Job loss leads to career win for chemist

"I'd never in my lifetime been unemployed. It was my first time being unemployed but I had given myself this discipline while I was unemployed that if I'd go to work for 8 hours. I'd spend 8 hours a day looking for job," said Linda Boasmond.

That search paid off when she landed a position as technical director at Cedar Concepts, a small chemical company on Chicago's South Side.

"Our main customers are other chemical companies and we sell our raw materials to them and it goes into other companies, such as Proctor and Gamble," said Boasmond.

A graduate of DePaul University with a degree in chemistry, Boasmond was hired as technical director of Cedar Concepts in 1999. Five years later she became the company's owner.

"My first thought was, 'Am I crazy?' But, no it wasn't. I was really thrilled. I started to think about the possibilities. If I could grow the business, the things I could do in my community, the people I could help."

Boasmond worked for Ed Miranda before she bought Cedar Concepts. Now, he works for her company.

"When she asked me to come back in the industry, I thought, I cannot refuse her," said Miranda, technical director.

Outside the hair care industry, she is believed to be the only African American woman to own a chemical plant.

"I feel that I've been successful with the chemistry. But, as far as the business, I don't look at it as totally successful. I look at it as having a long way to go," said Boasmond. "It really hasn't caught up with me that I might be unique or different. I just enjoy chemistry."

To learn more about her company, visit

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