Born to an heiress of the Standard Oil fortune, she married Herbert Pulitzer Jr. (known as Peter), the grandson of Joseph Pulitzer; the publisher and founder of the Pulitzer Prize. Lilly and husband Peter Pulitzer settled in Palm Beach, Florida, shortly after their marriage. They owned several Florida citrus orange groves and, with produce from the groves, she opened a fruit juice stand on Via Mizner, just off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. While working at the stand, Pulitzer found that squeezing juice made a mess of her clothes. Seeking to camouflage the juice stains, she designed a sleeveless shift dress made of bright, colorful printed cotton. She discovered that customers loved her dress, so she produced more to sell at her juice stand. Eventually, she was selling more dresses than juice, and decided to focus on designing and selling what had become known as her “Lillys”.