Hints from Heloise® is a household advice column appearing in 500 newspapers worldwide (although best known in the United States). It's been running continuously since 1959.
Syndicated by King Features, the advice column features household tips and practical advice on cleaning, home care, and saving money and/or time around the house. Need to know how to remove pet odors, stains on carpets or clothing, or remove crayon from your walls? Heloise has an answer. In some markets the column runs seven days a week, including an illustrated comic strip for Sunday papers.
The column is written by Ponce Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans, daughter of Eloise Bowles, the originator of the column. Evans has a degree in business and a teaching credential in math, but began to assist her mother with the business full time in 1974 and took it over after her mother's death in 1977. Both women adopted the name "Heloise" professionally.
Bowles started the column in 1959 as a military housewife based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Expanding on the informal household tips she collected from other military housewives, she pitched the feature to The Honolulu Advertiser, which agreed to include it, for no pay. "Hints from Eloise" lacked the flair the paper wanted, so they added an "H." The column became so popular that a recommendation (such that boric acid can be used to combat roaches) would create a run on local stores, which would sell out of the recommended product. Bowles was soon a paid syndicated columnist.
Many of the household tips are submitted by readers. Evans, based in her home office in San Antonio, Texas, has her own staff (five full time, plus seasonal help) to research and test out reader-submitted tips on cleaning, and credits readers if she published their tip. Evans refuses to include brand names in her columns (leading to some strangely vague recommendations, such as this one for clearing streaks off a black stove: "They do sell a cleaner in the stores, it's kinda creamy and in a bottle, it works well." Such a policy not only lends her columns an air of integrity, but encourages her readers' own inclinations to go exploring for such a mystery product.
In addition to newspaper syndication, "Heloise" is a contributing editor to Good Housekeeping magazine, has published eleven books, hosts her own radio show, and makes regular appearances on ivillage.com message boards, as well as local and national television talk shows (including ABC's The View and NBC's The Today Show).
Hints from Heloise® <www.heloise.com> (20 September 2004)
"Heloise: Hinting at Home Business Success." Home Business Magazine. < http://www.homebusinessmag.com/tarticle7.html?aID=465&mID=7> (20 September 2004)
Mary Beth Breckenridge. "Heloise II not so perfect." Akron Beacon Journal. 1 February 2003. < http://www.mrp.txstate.edu/mrp/relations/news/news73_abj.html> (20 September 2004)
Klint Lowry. "Hello, Heloise." The News-Herald. 24 March 2004. < http://www.thenewsherald.com/stories/032404/lif_20040324016.shtml> (20 September 2004)