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10 Remarkable Women Who Shaped U.S. Business History

A tribute to the mothers of American business

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Elizabeth Arden

New York City

Born in Ontario as Florence Nightingale Graham and known to the world as Elizabeth Arden, this savvy businesswoman built an empire on beauty. Using her birth name, she started as a shop assistant after moving to New York City from Ontario. As her skillset broadened, she became a partner in a beauty salon and then opened the first of her world-famous salons in 1909. The Fifth Avenue salon bore her new name, Elizabeth Arden.

Salon ownership wasn’t enough for the bold beautician with a flair for chemistry. Arden designed, developed and manufactured her own beauty products, and in 1914 she incorporated and expanded her business. Arden enjoyed international success after opening a salon in France in 1922.

The franchise known worldwide as the luxurious Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa began in 1934, when the cosmetics queen converted her summer home into the Maine Chance Beauty Spa. There are now Elizabeth Arden spas throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and South America. Today the name Elizabeth Arden is synonymous with beauty.

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