Giving is Love by Valerie Cheers Brown

“I didn’t get here by dreaming or thinking about it. I got here by doing it.”-Estee Lauder

How I loved working for the Estee Lauder organization of New York, NY and I was a PA (Professional Artist) for different stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, May Department stores, in the Metropolitan Area Saint Louis City & County and Illinois. I would bounch around to different stores selling, giving free samples and making faces up everywhere. Even made the Saint Louis Football Cardinals cheerleaders faces one time!

What was most interesting was how taxes varied and were very different in each of these different places and really made a big difference in sales and I learned this very quickly and made me want to work at the stores where the taxes were less than others because I worked on commission and base salary.

I always loved  working for people like Estee Lauder family because of her thinking and I loved the idea of giving the customer something free when they made a purchase.  Estee Lauder team members trained us as PA’s to always find out what the customer wants and needs were and if they did not know, we sat them down and consulted and tried new and different things with them.  We sort of had fun trying new makeups, new colors, new fragrances, etc.   And we did this always before trying to get them to buy and we would become familiar with one another and were more like family by staying in contact with one another at least once a week we would call our clients to see if they needed anything or if there was something we could do for them.

Estee Lauder always had samples and if we did not have in stock, we would make them right before our customers eyes and this would go for makeup, etc.. We never told our customer we were out of anything and if we were would could always give them something until we could get their product for them.  To me, this really showed we cared about them and not just about them spending their money. We knew how to get our customers to not only come back, but to also tell others about their experience with us!

Whenever I see “Free Gift with Purchase” I think about Estee Lauder and she being the Mother of free things before she got big intrigues me a lot!  Giving something free when you made a purchase  become a company trademark and later, a standard industry practice. The result was thousands of new customers and today one would call or consider this a brand.

Even when Estee Lauder began improving her uncles skin products as a young woman, she would refine and improve them for her own products cooking up stuff right on the stove.

She also realized after divorcing her husband that it was so much better having a partner to help her with her success story. I liked how she was woman enough to know that she made a mistake, missed him and they got back together and the business went better than ever then.

Estee Lauder was really creative and her ideas of giving away is what I mainly loved about her and her uniqueness would be one of the very first to have free demonstrations and makeovers at actual salons, hotels, on subways and even in the street.

She was brilliant and loved what she did so she would also make home visits of her clients and this is what we did in the stores was to keep diaries of our clients and we keep track of when it was almost time for them to need new product and we would call them and see if they wanted us to just mail or they could come by and we have it waiting for them.

We also let them  know about new products and would always make sure to place new product samples into the customers bag so they could try them first to see if they liked.  We also asked their reasons of liking or not liking and asked them what could we do to make the product better.

This is where listening to our customers was crucial and so important in the business world of not just taking people’s money, but listening to them and asking them, “What can we do to make you come back” kind of imporant questions. This is what we did with working for the Estee Lauder family and would listen and write down suggestions and send them to our New York offices for their researching too.

Anybody with a complaint, we would turn that negative into a positive immediately by making that experience a good one. Estee Lauder did us the same way she did her customers and we never were without product and they would ship them directly from New York to our homes anytime we needed something.

Estee Lauder was very much into satisfying her customers and she never really worried about new customers but instead, taking care of the ones she already had and gave them the red carpet service by phoning and sending a note or something of the sort letting them know how much we appreciated them.

This is one of the main reasons even as a kid I loved following those who really loved people and not just for the love of money, but more about showing and giving love to ones customers and being satisfied with the ones you have!

If you took care of them the rest would be taken care of and really did not need a lot of advertising but when you did this and treated and gave your customers good service they would tell somebody which to me, is the best advertising in the world, “Word of Mouth.”

Another thing about Estee Lauder which I loved was how she thought big and she started her products being sold from places like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Marshall’s Field, Bonwit Teller,etc.

To create a market for her product, she gave free demonstrations and makeovers at salons, hotels, the subway and even in the street. She also began visiting the homes of her clients, where she would make up their friends and sell more cream. It wasn’t long before Lauder was a fixture on the guest lists of New York City’s most influential hostesses.

I don’t care what anybody says and today we call it branding, but what I have learned from working for many success story geniuses who are still in business right now today, is that by giving away is showing that you care about others and will do whatever it takes to become known even at the risk of not making any money from.

I have been so blessed to have worked for so many successful organizations, some still here right now today and many are gone! God has a reason for every single thing we do in life and I consider it a double blessing to have worked for so many success stories which I can now include in my very own.

P.S. That product you see up there, Fruition is a product which I will never forget and don’t quite know why it is no more, but that product was when I worked $75.00 for a very small bottle but it lasted forever and made your face feel like a babies bottom. I don’t know what happened and why it went away, but will find out and let you know!  Anybody whomever used that product knows what I am saying to be true.  It may have been very expensive but all of her products had long shelf life and worked and what they said they would do, they did!


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