Last Friday, I hosted an Origami Owl party.
Origami Owl is a line of jewelry that includes lockets, charms, chains, plates, dangles and tags that you put together to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that reflects your story and style.
I have always loved home parties, both hosting and attending. I remember my mom hosting parties…Stanley Home Products, Tupperware and Beeline Fashions. In fact, my mom had just signed up to sell Stanley Home Products when she found out she was pregnant with yours truly. So how did it all begin?
At the turn of the 20th century, small companies, like the Fuller Brush Company, went national. In 1931, Frank Stanley Beveridge, a successful Fuller Brush salesman, opened his own cleaning supplies company, called Stanley Home Products. Beveridge learned that one of his salesmen was making record-breaking sales by demonstrating his products in the living rooms of women “hostesses” who volunteered their homes and invited their friends to attend “a Stanley party.” In exchange for her efforts, the hostess was given a complimentary hostess prize, such as a toaster, a coffee pot or free Stanley products.
In the late 1940s, a woman named Brownie Wise discovered that she could make a good living from selling Stanley Home Products and became one of the most successful unit managers in the Detroit area within one year. Wise took the skills that she learned as a Stanley dealer and manager and capitalized on them when she stumbled across Earl Tupper’s product, the Wonderbowl. She convinced him that his products should be sold not in stores, but at home parties, where women would demonstrate the revolutionary, unbreakable bowls to their friends and neighbors. Tupper hired her on the spot to head up his entire sales operation, Tupperware Home Parties.
This interesting information comes from a new documentary by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt called Tupperware! presented by American Experience on PBS.
One of my favorite home parties from the 1960’s & 1970’s was Beeline Fashions. Founded by Beatrice F. Birginal (known as “Bee”) and her husband J. Edison Birginal, Bee had a knack for mixing-and-matching clothes. Bee’s line of clothing, hence the name, was founded on a uniquely simple fashion secret…buy three or four pieces and get five or six outfits. It was about getting more for your dollar through color coordination.
I always thought it was very grown-up and glamorous having a rack of clothes brought to your house, then having your friends over to try on and model the different outfits. Of course, there were also special party snacks. No wonder I have fond memories.