compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz 11/12
Late Beginnings. In 1963, when most women didn’t have Full Time Jobs. At age 43, Mary Kay launched a direct sales Cosmetic company, run by women. Within 20 years, it was > $1B and today it has >$3B in sales by > 2 million Beauty Consultants.
Business Model. MK Cosmetics [MKC] is based on education, participation & empowerment of women – which helps them become independent Small Business Operators. MK boosts women’s self-esteem & confidence thru (+) reinforcement & rewards.
Early Years. Mary Kay was born in 1918 to parents who ran a Hotel & Restaurant in a small town in Texas. In the Depression during the 1930s, she wanted a flexible job to still be able to take care of her 3 young children. A woman came by her home and offered MK a free set of Children’s Books for every 10 sold. It took her only 2 days. She sold $35K the 1st year (equivalent of >$300K today).
Queen of Sales, was the title she earned in the next few years by selling the most Stanley Home Products and later World Gifts thru parties. After 20 years, even though she was a Director, her male assistant was promoted to VP above her, because the company only allowed men in these positions. She quit and started to work on a Book about Direct Sales – which turned into the definition of the ideal company. To her, it sounded so good, she decided to start her own company.
Birth of Mary Kay Cosmetics, was to enable women to earn $$ part-time while still taking care of their families. This had her up against Avon. She looked for the weakness and found 1) lack of Skin-Care products, 2) their door-to-door approach. MKs independent Beauty Consultants demonstrated products during Home Parties and were highly successful, because they were educational.
Launch. She had a hard beginning, because her Husband died just before Launch, but her sons helped her carry on. MKC was launched in 1963, and a year later, had 200 Consultants at parties and >$200K in sales (>$3M today). At the annual meeting in Dallas, she created recognition & rewards for all significant achievers. (ie, she gives away Wigs, Diamond Bracelets & Pink Cadillacs, etc).
Next 30 years. MKC pays >$1M in commissions to her Beauty Consultants. She still helped to run her company in her 70s and gives out >$10M in prizes & awards annually. She’s also generous outside her company and is #2 in Philanthropy in her Home Office town of Dallas.