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Brownie Wise
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Brownie Mae Humphrey

May 25, 1913
Died September 24, 1992(1992-09-24) (aged 79)
Nationality American
Occupation Businesswoman
Known for Tupperware sales

Brownie Mae Humphrey (May 25, 1913 – September 24, 1992) professionally Brownie Wise, was a pioneering American saleswoman largely responsible for the success of the home products company Tupperware, through her development of the "party plan" system of marketing.


A former sales representative for Stanley Home Products, Wise was a divorcee with a son to support. She found Tupperware to be a product with broad appeal and began selling it at home parties. In 1950 she moved to Florida and created a social networking marketing system through dealers and sellers that quickly outsold Tupperware's store sales.

This caught the attention of Earl Tupper, Tupperware's inventor, who invited her to be vice president of Tupperware Home Parties in 1951. She insisted that he market his products exclusively through party plans, where women invited friends and neighbors to a combination social event and sales presentation. Wise ran the sales division, Tupperware Home Parties, Inc, from Kissimmee, Florida and had the freedom to implement her marketing strategies. Her methods were extremely successful. Her ability to tap into popular culture and the desire for happiness helped recruit thousands of women into a career at a time when a woman's role was conventionally tied to the home. Her TV appearances, magazine and newspaper articles made her a household name. In 1954 she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week.

Wise invented much of the corporate culture of Tupperware and, by extension, other party-plan marketing organizations. She was especially keen on incentives, one of the chief ones being trips to Florida to the annual "Jubilee" at the company's sales headquarters for motivational meetings and socializing with other successful representatives. Top sellers would be presented with exotic gifts such as speedboats, trips and appliances carefully planned in the company of their husbands. She created idioms and rituals such as pilgrimage to a specially designed well in the Tupperware grounds for sellers to cast their wishes, "Brownie Wings" and costumed graduation ceremonies. Dealers would go on treasure hunts where prizes would be buried in the ground. Extravagant shows, parties and motivational talks made up the four-day convention.

Wise was presented to the company's representatives as something of an idealized 1950s woman. She was skilled in leveraging the social networking model and motivating thousands of women to come together in their homes to sell Tupperware. Her own relationship with Earl Tupper was volatile, and their differences became irreconcilable after Wise's success turned her into a celebrity. In January 1958 Tupper forced Wise out. Soon afterward, every reference to her was removed from company literature. She owned no stock and left with a severance package of one year's salary, about $30,000.

Wise attempted to form her own party-plan cosmetics company, Cinderella, but was unsuccessful. She died in 1992 in Florida, where she lived and owned land near Lake Tohopekaliga.

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