Succeeding In The Face Of Adversity – The Story Of Elizabeth Arden

Here’s the story of a woman who overcame adversity, faced the Great Depression with strength , and made 1.3 billion USD in the process.

Elizabeth Arden was the Founder of Elizabeth Arden, Inc., a beauty and cosmetics empire in the United States.

She owned 150 upscale salons across the United States and in  Europe.

Her 300 products are also found in luxury markets in 22 different countries worldwide.

Overcoming massive amounts of oppression and adversity all while breaking gender roles, Elizabeth Arden rose to the top and became one of the wealthiest women in the world.

Here’s how she made her first BILLION:

Arden’s First Step:

Arden was born Florence Nightingale Graham on December 31, 1884, in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.

She was the fifth of five children and belonged to a family that struggled on a regular basis to make ends meet.

To help support her family, Graham worked several odd jobs.

However, she developed a fascination around the lotions used to treat burn victims which led her to study nursing.

Arden’s Second Step:

In 1908, Arden relocated in New York City, where she landed a job as an assistant to a beautician named Eleanor Adair.

In 1910, after gaining valuable industry experience, Arden invested $1,000 to start a salon with a partner, Elizabeth Hubbard – The business was located on Fifth Avenue.

Arden’s Second Step:

Unfortunately, In 1914, Arden’s and Hubbard’s partnership dissolved because the two weren’t getting along with one another.

Still wanting to continue in the cosmetics field with a burning desire, Arden went on to hire a team of chemists to develop a face cream and lotion so she could create her first line of beauty products.

Arden’s Third Step:

At that time, makeup was associated with prostitutes rather than respectable women.

To overcome this challenge, Arden devised a unique marketing plan to change the public’s view of beauty.

Arden’s Third Step:

Due to her advanced and encouraging marketing techniques, Arden’s brand took off and began to expand.

She was even able to make sales on an international level.

Arden’s Third Step:

In 1922 she established a Parisian salon, which later led her to open several businesses in South America in Australia too.

Unlike most companies in the 1930s (Great Depression), Arden’s company was flourishing – bringing in more than $4 million USD a year. 

Arden’s Fourth Step:

In 1912, she participated in a march for women’s rights.

Then, Arden developed a special line of cosmetics for women serving in the military.

Not to stop there, Arden went on to offer in-store makeovers and operated several high-end spas.

She was always thinking creatively to figure out new ways to grow and expand her business.

Arden’s Fifth Step:

Arden was also a horse lover, and in 1945 she became the Founder of the Maine Chance Farm.

The year after, she was featured on Time Magazine in a story about her success in the male dominated world of horse racing.

Arden’s Sixth Step:

On October 18, 1966, Arden died in New York City, however it was after her death that the public learned she had been 81.

Upon her death, Arden had opened more than 100 salons worldwide and had a line with approximately 300 cosmetic products.

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Arden proves to the world that anything is possible.

She was able to grow and flourish a business during the Great Depression as a woman, and go on to become the Founder of another business.

She was driven by competition, adversity, and a urge to get to the top.

She truly beat all odds and became successful than most men of her time.

Even though the odds were against her, she still became successful.

Anything is possible – do you agree?

Aleksander Vitkin

Aleksander Vitkin has helped over 700 people with a sincere interest in entrepreneurship and contribution, to start profitable businesses and quit their jobs.