Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vintage Maybelline packaging was part of it's brilliant marketing strategy.

Not only was the marketing behind Maybelline brilliant, the handling of the business as a whole was ingenious. 

If you own a business or are starting a business pick up a copy of "The Maybelline Story And The Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It,"  for the many lessons you will learn about ethical and creative smart business practice.  

Through the 53 year history that Tom Lyle Williams and his brother Noel James Williams were at the helm,

Maybelline weathered and overcame some disastrous times in this country and the world and it never folded.

One of Tom Lyle's secrets was he surrounded himself with educated, brilliant people, like Rags Ragland, a marketing genius who helped shoot Maybelline to the moon with his innovation and inventive thinking. 

And when the government considered Maybelline a monopoly and threatened to destroy the company, Tom Lyle divided Maybelline within the family, turning the production of mascara over to his brother in law, Chet Hewes and the transporting of Maybelline over to his brother in law Ches keep it a private, family-owned business.....  

Read all about the ups and downs of the Maybelline Company and the family behind it. 

Buy a signed copy from author Sharrie Williams today.

Visit Sharrie at her hilarious 1964 High School Blog, Saffrons Rule

 Have you checked out Sharrie Williams new website? 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Maybellne cousins arrive at Historic Union Station to visit their uncle in 1940

Excerpt from Maybelline founder, Tom Lyle Williams niece,Jane Allen's, diary during her trip to the Villa Valentino, in Hollywood California with her cousin Annette Williams

On Wednesday June 5, 1940, Annette and I left Chicago on the Grand Canyon Limited bound for California to visit with our uncle, Tom Lyle Williams. Amid much excitement we boarded the train at 11:30 am. Unkie (TL's brother,) and aunt Frances and several of Annette's friends were at the station to see us off and wish us joy.

We had lunch on the train and settled for a long ride. There were very few people in our car, but it wasn't long before a young gentleman invited us to play bridge. Annette didn't care to play, so I made the fourth. I didn't learn the names of but one, Bill Munro from Boston Mass. He was very nice and was with Annette and me most of the train trip.

Our train was scheduled for La Junta, Colorado at 8:30 am. Thursday June 6, so I wired aunt Frank and she and uncle Weldon, Ruth, Little Phillip and Betty all met the train. We enjoyed seeing all the folks.

The train stopped in Albuquerque for about twenty minutes. Uncle Weldon had wired ahead to Anita from Las Vegas to meet the train. We had a nice visit with Anita too.

Friday June 7, 1940, was spent at the Grand Canyon.

 Our tour included breakfast, lunch and dinner at the El Tovar Hotel and two bus rides around the rim of the Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 17 miles long, has an average width of 10 miles and is one mile in depth. We didn't take the ride on mule back down the Canyon to Phantom Ranch, because of lack of time. The two trips by bus gave us an idea of what the Canyon is like. A word picture of this magnificent spectacle would be inadequate. The guide spoke of the Canyon as “The big hole in the ground,” but, it is so large it almost takes your breath away. The day was bright and the colors of the Canyon were lovely. The air was so clear we could get a glimpse of the Painted Desert in the distance.

While riding into Williams, Arizona from the Canyon, I checked the train schedule and discovered the train we were taking arrived in Los Angeles around eleven in the morning, instead of 7:40 pm, as shown on the time table. We wired Tom Lyle and he met us at the Union Station in Los Angeles.

Tom Lyle had workmen busy at the house and the place was upset, so he wouldn't take us home until later. We had lunch at the Pig 'n Whistle, a real cute place and delicious lunch, after which we proceeded to 6776 Wedgewood Place, Hollywood.

First looked over the gardens, saw the Valentino fountain overlooking the swimming pool, badminton court and all the flowers before seeing the Villa Valentino. Then came the house. Everything is lovely. After seeing his movie pictures, we had some idea of the layout of the gardens and the house, but not one part in the pictures were as lovely as the actual gardens and home. The white house is a beautiful contrast to the various vivid colors all around the house.

The swimming pool is grand! And has all colors in lounge chairs, pillows, tile with lots of colors and varieties of colors in flowers.

Have you seen my new website at Sharrie Williams Author, come by and check it out  ...

Drop by and see me at my 1964 High School Diary Blog, called Saffrons

Monday, August 11, 2014

NICHE Magazine's, "COASTAL CHIC" with my Maybelline Memories Column is available now

 Take a look at Canada's beautiful fashion magazine, "NICHE"...Here is the latest edition, featuring Hollywood Icon, Cate Blancheet, Fashion Diva Diane Von Furstenberg, celebrating 40 years of the wrap dress and my Maybelline Memories column.  I had a DVF wrap dress in 1976 and I recently bought a black one, because, I think they're so chick, sexy and still a fashion statement today. Click on "Coastal Chic" and turn to page 77.

Also check out my new Sharrie Williams author Website, at

And don't forget to visit me at my 1964 High School Diary Blog, called Saffrons Rule

Thursday, August 7, 2014

After a 30 year hiatus, my darling godchild Hana-Lee Sedgwick and I, resume our rightful position in each other's lives, (and yes, she is the famous Edie Sedgwick's real niece!)

My beautiful goddaughter, Hana-Lee Sedgwick and I reunite at the Savoy Cafe in Santa Barbara, after 30 years.

Hana-Lee's mother Anne and I, were best friends many years ago (and of course we still are,) so naturally, when I had my baby girl, I asked Ann to be her godmother and when she had her baby girl, she asked me to be Hana-Lee's godmother as well.

However, Ann and her husband Jonathan Sedgwick, moved to another State when our girls were very young, making Anne and I godmother's in name only.... Oh, we sent cards for special occasions, Christmas and Birthday gifts right on time, but our girls only knew us from a long distance.

So, you can imagine my delight, when after more than 30 years, my beautiful godchild and her fiancee, have moved back to California and plan to make a life here.  When we met for lunch today, it was as if I'd always been there for her and certainly gave my two cents, about her upcoming Wedding.  I will keep you posted on the event as they unfold, but in the mean time enjoy these two posts about Hana Lee and her incredible family.

I'm proud to introduce to you, my Goddaughter, Hana-Lee Sedgwick and her new blog, Wander and Wine.

Hana-Lee with her father,
Jonathan Sedgwick
 Hana-Lee, like her famous aunt,  Edie Sedgwick, is not only a natural beauty, but has the innate ability of inspiring people to expand their horizons   She has a charming new blog called WANDER & WINE, which I found informative, fun and interesting.  Take a gander for yourself and see if you don't feel like you've just visited the finest Wineries in the Country.  I can see Hana-Lee with her own travel-cooking-wine show, taking her audience to Wineries around the world and just enjoying a good glass of wine in a lovely setting with people she meets on the way.

Andy Warhol's, Edie Sedgwick - What the press doesn't tell you.

There was so much more to...Edie Sedgwick and her family... than just Andy Warhol.

 In January 1965, Edie was introduced to Andy Warhol, one of the new gods of Pop Art

Edie: American girl:   When Edie was first published, it quickly became an international best-seller and then took its place among the classic books about the 1960s. 

Factory Girl is a 2006 American biographical film based on the life of 1960s underground film star, socialite, and Warhol Superstar Edie Sedgwick. The film premiered in Los Angeles on December 29, 2006

Edie Sedgwick had 7 brother's and sisters and not all of them wound up being mentally ill, drug addicts and alcoholics, like the press likes to make the Sedgwick family out to be.  Edie's brother, Jonathan Sedgwick, (seen here with his wife Anne and their three children, Shane, Dustin and Hana-Lee, in 1985,) has remained one of the most brilliant, grounded, loving and encouraging husbands and fathers, I've ever known.  Jonathan and Anne's children have grown up to be well balanced, college educated and successfulI in their own right, because their parents never pushed them to be anything other, than who they really are.

Johathan and his daughter Hana-Lee at the premier of Factory Girl in 2006.  I'm proud to say that Hana-Lee Sedgwick is my goddaughter.  Her mother, Anne and I go way back to when she was married to my cousin Chuck Williams, aka, BB1 in the early 1970's and I have remained close to her and Jonathan for over 30 years. 

With all the hype out there about the Sedgwicks, I have to say, Jonathan is nothing like the way his sister Edie has been portrayed in her book and movie.  His personal story, growing up on the ranch in Santa Barbara is so fascinating - I hope a publisher comes along and picks it up for what I'm sure would be a
best seller.  

Pick up a copy of Edie at Amazon and order Factory Girl on Netflix today.

Be sure to visit my exciting new website at Sharrie Williams author

and, come see me at my hilarious 1964 high school blog at Saffrons Rule

Friday, August 1, 2014

Maybelline's namesake, Mabel Williams Vintage 1925 Wedding Album pictures

Mabel may have put  the "M" in Maybelline, but, she had no interest in being just another "It Girl," or "Vamp."  She was a traditional, 32 year old, Southern Lady, waiting for her man to come along.  

Unbeknownst to her, Chester Randolph Hewes, was living in Chicago and working at Montgomery Wards, in the automotive, advertising department.

Mabel's brother, Maybelline founder, Tom Lyle Williams with the Bride and Groom and Chet's sister Bonnie.

At the time Chester, was involved with an English girl he'd met in England, while in the Navy, during
WW l.  He had said goodbye to her and her family after his stint was over, headed back to the US, got a job and was busy working.  When all of a sudden, Connie, her mother and several grown brothers showed up on his doorstep.
Mabel with her father, Thomas Jefferson Williams

He told her he did not want to marry her, but being a gentleman, arranged for an apartment for the family and  jobs for her brothers.  After awhile she realized Chester, just wasn't that into her, so, packed up her family and sadly, headed back to England.

1928 Mabel and Chet with their first child, Shirley

Mabel met Chester, through his sister Bonnie when he came to pick up Bonnie at a bridal shower given at the home of Chester's then girlfriend.  Mabel was also a guest and after Chester met her, he told a friend, Mabel was the girl he was going to marry.

1934, Mabel and Chet with their three children, Shirley, Tommy and baby Joyce.

Come visit me at my Hilarious 1964 High School blog called Saffrons Rule

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, shared the Maybelline company's Pot of Gold, with his entire famlly

This picture of Tom Lyle with his niece, Neppy Williams-Corbett and his nephew, Noel A. Williams wife, Jean, was taken in Tom Lyle's home in Bel Air in 1968, right after the Maybelline company was sold to Plough Inc.  Notice the 24K gold plated beams between the plate glass window.  

Shortly after the family inherited their money from the sale of the Maybellne Co, Tom Lyle's niece Annette Williams Corbett, called her uncle to ask if she and her husband George, could come by and visit while they were in California from Chicago.  Milford, the Butler said "yes he'd love to see you, but could you come by at 2:00 am in the morning, when TL was awake and at his best." Annette, George along with her brother, Noel Allen Williams and his wife Jean, were there at 2:00 am and stayed until the sun came up, when TL went to bed. They said it was the best visit they ever had.

Here is a story about Tom Lyle's generosity, given to me by his great niece and Mabel and Chet's granddaughter, Linda Hughes. 

When Maybelline was sold, each employee was given $1,000 for each year they worked for the company. Even those who hadn't been there a full year got $1,000. Tom Lyle's secretary Dorothy (aka Ducky) ended up with  $35,000 as did another secretary called Jimmie.  Jimmie called Mabel, to ask her to relay to TL how grateful she was that she could retire after she got her $30,000 check. At the time my parents had a bookstore and a former employee came in and told them he was bowled over to receive $8,000.  ( Dorothy also received one million dollars from her percentage in stock as well.)

Read more about Tom Lyle Williams, a secret American Icon and the great things he accomplished during his lifetime, in The Maybelline Story.

A cute story about Emery Shaver, Tom Lyle's lifetime partner of 50 years, given to me by his niece, Joyce Dennehy, (Mabel and Chet's, daughter.)

When my family drove from Chicago, to California, to visit Uncle Lyle, when we were kids:  One day it was rainy and my brother Tom was grumbling a bit about having nothing to do. He said to Emery, "don't you have an indoor swimming pool?"   Emery's response was "no but I have an ingrown toenail."

Be sure to visit my Hillarious 1964 High School Blog called Saffrons Rule Blog at

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Power of Social Media has skyrocketed my Career in a way I never expected! Meet my new friend, @michelethetrainer

Finally after many phone conversations, emails and texts, ,  Michele The Trainer, a Calabasas California, Celebrity Personal Trainer, invited me to meet 15 of her Professional friends for breakfast, at Nicola's Kitchen, in the very romantic French Quarter of the San Fernando Valley. I told the group of lovely Ladies how I met Michele and how serendipitous it was for me to actually be sitting there with them.  

I told them how Social Media had brought Michele into my life, through her friend, Producer and Actress, Sandy Milliner, (who follows me on Twitter.)  It was through these two wonderful women, that fate ushered in Literary Agent, Italia Gandolfo, of Gandolfo and Helin Management, who now represents me, for a second book. Everyone was impressed with the power of Marketing through, Blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting everyday and actually consider it magical... the way things have unfolded

If you live in the West Valley, be sure to meet friends for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner at this adorable movie set of a restaurant called, Nicola's Kitchen

Nicola's offers group specialties made to order with the freshest of ingredients.  We all enjoyed, Quiche with crispy Bacon,  Yogurt and fresh cut fruit, Oatmeal with a variety of toppings, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee and tea.

After the Breakfast, Michele and I sat outside in the gorgeous Mediterranean Garden and discussed both of our books and our on going projects.  I'm sure we'll be brainstorming and meeting many more people in the coming months, because she is a powerhouse who knows everyone!

John and Kate, Proprietors.

Established in 1990, Nicola's Kitchen has been serving the San Fernando Valley for many years. In that time we have developed a style of Italian food with influences
ranging from the California Coast to the shores of Thailand

Be sure to drop by my Hilarious 1964 High School Diary Blog, called Saffrons Rule at