Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wendy Ward Charm School

Are there any other graduates of the Wendy Ward Charm School out there? This service offered by Montgomery Ward existed in the 60's and taught me how to pivot and enunciate properly. I had forgotten about Charm School until one of the radio stations was talking about it on a morning drive show.

74 comments:

victoria said...

Here I am...a proud graduate of Wendy Ward's Charm School. I thought my teacher was glamorous and beautiful, and I was in complete awe of her.

I know some people think it was hokey, but as a PhD candidate I will tell you that I still, after forty years, remember things - and use things - I learned from this class. I don't regret my experience, and I actually found on ebay the Wendy Ward book, which I had lost, purchased it, and made my daughters read it. They laughed and thought it was ridiculous, but I told them that charm does not mean subordinate and that life demands you use all you have.

retta said...

Yes!!!!!! I was! Me and my four sisters are all graduates!!! Corte Madera California 1965!


Lauretta Hendricks Backus
Lawrence,Kansas

KAREN said...

I'm another graduate!. My brother still teases me about it. I too remember things and try to share them with my 13 yr old daughter. (she thinks I need to get a life)I'm glad my Mom made me go. It was in 1976 @ the Montgomery Ward in Capital Plaza Mall, Bladensburg, MD.

lachele said...

I went to Wendy Ward in the 70's in Baltimore. The lessons I learned have been valuable and useful. I'd love to get my hands on a Wendy Ward book.

MonaSmile said...

My mother enrolled me in the Wendy Ward Charm School when I was 4,Kansas City, Missouri 1969. I have a photo of me shaking hands with Wendy Ward. I never knew there were so many WW charm schools around. Thats so cool! Isn't it great to be charming?

BridgeRunner said...

Although I didn't graduate, my mother made me attend a few classes. I will always remember the curling iron set I won. I held onto it for years! I took my class in Oakland, CA and hold on to those values even today.

Carol said...

I am a 1969 graduate from Baltimore. Like Victoria, I too remember and use many things I learned in that class. I actually still have my book. I saved it in my treasure box all these years!!! Carol

Carol said...

I am a 1969 graduate from baltimore and like Victoria, I too remember and use many of the things I learned. I actually still have my book. I saved it in my treasure box all these years!!!
Carol

PBW said...

I'm a 1970-something Wendy Ward grad, taking both the beginner and the advanced class offered at Montgomery Ward.

Wow! I hadn't thought about that in a long time.

Brenda said...

I recently found my WW book which I have carted through many moves these last 40 years; I brought it in from the garage and dropped it into a basket that holds our newspapers. The next evening when I went to retrieve it, I discovered that my husband had emptied the basket for recycle day. I felt so sick that I had to sit down and was near to tears. Luckily, he had the foresight to put it aside, recognizing it for something "old". My relief was overwhelming. I felt like I had been reunited with an old friend. I have such fond memories of my WW charm school training in Wheaton Maryland, and attribute my successful people skills to WW.

Patricia said...

I am a 1970s graduate of Wendy Ward and the lessons learned have been passed down to my daughters. They are forever imprinted in my brain.

Luminous Lisa said...

Another 70's pupil, though I ditched some of the classes. I was becoming MORE uncomfortable with myself from taking those classes, not less. Too much emphasis on our flaws.

I'm considering cotillion classes for my daughter.

Pat said...

Hello WW graduates! I too am a Wendy Ward girl. It was in Corte Madera CA in the 1960s. I remember walking with a book on my head for posture. Hey "retta" do I know you? We went at the same time. Did you or your sisters attend Neil Cummins elementary?

Mary said...

WHAT an experience! I went to the Wendy Ward Charm School at the Wards in Portland OR at Mall 205. It was kind of a combination of informative and funny. I remember the graduation style show. They had us get all dressed up in things we chose from the store and we all felt like real models. It was really fun for a young girl. The times have changed and formalities are dropping off it seems. I still think young girls should learn the basics. Try as I might, my girls never wanted to adhere to the "Wendy Ward Standards" I tried to impose. In my middle fifties, I still try to!

jacqlin said...

Hello! I was doing some research on my mother and remembered that she taught the Wendy Ward Charm class in Illinois. Where did you take your classes? I too am a proud graduate with my white gloves!

Danna Scigaj said...

I'm a 70's Wendy Ward grad and went on to model professionally in the 80's. I wish, desperately, I had kept that book.

Mostly, I wish another department store would captitalize on the concept in today's market- perhaps Macy's???? It wasn't so much about beauty but rather confidence.

Sherri said...

I was 8 years old at the time, 1969 in San Jose, CA. It was called, "Sugar and Spice" when I went through the program. I didn't realize until my teen years how important a role that class was to me. I was already called, "prissy" and "Sugar & Spice" validated my need for poise. I graduated, but was too chicken at the time to participate in the graduation program. My mom has never let me forget that.

girlforhim said...

I too, am a graduate of the Wendy Ward Charm School from Wheaton, Maryland. I have thought about it often over these years, wishing I still had my book. I was in elementary school, probably in 4th or 5th grade, as my sister and I attend the classes with our girl scout troop. The highlight of the event was the "fashion show" at "graduation" time. My grandmother made me a new dress and I very much enjoyed practicing my pivots at home. It brings back so many memories ... how to set a table, sit properly, personal grooming. Wow ... some store really needs to bring this back. My daughters (22, 20 & 14) have no idea what they have missed by not going to this!

Anybody out there have a book they are willing to part with??

victoria said...

Try ebay or half.com. Sometimes they have them on there. Which edition of the book did you use? I used the tall green and pink one.

Julia M said...

I graduated from the WW Charm School in Dearborn, Michigan in 1965. The classes were a birthday present from my Aunt Lil. It made me feel much more confident. I still cannot enter a car butt first, but always step in, sit, then bring my other foot in.

Kath said...

Hi Victoria,

I was a graduate from the course in Hammond, Indiana in 1964. I had such a good time and learned so much some of which I still use today. I too had a glamorous teacher. I wish I still had my book, but it is long gone. It is nice to find some other grads of Wendy Ward and part of that club.

June said...

Hi ~ This will probably blow everyone's mind! I went to Wendy Wards school in 1978 while in a juvenile detention center in Pontiac Michigan!! I was a wild run away child. I loved the class and was in awe of the instructor. They voted me miss Wendy Ward and gave me a huge yellow ribbon to wear for the fashion show for the Pontiac mall.
I did not participate because I ended up breaking my arm doing gymnastics on the monkey bars. The cast would not fit into the blouse I picked to wear. They wanted me wear a vest for a shirt so I could do it but I refused.
I wish I had the book too ~ I never saved anything like that when I young. Cheers!!!

jacqlin said...

Hello Wendy Wardians!

I graduated from Wendy Ward in Yorktown Lombard, Illinois.
1968-69 ish..

My mother acutally taught the course!! Patricia Hollenbeck (she passed away this year and I found some of her newspaper clippings about her teaching)

We did a fashion show in the Montgomery Wards store and we did the "pretend to be a mannequin" thing staying ever so still - then move to another position and scare the shoppers!

My Mom went on to be a professional speaker, television hostess and even taught a Charm Course for men at a community college in Arizona and taking her grandkids to High Tea every year. Alwyas teaching "manners"!

White gloves are still my favorite!

Still searching for a replacement book for my collection of memories.

Bubble gum between the knees girls!!

Victoria said...

I found an album online a few years ago that is a Wendy Ward album. I had no idea they made those. My daughters and I listened to part of it - but at 22 and 24 they thought it was "dated". Guess that means I'm "dated" too - but I still watch my posture and remember all those things I learned. I have a couple of the books that I'm keeping if I ever have grandchildren :-).

Merouda said...

Oh, yes, I remember Wendy Ward; I went twice, once as a 6 year old and again at 16. I didn't really enjoy it at 16, because by then I had a Marilyn Monroe figure in a Twiggy world, but the class I took at 6 was great fun; fond memories there. I went in LaGrange, Il. I was an instant white glove fanatic and still think properly dressed includes gloves and a hat. ;-)

Nancy said...

Oh yes, I was a Wendy Ward Graduate in the 60's. I still use a lot of the things that I learned in class today. I wish our children could have something like this to look up to and learn from. I think the world would be a classier place.
I graduated in Pleasant Hill, California with a full on fashion show in the mall. We thought we were "the bomb". It was a great ego boost.

Mini Cooper said...

I just randomly thought of Wendy Ward Charm School today and decided to "Google" it.... My mom was our "Blue Bird" leader (like the Girl Scouts" and we all did this as a group thing back in the '70s. Fun memories!

Jodie Michelle said...

OMG! I cant believe that I found this site. I am a Makeup Artist and the other day I was doing a photo shoot with a fellow Makeup Artist. We started talking about manners and such. Somehow the subject of charm school came up, and before we knew it, we both discovered that we went to Wendy Ward.

Not only do I still have my portfolio from Wendy Ward, but I now have a new friend in Lori.

C Merry said...

I was in classes in Wheaton too :) I learned some basics but was always made to feel ugly and awkward there so the "teachers" weren't so great but I knew they weren't nice and just decided to see what I could learn for myself. So weirdly enough it taught me to find the good in things and take away info that could help me even though I was obviously not someone they felt should be there (I bit my nails! Quelle Horror! I was verbally told off and forced to wear gloves as punishment for example to hide my shame lol don't get me started about what they did to me because of my hair and clothes) I liked the book a lot and in spite of things still have some fun memories of going to the store and looking around. :)

Michelle said...

YES!! I attended Wendy Ward Charm School in Portland, Oregon in 1977 or 78, I think it was, and still recall the "T" stance, and the oh-so-important "how to get in and out of a limousine gracefully," which, when you think about it, is riotous in 1970s Portland... not exactly the glam capital of the U.S. I reflect on it so often that I just created "Charm Camp" at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. First class is June 19. Wish I could find the woman who taught our Wendy Ward class in Portland and thank her. She left an indelible impression with her "Charm-isms," including "Never answer the question 'how are you?' with 'fine.' No matter how you feel, you should always respond with 'terrific,' 'fantastic,' 'wonderful' or something equally positive. LOVED IT... still use it today. We need a Wendy Ward Charm School reunion. Anyone else attend in Portland, Oregon at Mall 205??? :-)

Josephine said...

I graduated from Wendy Ward Charm School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966-67 (I was in elementary school, in the 6th Grade). I was an awkward teen and I think it helped me be more aware of my body and the proper way in which I presented myself. I will never forget how to pivet!

deborah said...

I graduated from Wendy Ward Charm School. They held a modeling contest after it too and I won 1st place. I have wondered for years how could I recieve any information and pictures of that moment. My parent split up shortly after this and all was lost. Can anyone help me get this info. I don't know if my mother had me under my maiden name or my step fathers name so I will give both. Deborah (Debbie)Marie Brown (maiden) Balitmore, Maryland 1965 and Szcecpanik. Any info please. Thanks

tareco said...

Yes! I too am a proud graduate of Wendy Ward Charm school in suburban Chicago in the early 70's. I loved it! I met what turned out to be my best friend through out high school there and we both entered into the Miss Illinois National Teenager Pageant. We both did quite well but she did end up as 3rd runner up. I attribute it all to our Wendy Ward experience!

Laurie said...
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Laurie said...
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Laurie said...

So obviously Wendy Ward Charm School is no longer in business, but does anyone know of any charm schools in the Bay Area? My daughter is in desperate need of one!! :D

NeNe said...

Oh my gosh me too! I went twice once in the 60's when I was little and then in the 70's when I was like 13 or something. It was at Universal Mall in Warren Michigan. We had the fashion show for graduation too. I even remember the outfit I modeled.

Gayle said...

Yes! I remember Wendy Ward and will never forget how to pivot--Gayle

Cynthia Gallaher said...

I graduated Wendy Ward Charm School circa 1967. We all wore paisley blouses or pants for our graduation fashion show. Everything was paisley then! I was the last one picked on the softball team but the first and only in our class to be picked for a complete hair and makeup makeover at Ward's. It pushed my shy attitude closer to sophisticated!

mama nyman said...

I'm a graduate also 1967, Pleasant Hill, CA. Does anyone have the workbook they gave us?

Bellinda said...

I actually do still have my "sugar and spice and everything nice with the cutouts I had to place in there....and my diploma.... I have been looking for this group forever...or one where I would the catalog in kids fashion.... 73 I believe did the live window fashion shows every weekend...and those pics are in the catalog...I need one of those to complete my proper ways;o)~

My graduation picture still too cute..

www.facebook.com/bellindat

Hope to hear from someone and we girls could share a page there... I'm game

Bellinda Rose Watkins

around the mid 70's I believe...

Back then.....'Lindy'.....

All be blessed

Lisa said...

I attended WW in the 70's...I was about 8 or 9. I remember learning how to take care of our skin and how to do your nails and my parents have a picture of my friend and I on the runway ;-) What great memories!

Lisa
Fremont CA

Deidre said...

Well I'll be.....My friend and I was just talking about Wendy Ward so I just happen to check the internet to see if there was any information on it, and came across this blog.......Yes I too attended in the 70's Chicago's south suburban Wards.

Gigi said...

please tell me where one would be in the mich area ann arbor to detroit area. I have 2 teen daughters. How much should I pay?

prayingmother007@yahoo.com

sunnydaisies said...

I graduated from Wendy Ward in 1980
I did the modeling for Wards also..
I learned a lot and really enjoyed it.
I'm 42 now and often referred to as
"such a lady".

Wholly Surrendered said...

I too am a proud graduate of the Wendy Ward Charm School, along with my sister Cindy. We had so much fun and I was in awe of how gracious and poised my teacher was.

One thing I remember to this day is the importance of standing up by first moving to the edge of the chair or sofa, plus the importance of curling one's fingers so they look graceful and relaxed.

The fashion show was nerve racking at the time but in the end I loved it all.

Slinkycat said...

I attended Wendy Ward Charm School in Las Vegas in the mid 70's. I remember the t-stance and learning to pivot at the end of the catwalk. What fond memories of cinnamon flavored lip gloss, cowl-neck sweaters, and bell bottomed corduroys! Most of all, being with girls my age in a glamorous, fun, and positive environment. We were so innocent compared to young girls today--every bit of instruction that we received, from how to eat soup to why gossip hurts, seemed like precious pearls of wisdom. And that fashion show at the end of the course was one of the highlights of my teenage years, right up there with prom and graduation. Thanks Wendy!

Unknown said...

Wendy Ward was so much fun! I went to Beaverton Oregons and You girls from Mall 205 came to my padgent! I Won!!! So Much fun I will never forget! I Thin I need to go back! Hugs to ll of you! Remember Bev and Louwise and Ann, So so nice!

Unknown said...

Yes I went to Wendy Ward, Beaverton Oregon 1070s!
You mall 205 gals camt to Out Padgent at Aloha High school and yes I won! Loved it, Do you remember Louwiese, Ann and Bev Kadow?
Wow so long ago, I thin I could use it again, The Charm school for older women would be great fun! Hugs!!!!!

Norma D said...

I too am a proud graduate of Wendy Ward in the 60's in Oakland, California. The experience was pivotal to this day. I found this site because I am looking for a charm school for my grand-daughter. If you know of any in the Bay Area give me a blog back.

Becky Bouseman Fisher said...

Attended late 60's or early 70's in south suburban Chicago. Think I was about 11. Highlight: learning that when talking to boys, they'll think you're an excellent conversationalist if you spend most of the time asking questions and getting them to talk about what interests them (instead of talking about yourself). I still use this principle in almost all of my social interactions! It works!

Becky Bouseman Fisher said...

Attended late 60's or early 70's in south suburban Chicago. Think I was about 11. Highlight: learning that when talking to boys, they'll think you're an excellent conversationalist if you spend most of the time asking questions and getting them to talk about what interests them (instead of talking about yourself). I still use this principle in almost all of my social interactions! It works!

Becky Bouseman Fisher said...

Attended late 60's or early 70's in south suburban Chicago. Think I was about 11. Highlight: learning that when talking to boys, they'll think you're an excellent conversationalist if you spend most of the time asking questions and getting them to talk about what interests them (instead of talking about yourself). I still use this principle in almost all of my social interactions! It works!

Judi Moreo said...

I was the Wendy Ward director in Las Vegas, Nevada. We had hundreds of young women go through the program. Today I write empowerment books for women and I still get letters from those who went through the program in the sixties that tell me it changed their lives. I hope to keep doing that through my current book, "You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman's Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power."

B said...

I am a Wendy Ward School of Charm graduate from Michigan! I'm guessing it was 1969 or 1970. I was telling my husband today that I went to Charm School through Montgomery Ward but couldn't remember the name of the school. Just love Google!!

B said...

I am a Wendy Ward School of Charm graduate from Michigan. I'm guessing it was 1969 or 1970. I was just telling my husband today that I went to charm school at Montgomery Ward but couldn't remember the name of the school. Google does come in handy!!

Char said...

OMG...yes me too....lol...just found some pics as a matter of fact.

Regina said...

Wow, I am so amazed to see so many previous attendees to Wendy Ward's Charm School. I am also a Wendy Ward graduate of the mid 70s, Mongomery Wards of Flint Michigan. I am a Cosmetologist of 28 yrs. therefore my career upholds all of what I learned at WWCS and much more. Like so many others I have very fond memories of the course and still apply much of what I learned in my daily life. The Pivot I will never forget :), the make-up session, poise and posture...leveling the book on your head, and I will never forget startling the customers throughout the store with the pretend to be a mannequin session. Oh how nervous I was to walk the runway but I "did it afraid." Like so many of you I've so longed for a charm school to send my daughters to and just so happened to think about WWCS one day and googled it...to my surprise here we are. I have felt led and have been much inspired to open up a Charm school in Flint Michigan. Planning is underway and I will definitely post when we are ready to launch. Thank You all for your comments, reading them all was confirmation to me that this is what I need to do. Regina, rddunn46@gmail.com

Jodie Michelle said...

Regina, that sounds so wonderful. Good luck to you and your Charm school. The world really needs it.

Jodie
www.home-makeup-business-success-tips.com

Regina said...

Jodie, thanks for the encouragement!

Regina said...

Jodie, thanks for the encouragement!

Jodie Michelle said...

Your welcome Regina.

Claudia K. said...

I'm glad I found you. I attended the Wendy Ward Charm school at our local Montgomery Wards near Albany, New York. I enjoyed it very much. I think I was almost 16 years old. My only disappointment was that I was by far the oldest in the class. I learned to pivot, and the best way to walk down a flight of stairs. I learned a lot about make-up, too. After our last class, we did a modeling show around the store. I was so scared!
Since I was the oldest, I got to model a wedding gown, and a formal dress. I was so terribly nervous that I may have ruined the formal dress with excessive underarm sweat! We were suppossed to wear the clothes just for the show and they were going back on the rack.
It really was a lot of fun. I don't have my book anymore, I think I had given it away to a younger cousin. I would still love to have another one.

Sam said...

I went to the one in Santa Ana California, the lady who was in charge Liz Jones,felt sorry for me and had me come to class with her. What a joy this lady was, quite the talented lady too, she was in the movie Xanadu as an stunt roller skater. Wonder what ever happen to her?

Donna Villalobos said...

I attended in Houston TX in 1980. I loved it an still remember it fondly. I use many of the things I learned there and it helped tame my wild side. I wish they would bring it back. I now have five grandaughters who are very prim and proper who I know would love this as much as we all seem to have.

Brians said...

yes I'm a graduate too went when I was seven in 1982 I don't remember much except modeling ski wear...

Shirley Lee said...

Yes I went to Wendy Ward Charm school. I still remember how to do a perfect pivot and turn. Balance a book on my head to walk straight and tall. My luxurious cucumber facials during my baths. I went to the one in Palm Center, Houston, Texas.
Shirley Lee

Prevel said...

I went to Wendy Ward Charm School in Norwalk, California in the late 60's. I think all young girls would benefit from something like it. I participated in the graduation/fashion show and modeled some of the stores clothing as a live mannequin. Did anyone else get the gold rose necklace or was that something they did just at my store?

Marjorie Allison said...

My sister and I both attended The Wendy Wards Charm School in Warren, Michigan. My older sister attended when she turned 13 and I couldn't wait for my 13th birthday to come so I could go. I still have my book! Graduating from the class meant we got to select an outfit from Montgomery Wards and model it during an evening event in the store. They did this for every graduating class. We had a professional model come in for one class and show us how to walk down the runway! Unforgetable experience!

Sigi said...

We couldn't afford the sessions when I was growing up, so when there was a drawing for a free session I signed up and won. Mom and dad scraped up the money to let me go the full course.
I am an alum from the WWCS Fremont,CA class of 69.
I remember the fashion tips. I too wish they had this offered.
Sigi Arnejo C.C.

Jodie Michelle said...

What a wonderful experience Indeed. It has helped me to direct my career towards the beauty industry. I LOVE what I do. Thank You Wendy Ward.

Jodie Michelle

mmutis said...

I graduated Wendy Ward's charm school--it was located at Evergreen Park mall. We ended the course with a fashion show that I remember well --including my dark pink floral dress with yellow and blue bows. I fondly remember this time in the late 60's.

The group learned about social manners. I recall graduating at age 8, a quick study!

Marla Mutis, Chicago, IL

Rebecca Ann said...

Loved the experience and training ! What a wonderful gift for those of us blessed in such a way. My Diploma still hangs on the wall in my office today!

Tammy Betrus said...

I found a original Wendy Ward Charm School book on EBAY for like 7 bucks, just keep your eye open! It was sooo cool to get it, I am going to start my own charm school!