History

Founder David H-Mconell

Avon Founder David H. McConnell - Creating the Company for Women

Mr. David H. McConnell - Avon's FounderAvon Founder David H. McConnell offered women a rarity in 19th century America: a chance at financial independence. In 1886, it was practically unheard of for a woman to run her own business. Only about 5 million women in the United States were working outside the home, let alone climbing the ranks of any corporate ladder. That number accounted for just 20% of all women. 

 

On the heels of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, women were mainly confined to jobs in agriculture, domestic service and manufacturing, not exactly glamorous lines of work; the manufacturing sector, in particular, was notorious for its dangerous working conditions. On top of that, women’s wages across the board were a fraction of men’s.

 

For many women, McConnell would radically alter that scenario. The man behind the company for women was the son of Irish immigrants and grew up on a farm. Yet, it was this young man from rural New York, a visionary leader decades ahead of his time, who would become a pioneer in empowering women. McConnell, a bookseller-turned-perfume entrepreneur, would offer women the opportunity to create and manage their own businesses through what later became known as direct selling.