David H. McConnell didn't originally intend to create a beauty company. A traveling book salesman, he founded Avon in 1886 after realizing his female customers were far more interested in the free perfume samples he offered than in his books. During his bookselling days, McConnell had also noticed that many of his female customers were isolated at home while their husbands went off to work. So he purposely recruited female sales Representatives. McConnell believed they had a natural ability to network with and market to other women, and a passion for his products. At a time of limited employment options for women, the Avon earnings opportunity was a revolutionary concept. It marked the start of the company's long and rich history of empowering women around the globe. See "Experience Avon's History". AVON. Retrieved 2014-11-05.