Door-to-door selling. If you’ve ever done it, you know it’s grueling work. Throughout most of its history, door-to-door selling was considered a man’s job. That was before Avon invented the Avon Lady, a concept that revolutionized selling and opened the door for generations of women who wanted to become independent entrepreneurs.
Katina Manko, an independent scholar, has written a thoroughly researched book about the history of Avon’s distributed sales force model and its lasting impact on our culture. I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the Avon Ladies and their modern-day counterparts in the gig economy. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Katina, and I hope you have a chance to read her book, Ding Dong! Avon Calling! Wow, just saying that brings back memories of my childhood.