As a teenager, Estée Lauder gained valuable business experience working in her father's hardware store and learned important business principles of dedication, determination, and discipline. Inspired by her uncle, a chemist who created beauty products and fragrances, Lauder realized her true calling was in beauty products. Not only did she make the world a more beautiful place, she also left behind a billion-dollar legacy.
Great Women of Business
With Vanessa Richardson and Molly Brandenburg
About Great Women of Business
The wage gap. The motherhood penalty. The glass ceiling. From Coco Chanel to Mrs. Fields, Julia Child to Martha Stewart, business-savvy women have fought sexism all the way to the executive suite. As a special limited-run series, Great Women of Business spotlights inspiring careers, savvy decisions, and catastrophic failures. Each episode tells a different woman's story, and teaches the business principles they used to find success. Great Women of Business is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media production.
She’s one of the most powerful women in modern business. Current Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi’s design thinking, calculated risks, and clever strategy brought PepsiCo into the 21st century. We examine how Indra balances motherhood and a high-powered career, and how passion, humility, and hard work helped her bubble to the top.
In a time when women were desperate for safe and effective treatments for women’s health issues, Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compounds became one of the best-known medicines of the 19th century. She began by giving away the compound for free to create a strong referral network, which fueled the rapid growth of her business.
Lillian Vernon had no formal business training but that didn’t stop her from starting her own business selling mail-order handbags out of her kitchen. An ad placed in Seventeen magazine for personalized purses and belts would lead to a multi-million dollar operation. Vernon would later become the first female-founded company on the American Stock Exchange.
Debbi Fields showed that anyone can make a dream business reality. As a young mother with no business experience, she was able to open her first cookie store in Palo Alto, CA in the late 1970s. She often gave cookies away, telling customers they were the most essential investment she could make. Debbi Fields based her business not on selling cookies, but on customer experience.
Brownie Wise didn't just sell Tupperware, she revolutionized sales strategies and created lasting opportunities for working mothers. However, her volatile relationship with Earl Tupper cost her job, her contacts, and for years, her credit for making Tupperware a household name.
Susan Wojcicki discovered that great opportunities aren't always easy to recognize. But Wojcicki had a knack for not only recognizing great opportunities but seizing them and executing upon them with immediacy. Her first big opportunity came when she left her job at Intel to become Google's 16th employee.
After developing a scalp disorder that caused her to lose much of her hair, CJ Walker identified a market opportunity. So she developed her own homemade hair care products and marketed them to the black community. This would become an important business principle for her – necessity is the mother of invention.
Originally a plastics company, Mattel changed their focus to toys when co-founder Ruth Handler sensed a growing need for toys after the post-war baby-boom. Years later, she would disrupt the toy market by launching a doll for kids in the form of an adult woman. It would be called: Barbie.
Martha Stewart started with a modest catering company and parlayed it into a branded empire that focused on quality. This simple business principle set Stewart on her way to becoming the first self-made female billionaire. However, her most impressive feat was earning back her empire that she lost following a slew of felony convictions.
Julia Child was a world famous chef, culinary educator, and entrepreneur. After meeting her husband Paul in the Office of Strategic Services, she followed him to France in 1948 where he was stationed. Little did she know this move would be life-changing event for her. She fell in love with the French culture, language, and most importantly their cuisine.
Coco Chanel understood women’s fashion, perfume, and jewelry. But what she understood the most was that consumers don’t just buy fashion, they buy brands. And Coco Chanel was one of the first to understand branding as we know it today.
Mrs. Fields. Estee Lauder. Chanel. You know the businesses, but do you know the women behind them? Every Tuesday, Great Women of Business spotlights inspiring careers, savvy decisions, and catastrophic failures. Each episode tells a different woman's story, and teaches the business principles they used to find success. Great Women of Business is a Production of Cutler Media and part of the Parcast Network. The first episode premieres June 5th!