Avon was strictly an American phenomenon, and a unique and pioneering one at that. The first Avon Lady was actually a man, young door-to-door salesman David McConnell from upstate New York. He launched Avon Calling in 1886, offering women cosmetics in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
By 1887, McConnell had twelve women employees selling a line of eighteen fragrances. And the numbers kept growing and growing. In 1939, California Perfume Company name changed to Avon Products, Inc. (10/6/39.) Today, despite the scores of expensive, prestigious American and foreign brand-name cosmetics, Avon ranks first in sales nationwide, with Avon Ladies ringing doorbells from coast to coast.