While our Featured Betty series shows off women who are currently doin’ their thing and doin’ it well, we wanted to give a nod to the Classic Betties. The Classic Betties are women who were pioneers and paved the way for today’s women to have a career that floats their boat, whatever that may be. And today, we’re talking about Brownie Wise, the driving force behind Tupperware in the 1950s.
You may know about Tupperware and the infamous home parties for the product, but you may not know the name behind the massive surge of growth for Tupperware. Let me introduce you to Georgia born, Brownie Wise. She was a charismatic and persuasive young woman, which only attributed to her to success in growing sales for the plastic food storage company.
‘If we build the people, they’ll build the business’
Regardless of the fact that she had no high school diploma and attended a YWCA business camp for girls with aspiring business careers, she became an excellent sales woman for Stanley Home Products before switching over to Tupperware. She decided to exclusively sell Tupperware and moved her family down Florida in 1950. It was then, after she started her own thriving business, Tupperware Patio Parties, that she caught the eye of Earl Tupper, CEO of Tupperware.
Impressed by her success, Earl hired Brownie as Vice President and made Florida the home of Tupperware’s sales force under Brownie’s expert guidance. Brownie Wise empowered and inspired the housewives and women of the 1950s believing “If we build the people, they’ll build the business.” This along with her perfection of the home party planning model, her drive and devotion the housewives she recruited, led to $2 million in sales, by the end of 1952, and Brownie being the first woman to grace the cover of Business Week magazine.
This Classic Betty knew how to get results, empower the powerless, appreciate the under appreciated and inspire a generation of women to be independent entrepreneurs. We’ll never look at a piece of Tupperware the same way again.