Marietta Bosworth at the time of the founding of Colonial Dames, 1886.
Marietta Bosworth was an energetic and independent woman whose family came by wagon train in 1854 to California. There she founded the Colonial Dames Beautifier Company in 1886 in San Francisco. Where she noticed a seriously neglectful population not taking care of their skin. Starting out by selling her products to those in the small, but growing, entertainment industry that was just beginning to take shape. However, her initial success was quickly turned to despair as the earthquake that devastated San Francisco in 1906 also destroyed Marietta's growing company.
The Aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Never one to give up she picked herself up from the ruins of the city she once called home and headed south to Los Angeles. There she began anew and once again was back creating and filling her products by hand in her garage. In 1915 Marietta saw an opportunity. She and her son, Harry, procured booths for both the Worlds Fairs in San Francisco and San Diego. There Colonial Dames received the gold medal for "Product Merit and Quality". She had officially rung in a new era for Colonial Dames.
Santa Clara County Fair San Jose, California Sept 5th to 15th 1912
By 1919 she purchased a simple 2-room store front and with only 8 employees, herself and her son included, they began to look to the future and with the advent of motion pictures the timing was perfect. Colonial Dames beauty products were the talk of the entertainment industry for decades and have been featured in many films and TV shows through out the years including "The Three Stooges", and "Frasier".
With the out break of war in 1941 Colonial Dames Company was tasked with producing camouflage makeup for the effort. Where it was noticed that our formula was not only effective as camouflage but also as an anti-bacterial and bug repellant. Leading to advancements in the beauty industry for every day applications that we all enjoy.
Harry Williats, Marietta's Son, inspects camouflage tubes destined for Marines fighting in the Pacific, 1943.
During following decades Colonial Dames quietly expanded from individual consumers to the finest department stores. Leading the way in cosmetic advancements and discovery of new techniques to help others remain youthful and healthy.
Today, we still call Los Angeles our home and are a respected and leading company in the production and development skin care products. We still believe in Marietta's vision of skin care for all; without compromising on quality.
Family owned for six generations.
After 135 years we aren't getting older, we're getting better.