Hortense Odlum


Hortense Odlum Quotes

  • ''Persons who insist to themselves that under one set of conditions only can they lead interesting and satisfying lives lay themselves open to bitter disappointments and frustrations.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 16 (1939).
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  • ''No life if it is properly realized is without its cosmic importance.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 17 (1939).
  • ''It is not serving, but servility, that is menial.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 6 (1939).
  • ''As unmarried business women we must constantly use our opportunities in business in such a way that we are prepared for the marriage which may be ours tomorrow.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 16 (1939). Although highly successful as president of Bonwit Teller, a New York City women's store, Odlum retained a traditional social perspective. She had a wealthy husband, three sons who were partly grown when she took the presidency (which was her first job), a luxurious home, and household help.
  • ''The home is a woman's natural background.... From the beginning I tried to have the policy of the store reflect as nearly as it was possible in the commercial world, those standards of comfort and grace which are apparent in a lovely home.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 7 (1939). A longtime homemaker, Odlum had assumed the presidency of Bonwit Teller, a women's store in New York City, at the request of her husband, who had a financial interest in it. Though she had never held a job before, she saved the failing store and guided it to prosperity.
  • ''This is the great truth life has to teach us ... that gratification of our individual desires and expression of our personal preferences without consideration for their effect upon others brings in the end nothing but ruin and devastation.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 17 (1939).
  • ''One of the greatest satisfactions one can ever have, comes from the knowledge that he can do some one thing superlatively well.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 17 (1939).
  • ''How many wives have been forced by the death of well-intentioned but too protective husbands to face reality late in life, bewildered and frightened because they were strangers to it!''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 7 (1939).
  • ''It seemed pathetic and terrible to me and it still does, that men and women work eight hours a day at jobs that bring them no joy, no reward save a few dollars.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 17 (1939). On first beginning to work at Bonwit Teller in 1932; it was a New York City women's store which was then failing. Odlum's husband, a wealthy businessman, had acquired an interest in the store. Odlum had never held a job when she acquiesced to his request that she study it and advise on how to address its problems. The workforce was understaffed, demoralized, and gloomy.
  • ''If a person goes to his job with a firm determination to give of himself the best of which he is capable, that job—no matter what it is—takes on dignity and importance.''
    Hortense Odlum (1892-?), U.S. businesswoman. A Woman's Place, ch. 6 (1939).

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