Who is Mary Ellen Pinkham?
Mary Ellen is known as a practical problem solver with an entertaining and innovative approach to dealing with everyday tasks. Mary Ellen has generated huge sales not only in the publishing industry but also for related cleaning and household care products. Millions of readers of her books and magazines, and her television audience, consider her a credible spokesperson and follow her advice and her recommendations. “TIPical Mary Ellen,” was a daily show on HGTV for over 6 seasons.
The Story Behind Mary Ellen…
Mary Ellen grew up in Minneapolis collecting time—and energy-saving hints—where to stow the laundry so it won’t mildew until you’re ready to iron it (the freezer), how to get gum out of hair (peanut butter), what to do when a bee is pestering you (put it out of commission with a spritz of hair spray). She compiled her hints and published her favorites in a spiral-bound paperback book, The Best of Helpful Hints. It took all the capital she could raise. “When you have a lot of books in the basement and $2 in your checking account,” Mary Ellen says, “you learn how to sell books.” She certainly did. Eventually she sold more than 500,000 copies of the hint book out of that home office. In l979, she linked up with Warner Books, which published a revised edition. Mary Ellen’s Best of Helpful Hints became a gigantic hit: for over a year it was #l on The New York Times list. Three more enormously successful hint books followed, and together they have sold over l3 million copies worldwide.
World Wide Success
In addition to being a best-selling author in the United States, Mary Ellen became an authority in Japan, Germany, England, France, Italy and Mexico. Her dynamic personality made her a national celebrity. She was invited to make frequent appearances on TV and was a regular on the network shows “Good Morning, America” on ABC and “House Party” on NBC. Mary Ellen has been a guest on the top television and radio shows in virtually every major market, and she has been profiled in many major magazines, including US, Time, People, and Money. Mary Ellen had another best-seller with Mary Ellen’s Help Yourself Diet Plan, which was on The New York Times Best-Seller List for several months. Mary Ellen’s The Complete Home Reference Book, an encyclopedia of household care, was published by Crown and bought by four book clubs. Mary Ellen’s Guide to Good Enough Housekeeping (St. Martin’s Press, May 2002) was elected by all four book clubs. She has contributed articles to major magazines including Ladies’ Home Journal, Star Magazine and Family Circle. Following the success of a spring cleaning product article for Family Circle which generated over a million dollars of mail-in orders, “I knew my name would sell not only books but products,” says Mary Ellen.
Mary Ellen Products
She went on to start Mary Ellen Home Care Products featuring a full line of cleaning products. Mary Ellen became a spokesperson for Bissell with its new product, a home steam extraction machine. The product, a top-of-the-line deep cleaning machine for home use that retails at $299, sold 250,000 units, breaking all records in the floor care industry. She then completed an infomercial for The Little Green Clean Machine, also for Bissell. The company ran the commercials for this product on national and cable TV for over a year. Mary Ellen has successfully produced premium items for Palmolive, Borax, Playtex, Bic and others.