By Focus Staff

Edith Jackson is celebrating something special at her Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in The Gallery Shopping Center at 7240 Kingston Pike. Ninety years ago, during the Great Depression, a pioneering woman from Indiana opened her first cosmetics studio in Santa Monica, California, little knowing her brand would become a cosmetic empire.

Merle Nethercutt Norman began mixing ingredients in her “kitchen laboratory” in the late 1920s, which resulted in the development of three products that would become the basis for her eponymous cosmetic line and the cornerstone of what would become a beauty empire.

Cleansing Cream, Miracol Revitalizing Cream and Powder Base Foundation were the first three products Norman developed. Jackson told The Focus that they are so tried and true that they are still part of the best-selling “three steps to beauty” lineup to this day.

Merle Norman was a powerhouse.  When she set out to realize her dream of creating a trusted brand that was made in America, and offered women an opportunity to become business owners, she knew it had staying power. She would be very proud of how the business has evolved.

Edith Jackson is one such woman who purchased her first studio in 1996 in Farragut. She went on to open two studios in the Knoxville area and currently owns and operates Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio at The Gallery on Kingston Pike.

Building relationships with customers is extremely important to Jackson, who said it sets her apart from department store beauty counters and other chain beauty stores.

“We offer a variety of free services, including foundation checks. We invite you to visit our studio and ’Try Before You Buy,’ which was coined by Merle Norman,” Jackson told The Focus.

Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can reach Merle Norman at (865)525-9595.