All her life she really wanted to be one hundred percent American, and for a long time she hid her origin. Este Lauder was born into a family of poor Jewish immigrants, but fulfilled the "American dream": she became the founder of a cosmetics brand, known all over the world.
In fact, her name was Josephine Esther Mentzer. She was born in 1908 in Queens, New York. The girl was the youngest of nine children in the family of a Czech woman and a Hungarian Jew (according to other sources, he was a native of Ukraine). The family was not rich, the children worked in the shop with their father. Esther dreamed of becoming an actress, while comprehending the secrets of successful trade. And this was very useful to her in the future.
Her life was turned upside down by the arrival of her uncle, dermatologist-chemist John Schots, who became for her a "magician, ideal and mentor" and "captured the imagination in a way that no one else could ever do." He developed his own skin cream formula and taught his niece how to make the cream on his own. Her first test subjects and clients were school friends. And after school, selling creams became her constant source of income.
In 1930 she married Joseph Lauder and took his last name. The name, too, seemed to her too long and dissonant, and she came up with a new one, derived from Esther - Este, or Esti. So Esther Mentzer turned into Este Lauder. At that time, she could not even dream that in the future her name would become the name of the brand.
In 1939, Este left her husband - her career at that time was much more important for her. She moved to Miami Beach and opened an office for her cosmetics company there. She really had a business acumen - her career was skyrocketing. In 1942, the life of her son was threatened due to a serious illness, and this trouble once again united the spouses - Este remarried to Joe Lauder.
They opened their first store in 1946. At that time, the assortment was not varied: two creams, nourishing milk, cleansing oil, lipstick, powder and eyeshadow. Este decided that they would win the buyer with high quality cosmetics, rather than a wide selection of names. And soon Estee and Joe became the owners of a company that turned into a cosmetic empire called "Estee Lauder Cosmetics".
Este was a real marketing genius. She came up with several effective ways to promote products that are still used today. She said, "When you sell cream, you have to sell the dream of eternal youth." Its innovation was the tradition of a free gift to purchase, which was later recognized as a very effective marketing ploy. As a rule, a sample of this or that remedy was attached as a gift. And the rule “the more you distribute, the more you win” worked flawlessly: the clients, having tested the products, then came to buy them. Slogans of her advertising campaigns were also creative discoveries, such as “Time is not on your side, but I am!”.
The history of the conquest of Paris by Este has become a real business legend. Once she went to a large shopping center, which refused to conclude a contract with her, and in the perfumery department she broke a bottle of her own perfume. The fragrance immediately filled the entire room, and the customers began to approach Este asking what kind of perfume it was. After that, the contract was nevertheless signed.
In 1995 g.Este Lauder officially retired and handed over the management of the company to her sons. In 1998, she became the only woman on Time magazine's list of 20 greatest businessmen of the twentieth century. Now her sons Ronald and Leonard are producing new lines of cosmetics. 120 Estee Lauder brand stores have been opened around the world, which is one of the five largest perfumery and cosmetic empires in the world.
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