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Hotel named after Helena Rubinstein and childhoor home of Helena Rubinstein

    Helena Rubinstein, born Chaja Rubinstein (b. Krakow, Austria-Hungary, 1872 – d. 1965, New York, USA), was a Polish industrialist and founder of the eponymous cosmetics company. She was born in the Jewish quarter of Krakow to merchant Orthodox Jewish parents. After taking refuge in Vienna with her maternal aunt, she left in 1896 for Australia to join one of her three uncles whom she did not know, thus escaping an arranged marriage. During the journey, she changed her first name from ‘Chaja’ to ‘Helena’. She stayed for three years as a domestic helper in the home of her uncle. Inspired by an ointment that she had received from a Hungarian chemist friend of her mother, a mixture of herbs, bark, and almond, she created her own ointment for the sun-damaged skin of Australian women. In 1902, she opened her first shop in Melbourne. In 1905 she sold the Melbourne boutique to one of her sisters in order to travel the world and meet future leaders, scientists (including dermatologists and dieticians), and artists who advertised her products at a time when powders and blushes held a bad reputation as the products of prostitutes and actresses. She first moved to England to open more shops in London, and in 1912, she decided to move to Paris. There, her goal was to meet with the elite of the Parisian intelligentsia, in particular the contemporary art world and writers. In 1914, she left her husband and her two sons in war-torn Europe to settle in the United States, where she « invented » the profession of beautician, creating a beauty school.

    Address : Szeroka 12, 31-053 Kraków, Poland

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