You’ve all heard the stories -- a little girl’s lemonade stand set up on her front lawn to raise money for pediatric cancer is shut down by the police because she needs a business license, peddler’s permit and food permit to operate, even on her own property.
The blizzard of government regulations that have blanketed businesses in just the last few years alone have many small business owners wondering if the American dream of owning your own business is still worth pursuing, let alone possible to achieve.
Is that “can do,” “where there’s a will there’s a way” entrepreneurial American spirit really in danger of becoming one more item on the list of “Things That Aren’t There Anymore?”
According to an article in the WSJ “Mixing Makeup for the Webcam” the next generation of budding beauty entrepreneurs, à la Estée Lauder, can be found right now in the bedrooms of America’s teen-aged girls.
Call me as “corny as Kansas in August,” but this makes my heart sing with “can do” optimism. These young girls are stepping up to the realities of tough economic times and saying, “Hey, I don’t need to spend a fortune on makeup to look my best. I can do it myself and for a lot less, thank you very much. Just watch me!” And their young fans are watching them by the thousands. I have always believed that not following directions can take you to much more interesting places. Just because it says a product is for “this” doesn’t mean it can’t be used for “that,” n’est-ce pas? Yes, Pa.” And I say, “You Go, Girls!”
Drawn to his business, after graduating from high school she devoted herself entirely to Uncle John’s business. Her flair not only for naming products (e.g., Super Rich All-Purpose Cream and Dr. Schotz Viennese Cream), but for marketing and selling them to beauty salons and shops was so successful that she soon secured valuable counter space at one of New York’s most prestigious department stores, Saks Fifth Avenue.
It was at Saks that she would perfect the personal, hands-on style of selling that would make her an American success story. And with the introduction of her most popular fragrance, Youth Dew, a bath oil and perfume in one bottle, her international reputation was secured.
Could Estée Lauder have created her wildly successful and enduring international beauty empire with the same indefatigable energy, enthusiasm, intelligence, audacity and sublime chutzpah inherited from her Jewish immigrant parents if she had to do it all today? If I were a betting woman, and I’m not, I’d put all my chips on Uncle John’s niece.
There’s something in the American soil that makes us keep on trying and keep on hoping. It may lie fallow for a generation or so, but eventually that soil brings forth fruit and a new generation of budding entrepreneurs begins to bloom. Tomorrow’s Estée Lauder may be today’s teenager mixing up a pot of lip gloss in her pink-and-white bedroom. Only time will tell.