Avon Products Inc.
Avon's history

Experience Avon's History

Avon's 125 Year Historical Timeline
Avon's interactive timeline created to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary in 2011.

David H. McConnell didn’t originally intend to create a beauty company. A traveling book salesman, he founded Avon in 1886 after realizing his female customers were far more interested in the free perfume samples he offered than in his books. During his bookselling days, McConnell had also noticed that many of his female customers were isolated at home while their husbands went off to work. So he purposely recruited female sales Representatives. McConnell believed they had a natural ability to network with and market to other women, and a passion for his products. At a time of limited employment options for women, the Avon earnings opportunity was a revolutionary concept. It marked the start of the company's long and rich history of empowering women around the globe.

Learn More about Avon's History

Avon Founder David H. McConnell offered women a rarity in 19th century America: a chance at financial independence.
Founder David H. McConnell - Creating the Company for Women

Avon Founder David H. McConnell offered women a rarity in 19th century America: a chance at financial independence. ... more

The Avon Lady Through the Years

One of the most enduring and iconic images of women's entrepreneurship is the Avon Lady. For more than 125 years, Avon Representatives have brought beauty into women's lives ... more

Little Dot to Dot-Com
From "Little Dot" to Dot-Coms: the Evolution of Direct Selling at Avon

Time and again, the company has innovated this ancient form of selling, tweaking its direct-selling model to fit seamlessly into Representatives' and customers' lives. ... more

Avon Celebrity
Aligning the Stars: The History of Avon's Celebrity Alliances

Fergie, Joe DiMaggio and Helen Hayes seem an unlikely trio - a current rock star, a legendary baseball player from the ‘50s and the “First Lady of the American Theatre. ... more

fighting Breast Cancer
Fighting Breast Cancer

Thousands of shades of pink have comprised Avon's palettes for blush, lipstick and eye shadow over the years. ... more


95 Years before the first woman was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court ...

77 Years before the first woman traveled into space ...

76 Years before the first woman took the reins of a Fortune 500 company ...

34 Years before women in the U.S. had the right to vote ...

17 Years before the first woman won the Nobel Prize ...

Avon offered women the opportunity to be CEOs of their own businesses and control their economic destinies.

Avon has been empowering women for more than 125 years.

Hagley Museum & Library

For in-depth corporate archives, please visit Avon's online digital archive collection at the Hagley Museum. Click here to launch the site.