George and Mary-Lynn

The Mail Order Bride

By Bigg Success Staff
01-18-08

Success Stories

Lillian_Vernon_jpg

Imagine this – you’re a new bride. You’re pregnant with your first child. You and your husband are barely scraping by. Your nest egg consists of $2,000 of money that was given to you for your wedding. Doesn’t that sound like a great time to start a business?

That’s how Lillian Vernon got started in business. She’s the mail order bride! She started her business in 1951 in her kitchen. She purchased an ad in Seventeen for $495. She advertised two products – a $3 purse and a $2 matching belt. 

The result – $32, 000 in orders!

She plowed that money back into her business to create her namesake company. Lillian Vernon became a household name. She turned her $500 investment into a company doing $260 million in sales before she sold out.

Along the way she has accomplished many things. She was the first woman to start a company traded on a stock exchange. Her logo has appeared on over three billion catalogs, 172 million boxes, and 485 million products.

She told her story in her autobiography, An Eye for Winners. She says that if you want to grow a great business, your personal life may suffer. You have to have passion for what you do or you won’t make it.

She tells prospective entrepreneurs to expect obstacles along the way. In the 1970s, she faced one of her most troubling times. Her company hadn’t kept pace with technology. Their inventory was building fast and orders weren’t getting shipped on time. She had advisors tell her she should file for bankruptcy.

She wouldn’t hear of it! She took quick action – she persuaded a bank to give her a loan. She upgraded the business and paid back the loan, months before it was due.

Get past one obstacle and move on to the next challenge. That’s where opportunity lies!

Imagine this – you’re a new bride. You’re pregnant with your first child. You and your husband are barely scraping by. Your nest egg consists of $2,000 of money that was given to you for your wedding. Doesn’t that sound like a great time to start a business?

That’s how Lillian Vernon got started in business. She’s the mail order bride! She started her business in 1951 in her kitchen. She purchased an ad in Seventeen for $495. She advertised two products – a $3 purse and a $2 matching belt. 

The result – $32, 000 in orders!

She plowed that money back into her business to create her namesake company. Lillian Vernon became a household name. She turned her $500 investment into a company doing $260 million in sales before she sold out.

Along the way she has accomplished many things. She was the first woman to start a company traded on a stock exchange. Her logo has appeared on over three billion catalogs, 172 million boxes, and 485 million products.

She told her story in her autobiography, An Eye for Winners. She says that if you want to grow a great business, your personal life may suffer. You have to have passion for what you do or you won’t make it.

She tells prospective entrepreneurs to expect obstacles along the way. In the 1970s, she faced one of her most troubling times. Her company hadn’t kept pace with technology. Their inventory was building fast and orders weren’t getting shipped on time. She had advisors tell her she should file for bankruptcy.

She wouldn’t hear of it! She took quick action – she persuaded a bank to give her a loan. She upgraded the business and paid back the loan, months before it was due.

Get past one obstacle and move on to the next challenge. That’s where opportunity lies!

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Sources:

Lillian Vernon corporate site  

Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame 

As C.E.O.’s Go, Hardly Retiring, By Elsa Brenner, New York Times

Lillian Vernon and Her Continued Success in the 21st Century, by Isabel M Isidro, Power Home Biz

Get Free Entreprenurturing™

DECIDE! 5 Keys to Know What to Do Next

We respect your email privacy

Email Marketing by AWeber