Brownie Wise was a business pioneer who developed Tupperware’s “party planning” system of marketing. And in Life of the Party: The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire, Bob Kealing tells the story of Wise’s rise and fall in business.
In the 1940s, Wise was a single mother – with a drunk of an ex husband – who used her savvy business skills while working in sales at Stanley Home Products. And then she came across a new product: Tupperware. In 1949, Wise ordered $65, 741.95 of Tupperware merchandise, and through her sales in home parties, proceeded to get $86,407.15 in orders (which would be about $850,000.00 today). Earl Tupper, the creator of Tupperware, took notice, which eventually led to Wise running Tupperware’s sales division.
Life of the Party is the story of a bright woman with an eighth grade education who launched a new kind of marketing, and who succeeded in a male-dominated arena. Wise’s popularizing of “party planning” marketing has paved the way for many who followed her lead, and her story is very inspirational. However, Life of the Party also shows the dark side of being a business tycoon. In 1957, Wise threw a Tupperware luau on an island she owned; little did she know that a torrential thunderstorm would injure 21 guests. In 1958, Wise was fired from Tupperware. She continued working, in business and real estate, though she was no longer given much credit for pioneering Tupperware’s unique sales system. In this biography, Bob Kealing gives Wise the credit she earned.
You can find Life of the Party here.