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Avon Cosmetics – How did it all start?

Avon Cosmetics was once known as the California Perfume Company, back in 1886 when it was founded by David H McConnell. This entrepreneur of his time was mixing the perfumes and giving women the opportunity to earn money for themselves & leading the way for women today. Even today, empowering women is at the forefront of Avon's philosophy into this globally recognized beauty company.

Mrs Albee the very 1st Avon lady in Avon's history is still considered a role model that is thought to have created the companies system into distributing the Avon products. Mrs Albee is the pinnacle of what an Avon lady is today. She was 50 years old when she began her role as an Avon lady with David McConnell in the California Perfume Company (CPC) she had 2 children and simply needed to earn extra money. By 1920 The CPC had hit sales of $1 million & in the same year women earned the right to vote. Selling a wider range of products from the Perfumes that CPC began with it now ran a range of Bath and Soap products including food colourings, household cleaners and dental care.

In 1928 David McConnell incorporates the company name Avon that it is now world famous and Iconic for. The Avon name was chosen due to David McConnell's love of the English play writer William Shakespeare. The Avon name was given to a few of the products throughout the brochure but wasn't officially changed to the Iconic brand until 19-39. By then Avon had a record number of 11 seal of approvals from the magazine "Good House Keeping" an unprecedented number for one company alone. In the 19-30's amidst the "Great Depression" McConnell incorporates Sales Prices into his Avon brochure and see's a 70% increase in sales.

During World War 2 Avon opens up its factory to help the US military by making paratrooper kits, gas masks and pharmaceuticals. Along side that the Avon Representatives began selling War bands to help raise money for the military.

In 1944 Avon moves away from the traditional direct selling plan and introduces a managerial system, were managers were to overlook regions and territories.

By 1948 sales surpass $21 million & soon after the Wild Rose selection of fragrances introduces it's very 1st Cream Sachet & by 19-53 Avon had it's very 1st television advertising campaign.

From 1954 to 1967 the tag line "Avon Calling" & it's iconic "Door Bell" was used. It became the longest running and most successful advertising campaign in history.

Avon's "Foundation for women" began way back in 1955 being one of the largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy' campaigns dedicated with helping women's causes globally.

1957 and Avon had broke through the $100 million in sales mark and at this point in history Avon have a representative sales force of over 100'000 women. And in 2 short years Avon is introduced to the UK.

In 1961 the iconic Skin So Soft was introduced - Skin So Soft has gone on to be the most recognizable Avon product in it's history.

After 86 years in business and approaching the year 19-72 Avon shows sales reaching the $1 Billion barrier & over 600'000 Avon Representatives world wide. Sales figures double to $2 Billion by 1978 and Avon Representatives reach the 1 Million milestone.

Having introduced the sales of Avon Jewellery a few years earlier Avon boasts over $400'000 in jewellery sales alone, and becoming the largest distributor of costume Jewellery of its time Avon achieved outstanding results yet again.

From 1979 to the mid 80's Avon purchases Tiffany & Co, but soon sells the company on to re-focus on it's Avon products and branding. 100 Years of Avon history is now accomplished and in 19-88 the company launches the cosmetics brand "Avon Color" into the Avon brochure.

1989 Avon is the first cosmetics company to introduce a permanent end to animal testing. The Avon ANew Brand is born being the 1st skincare product to introduce AHA Anti-aging technology to the mass market.

Avon UK was the 1st country to introduce the sales of the pink ribbon and the Breast Cancer Crusade was born. The US followed suite just 1 year later.

The Women In Business theme continues throughout the years and in 1999 Andrea Jung is introduced as the first ever female CEO.

The new Millennium. Avon kicks of in 2001 by raising $7 Million for the families of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2004 the "Speak out Against Domestic Violence" is launched and focuses on raising awareness, education & the prevention of women in domestic violence.

2007 and Reese Witherspoon is named the Global Ambassador for Avon cosmetics and represents women in business within the company. Reese launches the "Empowerment" campaign and helps raise money and awareness for Avon's philanthropic causes throughout the company. She has also gone on to have her own perfume within the Avon brochure "In Bloom".

$10 Billion in sales in 2008 mean that Avon are at the top of their game & in 2009 there are over 6 Million Avon Representatives worldwide.

Hello Green Tomorrow is launched in 2010 & to show Avon's dedication towards a greener environment & Avon endeavors into a tree planting campaign were they aim to re-plant 2 million trees in the Atlantic rainforest by the end of 2010.

In 2010 Avon inherit "Liz Earles Beauty Co".

2011 & Avon have a lot to celebrate with 125 years of empowering women in the cosmetics and direct selling industry. 2011 is the year to be a proud part of this amazing company, it will become your family as it has become mine.