Selling Success

Brownie Wise grew up in rural Georgia and was raised by her aunt.  While she was a good student, she did not continue school after the eighth grade.  She would often accompany her mother and give speeches at union meetings.  Brownie had a natural flair for selling and aspired to have a business career.

Brownie was married when she was 23, and divorced six years later.  As a single mom, she got a 9-5 job, but this was not enough to raise her son.  She started selling Stanley Home Products as a second job.  She was incredible at selling Stanley Products using home party demonstrations.

She discovered a series of plastic products in department stores.  While they weren’t selling well, Brownie thought they could do well if sold at home parties.  She stopped selling Stanley Products and switched to plastic products, called Tupperware.  She recruited others to set up Tupperware home partnerships.  It didn’t take long for the Tupperware products sold at home parties to surpass those sold in stores.

Her sales success drew the attention of Earl Tupper, the founder of Tupperware.  He asked Brownie to come work for the parent company and made her a Vice President.

Brownie was not only great at sales, but also at inspiring women to create their own business careers.  She was an enabler of success. As Brownie’s success grew, she started getting national acclaim.  She was the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week.  She also became less tolerant of being micromanaged by Tupper.  She was fired when Tupper became jealous of her success.

Brownie never achieved the success she had at Tupperware, but her legacy was how she inspired women across the country to pursue business careers.  Hidden heroes are often known for their ability to inspire and mentor others.  While Brownie was terrific at selling products, she was even better at selling success and inspiring careers.

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“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”  Andy Warhol (Artist)

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