The Historical Glamour of the Rumball Family
Night Flight event brings history to light at The Dollhouse
FRIDAY, APR. 28
Historically glamorous, Erie's Rumball family has a long legacy in the cosmetics industry. Amanda Rumball is working to bring light to her family's success story with her local makeup service: Muah Rumball.
Since Rumball was young, she had an ingrained love for beauty and makeup. When she decided to pursue her dream as a makeup artist here in Erie, her grandmother passed along a great collection of meticulous records, marketing campaigns, and original beauty products that were created by her ancestors. Rumball knew that she had to dig deeper into the foundation of her family's legacy. As she researched, she found drama, mystery, and great success.
Clare Rumball, Amanda's great aunt, was an entrepreneur in Erie and began operating her own clothing storefront in 1937. Madam Rumball, a fashionable and mysterious woman, was Clare's mother and was responsible for devising a line of cosmetics that Clare would expand upon through her business. Madam was a trained cosmetologist who produced a wide variety of beauty products. Among her best selling products was hair dye, which she referred to as "watercolor."
As strong female entrepreneurs, the Rumballs stood as pioneers for women during a time when they were not expected to be anything more than housewives. Rumball said, "I wanted to put on an event to honor them because they were pretty amazing women in Erie who added to the rich history here."
On April 28, vintage boutique The Dollhouse at Pointe Foure will be transformed into a museum to honor and feature the Rumball women. "Night Flight," named after one of Clare's signature perfumes, will be a lively evening filled with history, drinks, jazz, and style. Clare's original retail cosmetics, including her signature brass tube lipsticks, will be showcased.
As the story of the Rumball women is revealed throughout the night, sip on a unique Rumball cocktail created by the Luminary Distillery made from Clare's favorite liquor: bourbon. Fall deep into the 1940s with classic jazz music that harkens back to when Clare Rumball was at the peak of her business' success. Dressing in your finest vintage garb is encouraged, so take in a quick shopping spree at Pointe Four prior to the event, if possible. After all, the fabulous Madam Rumball would expect you to appear in style.
For more history on this story listen to the Food Wine and Good Ol' Times podcast "Women's History Month: The Story of Clare Rumball" available on all streaming platforms.
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. // The Dollhouse at Pointe Foure, 423 State St. // Free admission and cash bar