Saturday, November 15, 2008
Since the holiday season is fast approaching it got me thinking about the time that I was an Avon representative.

I started selling in the mid 60's.

On my bike

At that time Steve was in grade school and came home for lunch every day. I was a stay-at-home mom and was ready for something more than being a mom and a wife. A job would be the answer but I had two problems - I didn't drive and had to be home noon time.

A friend of mine sold Avon, introduced me to the product, I liked it and found out that a territory was available in my own neighborhood. Great, I didn't need a car and could be home for lunch.

The company supplied me with very helpful literature. I still remember many of the helpful and encouraging suggestions:
1. After you ring ten doorbells - the eleventh person will buy.

2. When you are ready to deliver - call and find out "if it is a convenient time for delivery" ( in other words "do you have the cash")

3. Never make a delivery without getting paid.

4. When calling on a potential customer, have a product in your hand "to show"
Those were all very helpful but my favorite one was #4 - I'll tell you why...

After a while I had a number of steady customers, lots of stay-at-home moms who liked the product and were glad to have someone to liven up their day.

Photo: Betty Draper (January Jones) in Episode 13 of Mad Men

Even so, I was always looking for new customers.

On one occasion I rang the doorbell of a neighbor, introduced myself and told her that I was an Avon Lady.

"Oh", she said " I don't like to buy this way, I don't use makeup and am not interested" She made no bones about it, she wasn't neighborly and didn't want anything to do with me!

Well, that was the time for me to pull out #4 - At that time Avon was featuring a "Solid Gold Cadillac" that contained men's cologne.

SHE LOVED IT!! That was the start of a beautiful relationship with my neighbor and she turned out to be a great customer.

I recently saw an Avon brochure, they now sell everything but the kitchen sink! Two of my all time favorites are still available - Avon's Rich Moisture cream and Vita Moist cream, I use them every day.

Avon is still calling!

Millie, my mom sold Avon while I was in high school and college ('58-62), and I used all their products (I could get free samples.) I loved Persian Wood cologne and I had at least 30 of the small sample lipsticks - a color for every outfit! Mom sold to the women who worked in the state house - a built in audience. She went to their lounges during lunch hours and made a killing, and delivery was a snap, since it was all in the same building.
I haven't seen an Avon lady in years.
My mom loved the silicone glove hand cream from Avon. I think she still can get it too.
Every once in a while I find an Avon brochure in my mailbox but have never had anyone ringing the doorbell in years.
Things have certainly changed from back in the sixties and seventies.

Bear((( )))
When I worked at a library, a staff member sold Avon and she did a booming business. I guess working in a female-dominated environment sure helped her sales. :~)
Even in the UK in the 70's I remember having one of those cars with after shave in.
My goodness, Millie. We have another thing in common. I sold Avon and had to walk door to door as I didn't have a car. I was a stay at home Mom, also, but my daughter had lunch at school.

I loved the containers and would still buy Avon if they had continued to put their products in clever shapes. I still have the mens' cologne horse head, the Unicorn, the snail and the swan. My daughter broke the dolphin and I haven't forgiven her yet.
Millie, you brought back memories.
My grandmother was left a widow in her early 30's with 6 children.
She never drove either. But she sold Avon. Also I think she was some kind of representative that traveled for them. I still remember the wonderful creams and lotions.
Looks like everyone had some connection with an Avon Lady or an Avon product. (even Keith in the UK)

Gigi mentioned that her mom liked silicone glove hand cream, even my husband used it, he put it on before he went out to work in the yard.

Kay and Bear Naked
Avon ladies don't ring door bells anymore BECAUSE the women are working. If they rang door bells, no one would be home.

So you were an Avon Lady too! I enjoyed the experience and did it for 10 years. Eventually I had people selling for me so I didn't have to ring doorbells anymore.

The Avon pieces you have are almost 50 years old. Have you checked to see if they are now considered antiques? We're antiques, how about your collection? ;-)

Avon gave many women the opportunity to grow and support themselves. The young widow that you wrote about is a perfect example.
"Avon calling..." I remember that. I don't recall if we had an Avon lady in the various places we lived or not.
We had the same Avon Lady for years!! She'd pop round to drop of our book and stop for a chat for a few minutes.

Then we changed avon lady and she was the same she'd stop for a chat and ask my Mum how we were all doing! lol
My neighbour's daughter is an 'Avon Lady' and I was most surprised to find they did it here in France. I don't use make-up and I'm very lazy about face care but I do love their footcream and I often buy shower gel and liquid soap.
Hi Millie, I loved the Skin so Soft. I would soak in the tub and my skin was so soft. The tub needed a good cleaning but I didn't mind. My Avon lady would be at Revere Beach, Ma. and sell to everyone as we waerae stay at home moms too!

That photo of Steve is so cute. He his still handsome today!
Send this Blog to the Avon Corp and you will make them so happy.
Avon is still calling!
I remember Avon. When I was growing up, I lived in very rural southern Indiana and we always had an Avon lady. After I got married, I had an Avon lady. I always bought the Vita Moist cream. It was my favorite. I am glad to know it is still available.
There used to be Avon ladies in France too, maybe they are still around, but I think they do better in the provinces than in Paris where all you have to do to buy anything is just get out!
Millie, you might enjoy (and relate to) Birdie Jaworski's book "Don't Shoot! I'm Just the Avon Lady!
How does an Avon lady looks like??
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