Hello World!

Hello World!

Brownie Mae Humphrey is born in Buford, Georgia. (Earl Tupper is just five years old, and he hasn’t invented Tupperware yet.)

May 25, 1913

Married life

Married life

Brownie wins a contest to paint a mural at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas. While there, she meets Robert Wise and they marry on December 15. The Exposition features the Ford Motor Company very prominently, which convinces the couple to move to Detroit.

January 4, 1936

Jerry arrives

Jerry arrives

Brownie gives birth to her only child, a son named Jerry.

May 25, 1938

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

An excellent communicator with a passion for writing, Brownie begins contributing an advice column to the Detroit News under the penname Hibiscus.

January 1, 1939

Divorce

Divorce

Brownie and Robert divorce and Brownie is awarded custody of Jerry. Her mother, Rose, lives with Brownie and Jerry. During wartime, these two industrious ladies cultivate a large garden and make all of their own clothes. Brownie works as an executive secretary, studies mechanical drawing and continues her column.

February 1, 1941

Destination: Florida

Destination: Florida

Jerry falls ill and doctors advise them to move south. Brownie, Rose and Jerry relocate to Miami, Florida where Brownie and Rose begin a business called Patio Parties. Through the business, they offer the products of a few different direct sales companies like Stanley Home Products, West Bend and the little-known Poly-T (soon to be renamed Tupperware, thank goodness). Brownie sells the heck out of Poly-T, which catches the attention of Earl Tupper.

March 1, 1950

THP

THP

Earl Tupper forms Tupperware Home Parties Division (THP) and asks Brownie Wise to become its Vice President and general sales manager. She develops the Hostess party plan for Tupperware while dividing her time between her home in Miami and the Tupperware headquarters in Farnumsville, Massachusetts. She really likes to stay in sunny Florida.

April 3, 1951

O-Town

O-Town

Brownie convinces Earl to move the headquarters to Florida, and as they scout locations, they set up temporary shop in the Orlando municipal airport. Not very glamorous yet, but Brownie has a vision of building a tropical paradise destination for all her Tupperladies.

January 4, 1952

Kissimmee was never the same again

Kissimmee was never the same again

Earl and Brownie announce the new (and current) location of Tupperware Home Parties Headquarters on Orange Blossom Trail in Kissimmee. A few buildings are completed and the staff moves in November 1952

May 30, 1952

The Golden Years

The Golden Years

The astronomical success of Tupperware continues. Brownie is a media darling and her Tupperware consultants adore her. She focuses on positive thinking, trying to help women develop their full potential and recognizing them for their achievements. Jubilee becomes an annual event, a pilgrimage bringing consultants of all levels together for huge, over-the-top celebrations (some things never change, right?). She publishes her book, Best Wishes, Brownie Wise in 1957. Despite their success, Brownie and Earl begin to butt heads over how to run the business.

February 1, 1954

Business Week

Business Week

The very first Jubilee is held at the completed Orlando headquarters during April 5–8. Life magazine covers the event, including the legendary “Big Dig” where Tupperware consultants dug prizes right out of the ground. On April 17, Brownie Wise becomes the first woman ever featured on the cover of Business Week. An eight-page article inside celebrates the pioneering business woman and the incredible company she’s building.

April 5, 1954

Let go

Let go

Earl Tupper and his board of directors force Brownie out of the company. It’s later revealed that Earl had been looking to sell the company and felt he wouldn’t be able to with such a powerful woman at the helm. He sells Tupperware to Dart/Rexall in late 1958 and moves to Costa Rica.

January 4, 1958

Other ventures

Other ventures

Wise begins a few short-lived direct sales cosmetics companies and briefly becomes president of Vivian Woodward Cosmetics

March 1, 1960

R.I.P Earl

R.I.P Earl

Earl Tupper passes away in Costa Rica.

October 5, 1983

The extended hand

The extended hand

With Earl Tupper’s influence at headquarters fading, Tupperware staff reaches out to Brownie, who still resides in Kissimmee, and invites her to come speak to the sales force. She declines the invitation.

May 4, 1987

R.I.P. Brownie

R.I.P. Brownie

Brownie Wise passes away in Kissimmee at the age of 79. In her later years, she was very active with her church, enjoyed pottery and art, and spent a lot of time with her son, Jerry. To this day, we are grateful to Brownie for her vision that every woman can become a respected, empowered business owner. Her vision transformed not only our company, but the status of American women and, now, that of women around the world.

September 24, 1992