Avon: Empowering Women for Over a Century
Avon has been empowering women for more than 130 years and continues to do so today. We’ve pioneered direct-to-consumer selling with women in charge, given back to organizations that benefit women and developed innovative products that have transformed the cosmetic industry. See how we’ve remained true to our mission to celebrate women’s power to make a beautiful and positive impact in the world.
A Business Inspired By Women
In 1886, David McConnell, a travelling book salesman from Oswego, was giving away free perfume with each book he sold, only to realize that the customers—mostly housewives—were more interested in the fragrance. He founded a fragrance company called the California Perfume Company, which would eventually become Avon. McConnell noticed that women not only loved the products, but also loved to network with other women, so he employed their help to grow his business.
The first woman McConnell hired was then-50-year-old Mrs. P.F.E. Albee from New Hampshire. Considered the first ‘Avon Lady,’ or ‘Rep’ as we know them today, Mrs. Albee travelled by horse and buggy and train to deliver the perfumes and wore a long dress, hat and boots to work. She helped create one of the company’s first fragrances, the Little Dot Perfume Set, and developed a women-only network to sell directly to other wome—now known at Avon as direct selling. In her 12 years working with the California Perfume Company, Mrs. Albee trained more than 5,000 representatives to sell cosmetics. During this time, only 20% of women were working outside of the home, and it was 34 years before women even received the right to vote. McConnell was a firm believer in helping women support themselves and was truly ahead of his time.
The Avon name first began appearing on products in 1929, and the company was officially named Avon in 1939—two years after McConnell’s passing. To this day, Avon upholds the principles McConnell instilled while running the company.
As McConnell once said:
“Let no difficulty stand in your way. Bring to bear the spirit of intensity. Put your heart and soul into the fight, and fight to win.”
We Encourage Women to Be Their Own Bosses
At Avon, we stand for the freedom to earn and learn on your own terms and in your own way. Each Avon Representative is her or his own boss, with flexibility over schedules and business goals. This gives Representatives the ultimate work-life balance, so they can work anytime, anywhere, part time or full time. We offer internal free training courses and field management as well as training, mentoring and support from fellow Representatives. We also provide digital direct selling tools to help Reps grow their businesses. Last but not least, we offer different rewards, incentives and financial growth opportunities for all Reps.
We Create Products Women Can Feel Good About
We’ve launched innovative products like hydrating and highly pigmented lip color, powerful anti-aging skin care, and mascara with a formula and brush so unique, it revolutionized the way women apply mascara. We are constantly improving our iconic formulas and introducing new ones to appeal to customers of all ages. We pride ourselves in delivering high-quality, award-winning products that you can feel good about.
We Contribute To Important Women’s Causes
The Avon Foundation was founded in 1955 to support important women’s causes. We have contributed more than $800 million to breast cancer crusades and educated millions of women about breast health. We work with The American Cancer Society® to tackle breast cancer at every angle.
Above all, we uphold our core mission every day, encouraging women to work hard and make a beautiful impact in the world. At Avon, beauty is more than skin deep. We are inspired by our community of passionate women—yesterday, today and tomorrow. Whether you can’t get enough of our lipsticks, you’ve liked our social posts or you love sharing our amazing products with friends and family, YOU are a part of the Avon community.
We support and empower women through our company’s roots, our business model, our contributions to the wellbeing of women and the amazing Representatives at the heart of Avon. Female empowerment is incorporated throughout every facet of Avon, because it’s not just who we are—it’s what we do.