Helena Rubinstein

Helena Rubinstein (1870 – 1965)

Polish-American entrepreneur and philanthropist

Quote: “Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.”

Biography

source: www.jwa.org

  • Helena Rubinstein was born in Crakow, Poland on December 25, 1870. She was the oldest of eight siblings.
  • As the oldest and good at math, Helena would often help her father with bookkeeping. She attended her first business meeting at age 15.
  • After ending her medical studies, Helena’s father insisted she marry a 35 wealthy widower. Helena, only 18 at the time, refused to marry him and chose a different man. Her father refused and sent her to stay with family in Australia.
  • Helena took 12 pots of her mother’s beauty cream with her to Australia and would give it away to women in her circle. Once she was almost out, she decided to open a shop and sell the cream.
  • She received financial backing from Helen MacDonald, which she used to buy the cream and rent the shop. Her business became wildly successful.
  • She moved to the United States in 1915 and opened her first New York Salon.
  • In 1940, Helena opened the House of Gourielli, a shop for men’s products.
  • Helena died of natural causes in 1965. Her business was worth between $17.5 million and $60 million.

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