Elizabeth Arden, born Florence Nightingale Graham, dropped out of nursing school and worked in Manhattan as a bookkeeper for the E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company. It was here that Arden learned about skincare and she later invested $1000 into what would become Elizabeth Arden Cosmetics.

An early advocate of women's rights, Arden gave out red lipstick to the New York suffragettes marching on Fifth Avenue in 1912, and her 'Red Door' lipstick shade soon became a symbol of unity and strength for the movement. 20 years after she set up her first salon on Fifth Avenue, she owned 50 salons across the United States and Europe. 

The brand Elizabeth Arden is now worth an estimated $1.3 billion.

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This is part of our year-long #ICB100Women Campaign honouring 100 influential and inspiring women bookkeepers, to celebrate the suffrage centenary.