Dear Insurance Agent...
Whether a product or service, the trailblazers of American business happened to stumble upon ideas to make life better. Innovative thinkers never stop pushing forward.
Women contributed vastly throughout the generations and in our world of supply and demand, they did it and still develop ideas even better when adversity is at its fullest.
In the heart of our nation were the founding fathers. But as far back as colonial America, women contributed to the development of business establishments.
In 1718, while women were required to give up their property and rights to their husbands upon marriage, Pennsylvania legislation enacted a bill granting women to serve as feme sole trader. This act allowed women to make sound business decisions in place of their husbands while at sea. The legal authority to help a woman support herself and her children would keep her "from becoming a burden to the public".
Hannah H.T. Elliot, petitioned the court for sole feme trader after reporting her husband for abandonment and unable to support her household including children. Leaving her destitute and frequently borrowing from friends and relative, she was forced to open a trimming shop. She was granted feme sole trader status whereby allowing her sole business operator along with retaining the profits.
Betsy Ross, along with her 1st husband, co-owned an upholstery business. Upon his death, having to raise children on her own for a while, she acquired his property and worked diligently making flags for Pennsylvania. Marrying a third time, didn't stop her from continuing her skills of needlework. The tale of the first American flag belongs to Betsy Ross.
Elizabeth Blackwell was ridiculed in medical school and ostracized when attempting a career in medicine. In the midst of her struggle as a physician, she held strong. In the mid 1800s, after watching a friend struggle with sickness due to embarrassment of visiting a male physician, co-founded a clinic for indigent women and children that would last over a century.
Josephine Cochrane couldn't help but wonder how to develop a better way to wash dishes. After finding much damaged china over the carelessness of her kitchen help, she discovered how water jets could blast powerful streams onto dishes if aligned in racks. Her husband died while her design was formed and almost left her penniless. She worked tirelessly pushing her invention but it changed the world forever. Her company evolved and changed hands after her death, to become better known today as Kitchen Aid.
The inventor of a new fiber developed as Kevlar, known for bullet proof vests, building materials, tires, and fiber optic cable was awarded the National Medal of Technology and inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994. Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist at DuPont passionate and persistent, “I discovered over the years that I seem to see things that other people did not see. If things don’t work out I don’t just throw them out, I struggle over them, to try and see if there’s something there.”
Party plan marketing is owed to Brownie Wise, a single mother, who had a charm and a knack for a product sales model. She took TupperWare not selling well in department store shelves and made into a household name. Earl Tupper hired her to head his company but later fired her after she received recognition for the TupperWare invention.
Throughout centuries, women have faced unpredictable challenges. Whether from despair, pressure, or simply a solution to a persistent burden, the human mind is capable of innovative ideas. How do we get from idea to service or product starts with with inspiration. can come from books, articles, even other individuals. Advice in the form of books, articles, and even individuals are methods we all can use on our way to success.
For all those women who defied the status quo, we salute your independence!
Read more women and men entrepreneurial trailblazers...
became scarce as millions took jobs at war production plants.
Rationing was the selfless act of the American effort where every vital
resource was conserved. Coupons were purchased by consumers limiting
the used of ingredients such as coffee and sugar. Driving was limited
as rubber was required for military production and recycling. Upon
the end of the war, the U.S. aided the greatly suffered Western Europe
sector but included its own reconstruction back home. (WW2 Museum).
Economic growth was triggered by pent-up consumer demand. A housing boom stimulated by affordable mortgage lending for returning servicemen helped fuel the need for community development. Spurts in other industries such as the automobile, increased consumer choice. A new middle class of consumers rose as a jump in post-war births, better known as "baby-boomers", climbed in record numbers.The service sector outranked the product sector. More Americans could afford college and therefore a greater number of workers held jobs in the white collar sector rather than the blue collar sector.
In 1952, President Eisenhower created the Small Business Administration in place of the Small War Plants Corporation to help the small entrepreneur compete with big business. It takes more than merely an idea to guide a business model into a success.
Today, the SBA is federally funded to provide an array of programs to help assist small enterprises. This includes contract procurement,management assistance, and business outreach services to women, minorities and veterans.
1. Fashion and Liquid Gold: In the late 1800s, a young orphan girl is raised by nuns and taught to sew. In her early 20's, she opens a hat shop in France. She ventures into clothing and designs her first dress successfully adding more fashion stores and a customer reach to include royalty. In the 1920s, she launches a perfume as the first with a designer name. She pioneered the Chanel suit and the little black dress. For decades after WW2, she lived under the shadow of scandal and escaped from public eye for decades. Not until her 70s, did she return to the world of fashion producing comfortable and fitted designs. Her life continues to captivate the masses. And the legacy of Coco Chanel reigns through the vast success of the oldest, prestigious yet active fashion houses and a liquid gold we know as Chanel No.5.
2. A Plow and a Pitch: At the age of 17, he began a career in blacksmith. He found plows to be problematic and repairs reoccurring. Experimenting, he was able to pitch his design to local farmers. John Deere, the inventor, was enabled to design and construct better tools, better steel plows and better solutions for the agriculture industry. But today, John Deere is a leader in quality of out door heavy equipment made especially for farm, construction, forestry, but also includes compact equipment for residential usage as well.
3. International Beauty/Activist/Inspiration: A laundress, widowed at age 20, must provide for her two year old. An orphan at age 7 and married at 14, Madam CJ Walker faced many life perils unknown to many. An oncoming scalp disease brought on by stress and lack of indoor plumbing created hair loss forced her to search for a home remedy. With brothers in the barber industry, and with the aid of a pharmacist, she received consultation in her development of a special shampoo and ointment. Manufacturing the products was a success. She lent herself to special causes and donated thousands of dollars to charitable organizations and educational institutions. Before MaryKay Ash, CJ Walker motivated her sales teams to be charitable but honored their efforts with prizes. She inspired thousands African American women to access opportunity even while obstacles presented themselves.
4. Queen of Latin POP and The Presidential Medal of Freedom: As a toddler, her family fled Cuba upon the up rise of the Castro regime. In her youth, the majority of her time was spent caring for her ailing father, a Vietnam vet and her young sister while her mother was a school teacher in the day and attended night school. Her escape was writing poetry and guitar lessons. Although her release was singing, the tedious guitar lessons became instrumental of her career in music. While in college, Gloria met Emilio Esteban. She was asked to be lead in his band and accepted. A year later the Miami Sound Machine was formed. In 1978 Gloria and Emilio were married and two years later their son was born.
Success began with Spanish language albums but slow to gain in the U.S.
Not until 1984, did the band see a shift in the American market with the English album, The Eyes of Innocence. Since then, album after album demonstrated the bands success. But in 1990 a near death bus accident caused a sudden halt in her musical career. Gloria recovered and went on to explore other talents in writing, publishing two childrens books. As a trailblazer of Latin culture and music, in 2015, she and her husband were honored the Presidential Metal of Freedom.