A is for…Avon.
No, not the Stratford-on-Avon, although that would also be a good choice for the April 1st post.
I am talking about Avon, the maker of women’s cosmetics.
At least, it used to sell only women’s cosmetics. That was back in the 1960s, when I was a
child. Living in a rural community where cornfields surrounded our farm on all sides,
and shopping was something we did on Saturdays at the local grocery store in our small
Then the Avon Lady came on the scene. She visited our house, with her catalog of lipsticks, lotions, perfumes, facial cream, and whatever. She carried a sharp briefcase that opened out to display the rainbow selection of everything. I stood behind my mother, looking over her shoulder, and audibly gasped whenever Mom took a minute tube of lipstick and streaked it across the back of her hand. It only took two or three streaks before she selected a color, and placed her order. Mom always chose a vivid red.
Then we kept the sample miniature lipsticks.
To some this may seem a “So what?” But, in 1960 in a remote rural setting, cosmetics
were not widely available or commonly used. Grocery stores sold groceries, meats, and
the personal items like shampoo and Kotex. (The Kotex boxes were wrapped in brown paper bags, for discreet purchases.) Drug stores sold health items and some make-up.
Cosmetics didn’t have a big following.
The Avon Lady knocked at doors, and transformed the lives of farm women and small town housewives nationwide. They looked forward to the Avon Lady’s visit, and a chance to sit down with someone else besides the farmer husband. With coffee and pie
on the table, ladies of the house (and their daughters) saw how they could look, and it was a touch of glamour.
I salute you, Avon Ladies of the World.
Many thanks to Arlee Bird and your amazing crew, for having such a great idea, and being the instigators!