Estée Lauder, whose real name is Joséphine Esther Mentzer, was born on July 1, 1906 to a family of Czech-Hungarian Jewish immigrants. From early childhood she was extremely interested in cosmetics, so she decided to work for her uncle John Schotz, who was a chemist and invented various skin cream formulas. Estée helped him in his laboratory work and was selling the products they invented to girls from her high school. Estée’s skin was pure and radiant which helped her make excellent sales. Although she was an emigrant girl with an accent, she had made her first steps towards becoming a successful business woman.
Estée didn’t give up- even though her dream of becoming a dermatologist was not successful. Between hours spent in the laboratory and in the kitchen, she managed to create home-made skin care for her family. And in 1946 with the help of her husband, Joseph, she designed her first cosmetics.
In 1946, Estée managed to attract customers and proudly presented her first four products: Super Rich All-Purpose Crème, Crème Pack, Cleansing Oil and Skin Lotion. Estée was her own PR agent: she often showed up in glamorous New York beauty parlors and performed makeovers for women who were sitting under the hairdryers. After her presentations in New York, her home-made products gave life to a true cosmetic empire.
In 1963, when Estée Lauder presented “Youth Dew” at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, a customer denied the product without even taking the time to try it. In an attempt to salvage this unfortunate situation, Estée Lauder had a brilliant idea: she “accidentally” dropped the perfumed oil on the carpet…Very quickly the fragrance of “Youth Dew” spread all over the building and attracted attention of other customers. That night the product was made known worldwide, and “Estée Lauder” was now to become one of the largest cosmetic franchises in the world. In 1984, the popular “Youth Dew” fragrance profited a colossal turnover of $ 150 million.
Estée Lauder’s dermatological line Clinique also became very popular. But Estée wanted at all costs to go beyond the perfume and skin care market, so in 1962 she launched her first make up collection under the name “Golden Diamond Collection.” At that time women put make up on only for great occasions and Estée was clearly determined to change the trend using her talents as a saleswoman. She distributed samples, offered free skin care, gave away gift packages and organized promotional campaigns. Her strategy attracted celebrities, who became interested in the brand. Today “Estée Lauder” is a powerful multi-national company with more than 30,000 employees in 150 countries, more than 30 brands and an annual profit of more than $10 billion.
AUTHOR || Alice OCEAN