We at Couture Planet are very fortunate to have our workroom at the Lydia Pinkham Building in Lynn, Massachusetts. Lydia Pinkham, born in city of Lynn in 1819, was an entrepreneur who made home remedies for “women’s’ ailments.” After her husband went bankrupt in 1873, she began marketing her compounds. Thousands of women swore by Lydia’s Vegetable Compound to ease their way through menopause and passed this ‘change of life’ knowledge on to their daughters. Within a few years, her enterprise returned just under $300,000. In 1925, her surviving son & daughter realized $3 million in revenues from the business.
The secret of her success, some say was not her clever advertisements but that the concoction of ground herbs & roots were bound with close to 20% pure alcohol. Lydia, who was a good Quaker woman with ties to the Woman’s Christian Temperance Movement, saw no ethical problems with the medicinal use of alcohol and claimed it’s purpose was as a solvent and preservative. It is not surprising then that Lydia’s greatest success was during Prohibition years. The Pinkham family business was sold in 1968 to Cooper Laboratories. We’re not certain if Lydia’s product is still being manufactured.
The Lydia Pinkham Building, where we work, is the factory her Vegetable Compound built in the late 1800’s. It now houses a number of businesses including bookbinding, furniture upholstering, pottery, jewelers, stained glass and, Couture Planet!