Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Never Give Up On Your Dreams

My Great Uncle Tom Lyle Williams never stopped believing in himself and the Maybelline Company. He taught me to never give up on my dream no matter what obstacles I faced and I faced plenty, as I worked to get The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dyansty Behind It published.

The Great Depression actually presented Tom Lyle with many opportunities to expand the company. Hard times forced him to reconsider his business plan of marketing through mail order, hiring marketing genius Rags Ragland even though he was not part of the Williams family. With Rags innovative thinking, Maybelline soon appeared in drug stores, grocery stores and discount houses. These outlets targeted a new audience of younger women ready to purchase eye cosmetics at an affordable price from conveniently placed displays, rather than ordering and waiting for them to arrive by mail.

Movies during the 1930's drove the Maybelline Co. towards even more success, as people sought escape from their problems while developing a fascination for their favorite stars. Joan Crawford represented the ordinary girl trying to make it in a man's world. Jean Harlow with her platinum hair and pencil thin eyebrows represented glamour -a little rough around the edges. These actresses were the prototype of the modern woman who wanted to be beautiful and glamorous. This phenomenon brought more women into the stores to purchase Maybelline and Tom Lyle's dream continued into the 1940's.

As I was growing up, Tom Lyle's stories instilled in me the will to keep going even though many dooors were slammed in my face. Now after 20 years, I can proudly say that The Maybelline Story a reality, no longer just a dream.

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