Life of the Party

The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware PartyEmpire

by Bob Kealing

The incredible story of Brownie Wise, the Southern single mother—and postwar #Girlboss—who built, and lost, a Tupperware home-party empire

Before Mary Kay, Martha Stewart, and Joy Mangano, there was Brownie Wise, the charismatic Tupperware executive who converted postwar optimism into a record-breaking sales engine powered by American housewives. In Life of the Party, Bob Kealing offers the definitive portrait of Wise, a plucky businesswoman who divorced her alcoholic husband, started her own successful business, and eventually caught the eye of Tupperware inventor, Earl Tupper, whose plastic containers were collecting dust on store shelves. 
 
The Tupperware Party that Wise popularized, a master-class in the soft sell, drove Tupperware's sales to soaring heights. It also gave minimally educated and economically invisible postwar women, including some African-American women, an acceptable outlet for making their own money for their families—and for being rewarded for their efforts. With the people skills of Dale Carnegie, the looks of Doris Day, and the magnetism of Eva Peron, Wise was as popular among her many devoted followers as she was among the press, and she become the first woman to appear on the cover of BusinessWeek in 1954. Then, at the height of her success, Wise's ascent ended as quickly as it began. Earl Tupper fired her under mysterious circumstances, wrote her out of Tupperware's success story, and left her with a pittance. He walked away with a fortune and she disappeared—until now. 
 
Originally published as Tupperware Unsealed by the University Press of Florida in 2008—and optioned by Sony Pictures, with Sandra Bullock attached to star—this revised and updated edition is perfectly timed to take advantage of renewed interest in this long-overlooked American business icon.


Recent Reviews

Book Review: Life of the Party by Bob Kealing

Amy Bizzarri

5 Stars

Special thanks to Blogging for Books for sponsoring this post!

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Brownie Wise's Party Was Not Very Long--About Five Years

Katherine Pond

4 Stars

Originally written in 2008 with the focus on Tupperware and the company that manufactured it, this new revised edition has as its focus Brownie Wise, Miss Tupperware of the '50's. Those of us of a certain age have attended Tupperware…

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Get It!

Aycee Brown

5 Stars

This is a really great book. I loved her story and how she built a business from an idea that become a household name. But it also goes to show you that you have to protect your business and learn about business so you dont get…

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Great Book

Michelle Marble

5 Stars

I love biographies and I thought a story about a strong lady would be interesting. Tupperware had a huge market back in the 50s-on to even present day. Brownie Wise took this product and made it part of a home party business and boy did she…

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Life of the Party

Sarah Underwood

3 Stars

I found this to be a fascinating story. I had heard of the woman behind the success of Tupperware during early product introduction, but little did I know what a remarkable woman Brownie Wise was. If you think women are discriminated in…

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