My personal favorite of these trailblazers was Nettie Rosenstein.
The brooch above is one that I sold some time ago. The details and design were just amazing...if you ever come across any of her figural flower brooches...buy them and run, they are stunning in every way!
Nettie Rosenstein (Rosencrans) emigrated to NYC from Salzburg, Austria in the 1890's. By 1916, she was operating a custom dressmaking business out of her home. Remember, there was no financial backing and no government loans available for women owned businesses...this was good old fashioned hard work, dedication and financial creativity. In 1921, she employed 50 dressmakers and moved her business to
E. 56th St, where it was more at the heart of NYC's booming fashion industry. Can you imagine!...a struggling female immigrant who's style, creativity and overall savvy was becoming a top name in woman's fashion, how difficult for her that must have been!! She was instrumental in the concept of the "little black dress" and by the 1920's her fashions were sold in only the finest department stores. Decades of success followed and Nettie died at the age of 90 in 1980.
To view Nettie Rosenstein pieces on Ruby Lane (including a few of my own)...click below
One example of what a young woman's role model should be and there are many others from the same time period. Hattie Carnegie comes to mind...but that's another post.
When doing your research on these wonderful women...go to the source that looks to the true historical value of the biography. The information gained above is from The Jewish Women's Archive at
with credit to the original author who supplied much of the information in Nettie Rosenstein's NY Times Obituary.
Harriman, Margret Case. “Very Terrific, Very Divine.” New Yorker (October 19, 1940): 28–34; Obituary. NYTimes, March 15, 1980; Steele, Valerie. Women of Fashion (1991); WWWIA 7.
Thanks for reading:)