Ding-dong! Avon calling. Actually, when Avon first started calling in 1886, salespeople were knocking on people’s doors to sell them books. As a way to entice women to buy his books, founder David H. McConnell brought them perfume. Like any great businessman, he figured out how to play to his strengths and got into the perfume business. The company's name was changed to Avon Products in 1939. In his door-to-door travels, he saw women struggling to make ends meet and recognized that many of them were natural salespeople. So, he started hiring them to go door to door for him.