Lillian M. Vernon (Katz)
Katz took some of her family savings to place a small ad in Seventeen magazine for small handbags and belts in 1951. Within a few weeks, she had received $16,000 worth of orders, and sales have skyrocketed ever since. She began expanding her product line to include such popular brands as Elizabeth Arden, Avon and Revlon as well as imported goods. She also invested in several new distribution centers throughout New York and built a high-tech communications system to handle the increasingly large volume of orders. By the late 1980s, Lillian Vernon Corporation was sending out 6,500 catalogs a year and earning revenues of $130 million.