In 2017 National Brave Day was founded to honor women empowering women. Decades before this day of recognition, one local woman, Brownie Wise, was involved in helping women through her affiliation with Tupperware and the sale of their products. Women were recruited to become representatives for “Tupperware Home Parties,” which introduced a unique way of selling their products by bringing them into the home for women to view and purchase.
When Brownie left Tupperware in the late 1950s, she joined forces with Cinderella International. This company produced a line of over “100 products for the housewife”, sold under the trade name “Magic Wand,” again helping women venture out of the home and earn their own income. (use photo #1 of Cinderella ad here)
Brownie was named President of Cinderella International in July of 1958 and brought their headquarters to Kissimmee, Florida. The Chamber of Commerce slogan “Watch Kissimmee Grow” was created by Brownie. She hoped that bringing the corporation to Kissimmee would bring people and growth to the area. Cinderella’s Flying Coach, a private plane, was available for staff to fly to meetings and training sessions across the country. The temporary location of the headquarters was in the Bon Air Hotel on Dakin Avenue.
A Mysterious Beauty
In February of 1959, the Coronation Necklace was acquired by Cinderella International. Initially designed for a queen and bought by a prince, the 763 diamonds, gathered from all over the world and weighing more than 100 carats, were set in a platinum design by Augusto Iberti. Much secrecy surrounded the romantic story behind the necklace. Both Cinderella International and the New York jeweler signed an agreement not to disclose the names or story behind the Coronation Necklace.
The departure of a Legendary Woman
On July 2, 1959, the resignation of Brownie Wise and other staff changes and promotions was announced in the newspaper. Several months later, the headquarters were moved to Orlando. In January of 1960, the corporation was sold to Meredith E. Dobry. The Cinderella’s Magic Wand line of cosmetics and cleaning products spread across the country, requiring more party plan managers, affording women additional opportunities.
An advertisement found in July 2, 1965, Mississippi newspaper shows “Statement of Intent to Dissolve Cinderella International.” Efforts by Osceola History to determine what became of the famous Coronation Necklace have been unsuccessful.
Author: Anza Bast
Sources Include: “Kissimmee Gazette” July 4, 1958, August 1, 1958, September 26, 1958, February 27, 1959;
“Orlando Sentinel” June 3, 1959, January 9, 1960, October 29, 1960; “ Clarion-Ledger July 1965;
Osceola County Historical Society photograph archives