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Inspiring Biographies, Motivational articles

The Story of Josephine Esther Mentzer

We all know companies that started with the actions, commitment, hard-work and discipline of just one person. That one person and not a group of person but one person only, that was willing to be pay the price to reach the set up goals. Persons like Michael Dell, Tony Robbins, Chris Gardner, Mary Kay Ash, or Josephine Esther Mentzer. On this blog I share with you the story behind the founder of the  Estee Lauder Companies. Behind it, one message: If you want something, go get it (period).
Here is the philosophy behind each action: GO ALL OR NOTHING.If you need helps from experts, go find it at

As a kid she wasn’t very rich but when she went into the cosmetic business she wanted to make it very big. They were a tiny company, but she dreamed someday of being able to run a large company. In fact earlier on, there wasn’t a burgeoning business, there weren’t houses in New York, Palm Beach, Fla., or the south of France. It is said that at one point there was one person to answer the telephones who changed her voice to become the shipping or billing department as needed. In short, Josephine Esther Mentzer, daughter of immigrants, lived above her father’s hardware store in Corona, a section of Queens in New York City.

She started her enterprise by selling skin creams concocted by her uncle, a chemist, in beauty shops, beach clubs and resorts. No doubt the potions were good – Estée Lauder was a quality fanatic – but the saleslady was better. Much better. And she simply outworked everyone else in the cosmetics industry. She stalked the bosses of New York City department stores until she got some counter space at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1948. And once in that space, she utilized a personal selling approach that proved as potent as the promise of her skin regimens and perfumes.

“Ambition.” Ask Leonard for one defining word about his mother, and that’s his choice. Even after 40 years in business, Estée Lauder would attend every launch of a new cosmetics counter or shop, traveling to such places as Moscow and other East European cities. Every Saturday she would go to her grandson’s Origins store in Manhattan’s hip SoHo district and say, “Let me teach you how to sell.” Only declining health has halted those visits during the past few years.

Leonard Lauder came to realize that fantasizing, projecting yourself into a successful situation is the most powerful means there is of achieving personal goals. That is what an athlete does when he kicks a field goal with three seconds on the clock, and 80,000 people in the stands and 30 million people watching. As the kicker begins to move he automatically makes the thousand tiny adjustments necessary to achieve the mental picture he has formed in his mind so many times: the picture of himself kicking the winning field goal.

Today, Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of skin care, cosmetics, perfume and hair care products.




One thought on “The Story of Josephine Esther Mentzer

  1. Seize the opportunity.

    Posted by Ness | May 13, 2010, 7:23 pm

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