Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive July 2011 Show 1127 Remembering Edna Hennessee - Aloe Vera Cosmetics

Remembering Edna Hennessee - Aloe Vera Cosmetics

A pioneering woman in her own right, and in business, Edna Hennessee lived through the Dust Bowl days and Depression to launch her own line of cosmetics.
Remembering Edna Hennessee - Aloe Vera Cosmetics

Edna Hennessee

Show Dates

Show 1127: Remembering Edna Hennessee - Aloe Vera Cosmetics

Air date: July 3, 2011

 

Transcript

COURTENAY DEHOFF:  EDNA HENNESSEE WAS A PIONEERING WOMAN IN HER OWN RIGHT, AND IN BUSINESS.  FROM THE DUST BOWL DAYS IN OKLAHOMA THROUGH THE SOUP LINES AND DEPRESSION, EDNA HENESSEE SAW THE GOOD TIMES AND THE BAD.  ALL WITH AN ATTITUDE OF I DON’T HAVE TO, I GET TO, WHICH IS THE ATTITUDE THAT HELPED HER LAUNCH HER OWN LINE OF COSMETICS.  TODAY, WE REMEMBER THIS RESILIENT WOMAN WHO WOULDN‘T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.  JOINING ME NOW IS OUR ALISA HINES.

ALISA HINES:  THAT’S RIGHT COURTENAY.  EDNA HENNESSEE WAS BORN TO A FAMILY OF SHARE-CROPPERS IN SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA AND GREW UP WITH NO LUXURIES, NOT EVEN ELECTRICITY.  AS A 10-YEAR OLD DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION, EDNA LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SELF-RELIANT.  A LESSON SHE LATER USED WHEN STARTING HER OWN BUSINESS.

EDNA HENNESSEE:  WE HAVE NINE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED AND SOMETHING CLIENTS IN OUR COMPUTER BASE AND EACH ONE OF THEM WANTS SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.

ALISA:  LIKE USING ALOE VERA IN EVERYTHING.  THE OWNER OF A LAWTON-BASED COSMETICS COMPANY, EDNA HENNESSEE BELIEVES IN ALOE’S HEALTHY PROPERTIES.

HENNESSEE:  THE ALOE IS REALLY WHAT HAS TAKEN US OVER THE TOP.  BECAUSE WE WERE BUYING IT AND WE FOUND OUT IT WAS WATERED DOWN AND WE WANTED TO GROW OUR OWN.

ALISA:  SO EDNA, BEING THE ENTREPRENEUR SHE IS, ADDED ALOE VERA FARMER TO HER LENGTHY LIST OF TITLES.

HENNESSEE:  I WANTED TO KNOW THAT THAT ALOE WE GROW HAS ABSOLUTELY NO PESTICIDES, NO FOREIGN FERTILIZER, OR ANYTHING.  THE ONLY WAY THAT WE COULD DO THAT WAS TO PUT THEM IN HYDROPONICALLY GROWN GREENHOUSES.  WE’RE ABLE TO GROW IT INTO GIANT ALOE.   AND WE KNOW BEYOND A DOUBT THAT IT’S PURE.

ALISA:  CONCENTRATED JUICE EDNA HAS FOUND A MYRIAD OF USES FOR.

HENNESSEE:  WE PUT IT IN PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING.  WE MAKE A DRINK FROM IT.  WE HAVE SEVERAL DIFFERENT ALOE STRENGTHS OF DRINK.  WE HAVE A FRUIT DRINK.  WE HAVE ALL DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRINKS, SOME THAT PEOPLE DRINK JUST FOR HEALTH.  WE NOW HAVE ADDED OUR ALOE AND NONI TOGETHER AND PUT PEPPERMINT IN IT AND MADE A REAL NEW DRINK THAT’S WONDERFUL.  AND THEN WE DO HAND CREAMS, WE DO ALL KINDS OF SKIN CARE, HAIR CARE, BODY CARE.

ALISA:  AT 87, EDNA BELIEVES ALOE HAS HELPED HER STAY ACTIVE, DESPITE A DEBILITATING CAR ACCIDENT, AND SHE SAYS SHE’S NOT ALONE.

HENNESSEE:  WELL, WE HAVE PEOPLE, I CAN’T SAY THAT IT’S GOOD FOR, I CAN’T PRESCRIBE WHAT IT’S GOING TO DO, BUT WE DO HAVE PEOPLE WITH CANCER WHO DRINKS IT.  WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO RUB IT ON THEIR SKIN WHEN THEY HAVE SKIN PROBLEMS.  IT’S ALMOST BENEFICIAL TO ANY AILMENT THAT YOU HAVE.

ALISA:  A BELIEF THAT’S HELPED EDNA’S COMPANY GROW INTO ONE OF THE LARGEST PRODUCERS OF ALOE-BASED PRODUCTS.

HENNESSEE:  COME OVER HERE AND LET ME SHOW YOU THE ALOE.  OKAY?

FEMALE VOICE:  SURE!

ALISA:  NOW I’M SAD TO SAY THAT EDNA DIED THIS YEAR, BUT UP UNTIL JUST A FEW MONTHS FROM WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY, SHE WAS STILL WORKING FROM EIGHT TO FIVE AND THE ONLY REASON SHE WOULD GO HOME AT FIVE WAS BECAUSE HER DRIVER HAD TO GO HOME THEN.

COURTENAY:  ALRIGHT ALISA, SHE SOUNDS LIKE A VERY INTERESTING WOMAN.

ALISA:  OH, SHE WAS.  I MET HER WHEN SHE WAS 87, AND SHE WAS A SPUNKY WOMAN THEN, AND COMMANDED EVERYBODY’S ATTENTION AND RESPECT.  EVEN GOVERNOR FALLIN REFERS TO HER AS AN ICON OF OKLAHOMA BUSINESS.  I CAN ONLY HOPE I’M AS SPRY AS HER AT THAT AGE.

COURTENAY:  ALRIGHT, SO WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HER BUSINESS NOW THAT SHE’S PASSED AWAY?

ALISA:  WELL HER GRANDDAUGHTER, JENNIFER, LEARNED FROM HER KNEE.  SHE WAS ABLE TO WORK FOR HER AND GAIN EXPERIENCE FROM HER GRANDMOTHER, AND IS CURRENTLY THE CEO OF THE COMPANY.  AND SHE SAYS THEY WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE THEIR CLIENTS THE SAME EXCELLENCE THAT EDNA DID.  BUT SHE DOES SAY THAT IT’S DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH EDNA’S ABSENCE, AND SHE WILL BE SORELY MISSED.

COURTENAY:  ALRIGHT, THANK YOU ALISA.

ALISA:  YOU’RE WELCOME COURTENAY.