ShowsThe Morning Blend


Celebrating the Women Behind Merle Norman

Meet the women keeping Wisconsin beautiful
Posted at 10:38 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 11:38:04-04

This October we are celebrating the local women owned businesses here in our community for Women's Small Business Month!

For almost 90 years, Merle Norman Cosmetics has supported women entrepreneurs in the American dream of owning their own business. Merle Norman studied medicine and chemistry at a small, private college and began experimenting with cosmetic formulas in the early 1920’s. She began to make cosmetics in a large coffee pot on her kitchen stove, using her knowledge of how the skin functions, to develop skin care products to meet the needs of women. Once she was satisfied with the formulas, she began selling them.

She developed the studio system, where with the help of Merle Norman’s home office, women could independently sell Merle Norman products in their own hometown. By 1934, 94 independently owned studios were flourishing across America. The first Merle Norman in downtown Milwaukee was in the early 1940’s!

Today we have several studios in the Milwaukee area:

Debby in Hales Corners has been with Merle Norman for 40 years; Debby’s daughter, Crystal works in the studio and is a licensed esthetician. Her daughter Allison helps in the studio for special events.

Vicki in West Bend has had several different studios in Illinois and now in Wisconsin for over 17 years. Vicki has been in the cosmetic industry for 28 years.

Beth was a Merle Girl long before she opened her studio in Oconomowoc 7 years ago.

Renee in Brookfield has been with Merle Norman for 40 years and is proud that daughter’s Erin and Moira are an active, vital part of the business.

Today we learn more about why these women love Merle Norman and how this company has helped them achieve their American Dream!