Lithgow Avon ladies out after company closes its Australian doors

AVON LADY: Lithgow's Doreen Hart with one of her many Avon lady awards that she was given for reaching different milestones. Picture: CIARA BASTOW.
AVON LADY: Lithgow's Doreen Hart with one of her many Avon lady awards that she was given for reaching different milestones. Picture: CIARA BASTOW.

Doreen Hart worked with Avon for 50 years, beginning in 1968 after a friend had asked if she could give it a go. 

She is among 21,400 reps in Australia, and 220 staff in Australia and New Zealand, who have been impacted by the multinational pulling out of its operations down under.

Mrs Hart received an unexpected email saying that she was out of a job because Avon was closing up shop after recognising the company wasn’t profitable in Australia. 

“I think its disappointing because people really liked the products,” she said. 

“It’s disappointing in a sense because there is nothing you can do about it and everyone will just have to find new products to substitute the ones they use to buy.”

The collection of Avon dolls that Mrs Hart was given over the years.

The collection of Avon dolls that Mrs Hart was given over the years.

For Mrs Hart being an Avon lady was something of a hobby that she did in her spare time, never fully committing to it. 

Mrs Hart recognises for the women or men who did this on a full time basis that it would be harder for them as they now have to find another way to bring in some money. 

“I did it in times to suit me, but a lot of people did it full time, so I guess for them they would be more affected,” she said. 

Despite considering stopping and giving Avon away a few times, Mrs Hart stayed due to her customers. 

“I had a lot of really nice customers, who I will stay friends with despite the closure,” she said. 

Despite having excellent products and good warranty, Mrs Hart said that you never knew if you were going to sell anything. 

“Like everything it had its ups and downs I suppose, but people would always buy the product they liked,” she said. 

The most popular items that were bought from Mrs Hart was normally the makeup and the hand creams. 

Doreen holding up some of the more common Avon products; hand creams and deodorants.

Doreen holding up some of the more common Avon products; hand creams and deodorants.

“I think the makeup and hand creams were excellent, but if anything the shoes and clothes would be the downfall because you couldn’t try it on,” she said. 

When Avon started running out of stock, customers found that they couldn’t buy the things they wanted to. 

"Customers would order 20 of something and just couldn’t get them,” she said. 

Brenda Mulhollann, who had been a representative with Avon for 18 years said she will miss the companionship Avon provided. 

“Customers become your friends so I will keep in touch,” she said. 

When Ms Mulhollann had to break the news to her customers that she wouldn’t be selling anymore products most reacted the same way. 

“Customers were upset and shocked,” she said. 

The main complaint from customers was that it was so sudden, and if given more notice customers could have stocked up on products, Ms Mulhollann said. 

“It wasn’t good the way they went about it,” she said.