Elizabeth Arden Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1884 Ė 1966 *** Full Name: Elizabeth Arden was also known as Florence Nightingale Graham *** Date of Birth (Birthday): She was born on December 31, 1884 *** Place of Birth: Elizabeth Arden was born in Ontario, Canada *** Early life and childhood: Elizabeth Arden grew up in Canada and spent the majority of her life in New York *** Elizabeth Arden died on October 18, 1966 ***
Elizabeth Arden Fact 1: Elizabeth Arden was born on December 31, 1884 in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 2: She was a highly successful Canadian American businesswoman who rose to fame when she established the world famous cosmetics company 'Elizabeth Arden'.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 3: Elizabeth Arden was the business name that she decided to use later on in life when her cosmetics career really began to lift off the ground. Her real name was Florence Nightingale Graham, her parents named her after the famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, who tended to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 4: She was the youngest of five children born into a poor farming family in Woodbridge in Ontario. Her parents, William Graham and Susan, were British and had emigrated to Canada during the 1870s.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 5: She had to leave high school early as her family could no longer afford her education. She wanted to become a nurse so she began training for a profession in nursing.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 6: Whilst training to become a nurse, she met a chemist who was trying to create a facial cream that would reduce skin problems experienced by acne sufferers. Elizabeth Arden realised that most women would give anything for beauty and her meeting with the chemist both intrigued and inspired her to learn more.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 7: She decided against a nursing career when she realized that her strengths lay in sales. She held a number of jobs in Toronto which enabled her to concentrate on becoming a successful saleswoman. In 1908, she moved to New York City where she worked for Squibb Pharmaceuticals, a well established pharmaceutical company in New York.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 8: Her position as a bookkeeper at the pharmaceutical company inspired her to experiment with her own beauty products. She resigned from Squibb and joined a beauty parlor as an assistant where she continued to dream of one day owning her own laboratory where she could research and develop her ideas. Her new job at the beauty pallor helped Elizabeth Arden set the foundations of her future in the cosmetics industry as she was able to establish the needs of the rich New York clientele whom she treated.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 9: Elizabeth Arden became a key woman of the early 20th century when her hard work, positive attitude and determination shaped the future for women across the globe. She helped to make cosmetics for women acceptable to a society that had long associated make up with prostitution.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 10: She established a beauty salon, as opposed to a beauty parlor, on Fifth Avenue, New York, in 1910 with her business partner, Elizabeth Hubbard. The pair decided that a 'salon' would appeal to wealthier clientele than a parlor. Her real name, Florence Nightingale Graham, was not used as part of her new found business venture due to its association with a hospital ward.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 11: The rent at their New York premises was expensive and Elizabeth Arden was left to finance the entire business alone as Elizabeth Hubbard quit soon after they'd opened. Elizabeth Arden borrowed money from her brother and worked long, hard hours as she was determined to make her company a success. It was at this point that she decided to work under the business name of Elizabeth Arden.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 12: She wanted to make cosmetics more appealing to women and looked for ideas to make her products stand out from the market. She made a significant change to beauty cosmetics when she added fragrance to lotions and powders which had previously been left unscented.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 13: When she wasn't treating ladies at her beauty salon, she was working hard experimenting and expanding her product range. She hired a chemist who helped her achieve a major development in her range of facial creams. They worked on releasing a new type of cream that was light and wearable as opposed to heavy and greasy. Elizabeth Arden's facial cream accomplished immediate success with her clientele.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 14: The next step in developing her cosmetics empire came when she decided to expand her business. She incorporated a prominent hairdresser and milliner within her salon premises. The expansion was a clever idea as it provided a range of treatments/products that would appeal to a wider market. It was this idea that set the foundations of the beauty spas that Elizabeth Arden later opened across the globe.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 15: She was a dedicated suffragette who supported equal rights for women. In 1912, she joined a march with thousands of suffragettes who wore red lipstick supplied by Elizabeth Arden. She later developed a cosmetics line especially for women serving in the military.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 16: The attitude of society was quickly changing and the prejudices against women were lifting. All the while, this positive change towards equality was helping Elizabeth Arden's success as she no longer had to fight so hard for cosmetics and short hair to become acceptable.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 17: In 1914, society had changed so much that Elizabeth Arden was able to remove the 'Mrs' which she had maintained from her previous business partner Elizabeth Hubbard, and replace it with 'Miss'. Despite being 30 years of age, she was fiercely independent and unmarried.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 18: She made her first journey overseas in 1914 when she visited Paris, France to learn about their beauty culture and cosmetics industry. She learned about new make up techniques and application. Whilst away in France, the First World War broke out. This brought a new found independence to many women that they had not been allowed to experience previously, not just in the United States, but in countries across the world. With the men away from home, women had to go to work!.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 19: Elizabeth Arden's eye makeup was the first of its kind to be introduced to the United States of America. It became successful during World War I when women began experimenting with it. Until this point, eye makeup hadnít really gained popularity in the United States as it was considered too heavy to wear. However, Elizabeth Arden learned new techniques about its application whilst she was away in Paris and she brought this information back to the United States.
Elizabeth Arden Fact 20: Elizabeth Arden died on October 18, 1966 at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York, United States. Her body was interred in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in New York. By the time she died, she had established worldwide success with a cosmetics empire which incorporated more than 100 beauty salons and 300 cosmetic products.
Influence and Legacy: Elizabeth Arden was a very important woman who supported the equal rights of women and achieved global success when she established her own cosmetics empire known famously by the name 'Elizabeth Arden'.