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A career in makeup? Cottage Grove's Perkins has got it covered

Leona Perkins

Leona Perkins got off to a rough start selling rouge.

In 1963 Perkins, who was living in Old Cottage Grove, got a call from someone asking if she would like to sell Avon makeup and beauty products.

Perkins gave the job to her daughter, who drove off the road while selling products door to door.

“I thought, ‘Well, I don’t think this is going to work,’ so I did it,” Perkins recalled.

Her first sales territory was limited to the homes in rural Denmark Township. Selling makeup was tough there.

“They’d rather have a pair of overalls on,” she said of the farmers on her route.

Perkins stuck at it, eventually gained a larger territory and kept making sales. This month Perkins, who is 86, marks 50 years as an Avon saleswoman.

“I had to go door to door and I had to work at it,” said Perkins, who has won awards for her sales over the past five decades.

Perkins still sells Avon products, which now include far more than makeup. There are catalogs with scented candles, clothes, jewelry and perfume.

These days, there is less door-to-door selling. Most of Perkins’ clients are family and friends, but there are no strict sales territories so her potential clientele is limitless.

“Now you can sell to anyone in any place,” she said.

For details, contact Leona Perkins at 651-459-1502.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600