Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who is Brownie Wise?



In honor of our favorite Tupperware lady, Dixie Longate, appearing here next week, here's a history of Tupperware Parties and their inventor, Brownie Wise! Don't forget to reserve your tickets - tickets are selling fast!

Who started Tupperware Parties?

Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. Brownie Wise (1913-1992), a former sales representative of Stanley Home Products, developed the strategy. During the early 1950s, Tupperware's sales and popularity exploded, thanks in large part to Wise's influence among women who sold Tupperware, and some of the famous "jubilees" celebrating the success of Tupperware ladies at lavish and outlandishly themed parties.

Brownie Wise (May 25, 1913 – September 24, 1992) was a pioneering American saleswoman largely responsible for the success of Tupperware through her development of the "party plan" system of marketing.


A former sales representative for Stanley Home Products, Wise found Tupperware to be a product with broad appeal and soon began selling it at home parties. In 1950 she moved to Florida and created a social networking marketing system through dealers and sellers that quickly outsold Tupperware's store sales. This caught the attention of E
arl Tupper, Tupperware inventor, who invited her to be vice president of Tupperware Home Parties in 1951. She insisted that he market his products exclusively through party plans, where women invited friends and neighbors to a combination social event/sales presentation.

Wise ran the sales division, Tupperware Home Parties, Inc, from Kissimmee, Florida and had the freedom to implement her marketing strategies. Her methods were extremely successful. Her ability to tap into popular culture, the desire for happiness helped recruit thousands of women into a career at a time when a woman's role was conventionally tied to the home. Her noted TV appearances, magazine
and newspaper articles made her a household name. In 1954 she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week.

Wise invented much of the corporate culture of Tupperware and, by extension, other party-plan marketing organizations. She was especially keen on incentives, one of the chief ones being trips to Florida to the annual 'Jubilee' at company's sales headquarters for motivational meetings and socializing with other successful representatives. Top sellers would be presented with exotic gifts such as speedboats, trips and appliances carefully planned in the company of their husbands. She created idioms and rituals such as pilgrimage to a specially designed well in the Tupperware grounds for sellers to cast their wishes, "Brownie Wings" and costumed graduation ceremonies. Dealers would go on treasure hunts where prizes would be buried in the ground. Extravagant shows, parties and motivational talks comprised the four day convention.

Wise was presented to the company's representatives as something of an idealized 1950s woman. Her marketing skill in leveraging the social networking model and motivating thousands of women to come together in their homes to sell Tupperware was unrivaled. The essential liberation of many women through earning their own salary in the context of male-driven post-World War II, pre-feminist culture of the 1950s created many challenges. Her own relationship with Earl Tupper was in constant flux. Soon the private face of Tupper and the public one eventually headed towards irreconcilable differences as Wise's success turned her into a celebrity. In 1958 Tupper forced Wise out. Soon after every reference to her was removed from company literature; it was as if she had never existed. She owned no stock and left with one year's salary.

Wise attempted to form her own party-plan cosmetics company, Cinderella, but was unsuccessful; after this she largely faded from view and died in relative obscurity in 1992.Soon after he parted ways with Wise, Tupper sold the Tupperware organization to Dart Industries for US$16 million.

2 comments:

bartogirl.com.wordpress. said...

She was a woman of her own making,at least in her own mind,She was a pedophile and an sexual abuser of her only son,She died a penniless drug addict who never paid into Social Security or ever taught her son how to manage his finances,He never paid into SS either and died penniless in a Fla nursing home after being injured during Hurricane Charlie,

BartoGirl said...

2