Friday, May 23

Estée Lauder


Estee Lauder has been a household name for as long as I can remember. I still have fond memories of my mother taking my sisters and me to Foley's department store on Saturdays. Our first stop was always the Estee Lauder counter to see Mrs. Simms, my mother's favorite saleslady. She was always impeccably dressed and her makeup was sheer perfection. I loved to inhale the mingled scents of Cinnabar and Aramis that hung heavy in the air and test the various lipsticks when my mom wasn't looking.

When I was in the States as few weeks ago I found a copy of Estee, A Success Story, written by Mrs. Lauder in 1985. I read it cover to cover on the flight home. Not only is it filled with fantastic photos and reads like a who's who, but I found it to be very inspirational.

Estee Lauder had the one thing that I believe is key to any successful venture—conviction. She rarely missed the opening of a new store and spent a great deal of time behind the counter, advising customers and teaching the company's Beauty Advisors sales techniques. "I didn't get here by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it," she often reminded her saleswomen.

I especially love the story she tells of slipping off her heels after an extremely busy day at the former Sakowitz store in Houston. She began going over the accounts and realized that she was two dollars short of her $1000 sales goal. It was closing time and without a minute to spare she slipped her shoes on and went into action. In the end she sold enough to reach her desired goal of $1000.


She was a woman of impeccable taste. Perhaps it was her attention to the smallest of details that I most appreciate. I love the fact that she chose the Estée Lauder's signature blue because she believed it would best coordinate with the décor of most bathrooms and bedrooms. While testing colors for her bottles she would go into friends bathrooms and test colors against the wallpaper and tiles. She was truly a remarkable woman and one after my own heart.

Middle Image - World Journal Tribune photo by Bill Sauro
Bottom Image - Town & Country March 1974 photo by Fred J. Maroon

16 comments:

Charlie said...

What an inspiration. You are such a beautiful writer!
I also have memories of being a young girl and seeing her at Macy's and Bloomingdales in New York City, with my mother and eldest sister. I still remember the fragrance that engulfed us. Not to mention all the pouting that took place around my house with my mother, sisters and aunts all trying on the bounty my mother brought back.

Great memories. Thank you for helping me remember those early years.
Charlie

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you so much Charlie! A desire to write was the reason I started All the Best and I appreciate your kinds words.
Best,
Ronda

Be the change..... said...

I love how she came up with the color for her bottles; that is so important! I always buy products based on their containers (well, choose the best products and from those the one with the best container!)

ALL THE BEST said...

Isn't that a great story BTC - I love it!

pve design said...

Ronda,
Ladies like you make each of us realize greatness in our own conviction and pursuits.
Estee Lauder, a stunning woman.
An incredibly fragrant beauty empire.
Your words inspire me!
Patricia

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you Patricia! Her book was such a fun and inspirational read!!

Anne said...

I love this post. My mother and grandmother always for Estee Lauder. My first lipstick was Estee Lauder.

Charlie is right, you are a beautiful writer.

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Anne!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Very nice, short and well-written sketch. Details make all the difference; it's nice to see that that is the case at all levels of success.

Mary-Laure said...

I didn't know about the book, I'd love to read it. She was a really amazing woman. I adore the gutsy women who went into business in an era when it wasn't done.

ALL THE BEST said...

I agree Mary-Laure! Looks like you had a great time at Cannes!!

Style Court said...

What a great find Ronda, and what a treat to see that T & C photo. Gorgeous wallpaper! We can really see where Aerin's style comes from.

Pigtown-Design said...

How funny! Right after I read your post on Estee, I found the same book at Book Thing. Unfortunately, it had such a strong mildewy smell, I had to leave it there.

ALL THE BEST said...

Oh you don't want that Meg! If you find a copy that isn't smelly, then pick it up for yourself. It's a good read. At least in my opinion!

ALL THE BEST said...

Thank you Easy & Elegant Life! I agree, details make all the difference in the world!

ALL THE BEST said...

Courtney I am crazy for that wallpaper!!!!