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Lillian Vernon, Founder of Hugely Successful Mail Order Business, Dies at 88.

Lillian Vernon (born Lilian Menasche) was the daughter of Jewish Germans who fled to Amsterdam during the rise of the Nazis in 1933, immigrated to New York in 1937. She attended NYU, but left after two years to marry the owner of a dry goods story in Mount Vernon, NY. With $2000 of their wedding money, Vernon, who was also pregnant, decided to start "a mail-order business on her yellow Formica kitchen table," reported The New York Times. "With the help of her father, who by then was in the leather goods business, she advertised a personalized leather handbag for $2.99 plus taxand a matching belt for $1.99in the September issue of Seventeen magazine. The ad generated $32,000 in orders, and the Lillian Vernon brand was born."

That businessLillian Vernon mail order catalogs that specializing in selling low-cost gifts and personalized itemswooed millions. Reported the Times:

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Author:Zalman, Jonathan
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Dec 15, 2015
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