Famous Failures Elizabeth ArdenCanadian, Elizabeth Arden, born Florence Nightingale Graham in 1878, was a business magnate who overcame failure to achieve tremendous success, creating an unprecedented beauty empire by 1929 that included 150 salons throughout the United States and Europe, and eventually selling over 1000 products across 22 separate countries. At the height of her success, during her lifetime, she was also considered to be one of the wealthiest women in the world.
However, in 1909, at the age of 31-years old, Arden failed in business after a 6-month stint when she formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard. One year later, in 1910, at the age of 32-years old, she pieced together the name Elizabeth Arden with the name “Elizabeth” used in an effort to save money on a sign for her salon, and “Arden,” which stemmed from the name of a nearby farm, thus giving birth to that name, the same year that she opened up the Red Door Salon, in New York City.
In 1912, she traveled to France where she would learn beauty and facial techniques. Upon her return, she joined forces with a chemist to begin developing what would become a vast arsenal of beauty products, lending a hand in catapulting the makeup industry into a widely acceptable practice that moved beyond the upper classes.
Her company, Elizabeth Arden, Inc., has surpassed $1 billion in annual sales, making it one of the most successful beauty businesses ever started still to this day.