Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heritage of Words - Women’s Business


11. Women’s Business

Women’s Business is an essay written by Ilene Kantrov. In this essay, the writer presents the entrepreneurship of some women from USA, and their entry into the so-called male world of business. The women were not only the businesswomen. However, they helped the problem facing women by educating them as well as helping them solve their problems. Some of them contributed lavishly to hospitals, schools, and cultural organizations. These women tried to transform the home craft into a thriving business. Women’s business grew out of traditional women’s skill and provided for the needs mostly of women. Lydia E. Pinkham was the pioneer of the women business in USA.

The first women entrepreneurship of USA Lydia E. Pinkham started business to provide support to her family when her husband’s real estate business collapsed. She was a radical feminist and wanted to help the females rather than the males. Within two three years her company earned $200,000. She had launched a home remedy product called ‘Lydia E. Pinkham’s vegetables compound’ for all weakness of women. Her bold marketing strategies made her success in her business. She advertised her product herself creating the image of a gentle and kind woman who appealed to fellow women ‘to feel good’ and to improve the quality of their lives. In her advertisement she claimed that her medicine is the ‘greatest remedy of the world’. Thus, her customers were convinced that she was selling more than a product. Her ‘Department of Advise’ dispensed suggestions for all kinds of feminine problems (about diet, exercise and hygiene) along with prescribing her own remedies. She proclaimed herself as the “Savior of her sex.” Thus, she created history in America’s business. Many women later followed in her footsteps.

Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden were the rivals. They sold cosmetics. They were also married to rich and famous aristocrats from Europe. Margaret Rudkin began to sell additive-free wheat bread (healthy foods) that she first used to help her asthmatic son. Similarly, Jennie Grossinger owned a successful resort hotel that began serving 150,000 guests a year. Gertrude Muller, on the other hand, sold things to help people look after their babies, such as ‘toidey seats’. She put small books explaining her ideas about child raising in the packages of the things she sold. In the field of business, black women also showed their entrepreneurship. Annie Turnbo-Malone was a black American. She established a school for training for hairdressing, named it ‘Poro College’, and advertised it as a vehicle for the uplift of her race (blacks) and a passport to economic independence for women.

Thus, the thesis of this essay is that business women in the USA, from the later part of nineteenth century, tried to help women as well as to make money by selling things to them. Often, their methods of helping women, for example, through giving advices, helped them to sell more products. Sometimes, when feminine ideals collided with the realities of the market place, however, the businesswomen often bested the lady.