People Who Kick Buts: Estee Lauder
I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.
- Born on July 1, 1906 and passed away on April 24, 2004.
- She was the co-founder, along with her husband, Joseph Lauder, of Estée Lauder Companies, her eponymous cosmetics company.
- Lauder was the only woman on TIME magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century.
She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She was inducted to the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Lauder was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Corona, Queens in 1906, one of nine children born to a Hungarian Jewish mother, Rose Schotz Rosenthal, and a Czechoslovak Jewish father, Max Mentzer.
- Much of her childhood was spent trying to make ends meet with most of the nine children helping out at the family’s hardware store.
- It was while working in this store that Lauder got her first taste of business. Her father’s hardware store gave her a better understanding of entrepreneurship and what it takes to be a successful retailer. Her childhood dream was to become an actress, her “name in lights, flowers, handsome men”.
- As Estée grew older she became more interested in her uncle’s business than her father’s. She agreed to help her uncle, Dr John Schotz, a chemist. He owned a company called New Way Laboratories and all the day long he sold numerous beauty products.
- Lauder was fascinated as she watched him create creams, lotions, rouge, and fragrances. Her uncle taught her how to wash her face and do facial massages.
- graduated from Newtown High School. After high school, she focused on her uncle’s business. She called one of his creams Super Rich All-Purpose Cream and began selling beauty products to her friends.
- She sold creams like Six-In-One Cold Cream and Dr Schotz Viennese Cream to beauty shops, beach clubs and resorts.
- She met Joseph Lauter when she was in her early 20s. On January 15, 1930, they married. The surname was later changed from Lauter to Lauder. The Lauders’s first child, Leonard was born March 19, 1933.
- They separated in 1939 (when she moved to Florida), but remarried in 1942. They had a second son, Ronald. The couple remained married thereafter until his death in 1982.
- The Estée Lauder company was created in 1935.