When I took on the Project Officer position with the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program in November 2015, little did I know that I would be rekindling a family connection with Avon. As I told my family about my new job, they shared with me about how my great grandmother, Bertha Miller, had been an Avon sales representative in the 1950s. She sold Avon products door-to-door for over a decade in Villisca, Iowa to support herself after her husband passed away.
Her granddaughters, my mother and aunts, have fond memories of watching their grandma “put on her face.” She dusted her face with a big powder puff, dipping it into a fancy jar of powder. She passed her skincare habits down to her granddaughters and no Christmas or birthday was complete without Avon gifts. All the granddaughters used Avon skin cream throughout high school; their favorite scent was “Topaz”.
Great Grandmother Miller was stylish, always in a dress with a hat and gloves. She also collected quite a bit of Avon jewelry over the years, some of which is featured in the few photographs we have of her, like this one that my family calls her “Avon photo.”
Unfortunately, Great Grandma Miller succumbed to breast cancer late in life before there were any real treatments available. I feel honored to now be working with Avon BHOP and not only continuing my family’s connection with this company that has done so much for women, but also working to get more women into breast cancer screening and care. Great Grandma Miller is remembered as being independent and resourceful when it wasn't always the fashion, and I am proud to be her great granddaughter.