The Strange History of Some Famous Company Startups

Some of the most popular brands of the world have developed from a strange history of selling products that were totally alien to their current specialty. While some brands have been able to prove their mettle by finding their niche and standing the tests of time; there are still others that had to switch from one industry to another in order to sustain their survival. Below mentioned are some of the most unusual startup histories of some of our favorite brands.


One of the world’s leading cosmetic companies, Avon stands today as a brand completely dedicated to female beauty. The firm’s history however is quite diverse. David H. McConnell, the man who found Avon in the year 1886 was originally a travelling book salesman who lured his female customers by offering them free samples of perfumes along with his books. He soon noticed that his customers seemed to be far more interested in these samples. Thus, the foundation for California Perfume Industry was laid, which was later renamed as Avon.


Nokia, a telecom giant that was started in Finland in the year 1865 was originally a wood pulp mill. The company is known for its history of diversification and change. Over the years, the company shifted its focus from paper industry to several others before it finally set foot in the telecommunication industry in the year 1960.


Wrigley, a company famous for its line of gums too boasts a rather queer history. Its founder, William Wrigley Jr. only had $32 in his pocket when he first moved to Chicago. Initially he sold items such as soap and baking powder and offered free sticks of gums as an incentive in order to promote his merchandise. He soon observed that these sticks of gums were proving to be far more popular than the original products. This is when Wrigley was able to cash upon this trend and decided to produce his own gums.

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. a luxury brand famous for its silver jewelry, initially started off as a small stationery and gift store. The store was eventually able to expand in the coming years and its founders shifted their core business from porcelain and Bohemian glass goods to jewelry. Today, the firm is recognized as one of the most prominent and reliable jewelry companies in the world.

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