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The Helena Rubinstein brand, a family story

Helena Rubinstein left Krakow in 1892 at just 20 years of age. She never doubted that by stepping onto a boat destined for Australia, she was beginning an incredible journey that would revolutionize the beauty industry. The success of her eponymous business enabled her to hire her sisters, nephews and nieces as employees. Not long after its creation, the Helena Rubinstein brand became a true family-connection.

Helena Rubinstein is a family success

In 1902, Helena Rubinstein opened her first ever beauty salon in Melbourne, named Valaze. The Australian town became the first in the world to have its very own beauty institute. Helena Rubinstein worked single handedly giving women advice on skincare, and quickly discovered the demands and desires of the modern woman. Her business soon became a roaring success, and in 1905, her sister Ceska emigrated to join and work for her in Melbourne. Helena Rubinstein always prioritized her family when it came to developing her business. That same year, Madame set off for Europe in order to hone and perfect her knowledge on beauty and skincare. Ceska consequently became the first of her sisters to run a Rubinstein institute.

As the oldest of 8 sisters, Helena Rubinstein constantly supported her siblings and entrusted them with positions of responsibility and authority within her institutes. In 1912, her sister Manka became responsible for London-based institute Valaze whilst Helena moved to Paris. Her demanding personality made no room for errors or amateurs, even from her family members. She trained each sister for weeks, making sure their knowledge and experience was faultless, before giving them full reign over the institute's consultations and clients. Many years later, Helena Rubinstein would go on to give her nieces and nephews key roles within the company. Mala, who she considered to be the 'heir or her heart and mind' would eventually take on a management role in the New-York institute.

Edward Titus: Madame's right-hand man

In 1908, the family business met unparalleled success. Helena Rubinstein's first husband, Edward Titus gave the brand a significant edge. Owner of an art gallery and publishing house, he helped to grow the brand further with large financial contributions. The female entrepreneur was heavily influenced by the many inspirational people she met through her husband's connections. He helped shape her personality and tastes, introducing her to Dali, Picasso and Colette; individuals who would soon become part of her inner circle and collaborate on several projects, including a powder compact designed by Dali and adverts written by Colette.

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