, the buzz about this hair growth in the jar began buzzing on the internet. In January of 2013 Josephine's health wasn't improving and God called her home to give her rest. Tomeika, crushed by the passing of her grandmother, stopped production and closed Manetane Beauty LLC. During the pandemic 2020, Tomeika's friend encouraged her to get back in the kitchen and make her grandmother's hair products and in that moment, Tomeika decided that it was time for her to do what her grandmother taught her, and that was to create. Tomeika, alongside with her friend of over 30 years, Ms. K, who is also her Soror, is ready to continue Josephine’s vision and is determined to make sure that Manetane Beauty is a household name that you can trust.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might