In 1886, 34 years before women in the U.S. earned the right to vote, Avon's founder, David H. McConnell, helped give them the chance to earn an independent income. He didn’t set out to create a beauty company. In fact, McConnell was a traveling book salesperson who offered fragrance samples as an additional perk to his female customers. He saw that these women were more interested in the free perfume than the books, and the California Perfume Company was born and would later become Avon. Since women had a passion for his products and loved networking with other women, McConnell was inspired to recruit them and Persis Foster Eames Albee (Mrs. Albee) became the first Sales Representative and is considered the first "Avon Lady". Interested in becoming a Representative? Join now.