***That only 3% of females in the United States make over $100,000 a year…and of that 3%, 70% of those women are in Mary Kay, www.marykay.com ?
***The Wall Street Journal Names Mary Kay as the company with the best trained and highest paid women in America?
***Mary Kay Part-Time Consultants, working 4-6 hours a week can earn $150 - $300 a week?
***There are over $180 million worth of Mary Kay cars on the road today?
***Mary Kay products have earned the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation?
In 2015, Mary Kay was the 7th largest direct selling company in the world with over 3.5 million sales personnel worldwide with a revenue of $3.7 billion dollars, globally…all started by a woman (Mary Kay Ash) of ‘faith’ in 1963 with the intent to enhance her finances and to give women an opportunity to ‘get out of the house’ and do something for themselves and society. I’d say she was extremely successful.
I’ve been going through a slight melt down with one client assignment scheduled to end in early June and another that I chose to end rather abruptly and prematurely, however, I’d realized that with all my preaching about the type of companies and employers to work with and for, I had better follow my own preaching.
I thought that I was tired of working for individuals that needed ‘help’ from an HR perspective and that maybe I could ‘help’ from another perspective….I’d been an AVON representative for a number of years with all of my earnings (very little, I may say) going back to AVON for breast cancer support. At the time that I became involved with AVON, my cousin had a re-occurrence of her breast cancer and I wanted to help in any small way that I could.
I’d also been a Mary Kay representative, off and on, since 2007, mainly because I love the products and I wanted to be able to obtain the products at a discount…I learned that was/is a very expensive way to procure skin care products and make up. However, I decided to reactivate my Mary Kay account and begin to become involved slowly….I didn’t know how ‘slow’ it would be…
I thought the opportune time had arisen…I was to begin a new HR client at the end of June and I could ‘launch’ my Mary Kay business at the same time when a rather nasty fall occurred and I found myself in the hospital awaiting surgery for a broken hip….a good deal of time and thought has occurred since that very fateful day over five (5) weeks ago now…I ‘lost’ the client I was to begin….a time sensitive mission that I could have helped with significantly, however, I’m still not ready to focus on HR issues….I’m also not ready to ‘launch’ a business…when the Doctor says six (6) to eight (8) weeks, that is a reality.
I know a number of women that have their own Mary Kay business….not all are driven and not all are successful….however, it seems that the remuneration received is tantamount to the effort placed into the endeavor.
The product is why I have always considered having a Mary Kay business….I do know very successful women….most of them driving Mary Kay cars, a number of them earning over six figures but more importantly….they all look (and feel) fabulous. From the young woman in her mid-30’s to the woman who will turn 80 years old in October, they all have gorgeous complexions, an uncanny ability to be able to style themselves with make-up/color and a true sense of themselves. These women have used Mary Kay products nearly all of their adult lives….they have learned to take care of their appearance, their health and their sense of self…probably the most important thing to learn. They have chosen to run with opportunities that almost every American woman has been given…and they have been successful.
Most women in Mary Kay choose Mary Kay in order to balance life issues….which includes faith (as a feminist and a liberal Christian, the one issue with which I had a problem), family and career….in that order…They look for extra money….most of the ‘successful’ are only looking for a few hundred dollars extra per month….Prizes, Awards and Recognition (who doesn’t want recognition on a regular basis?)….Flexibility…and having more personal/family time….and the most important…improving their self-esteem and confidence….not to mention the tax advantages of having a home based business….
There is a great issue of turnover in Mary Kay as well as most other ‘direct sale’ businesses (as well as fast food/restaurant/health care, etc....but that is for another BLOG)….Mary Kay charges each new ‘consultant’ a $100 fee to become a ‘consultant’….there is a monthly/quarterly ‘order’ requirement and if that has not been met ‘regularly’, the individual loses their ‘consultancy’ and if that individual chooses to try again, another fee is imposed. The primary way to make extra money with Mary Kay is to sell the product (50% commission on most items with higher rates….55% to 75%....during promotions) and recruiting (a graduated % from 3% to 12% dependent upon the number of individuals that one has recruited and the amount of product sold by those recruits…with the payments coming from corporate and not from the individual consultants.) The turnover rate is huge with a reported 65% in the United States and 85% in Canada.
Amazingly (or not), there are web sites such as www.pinktruth.com www.pinklighthouse.com or www.marykayvictims.com which have forums and articles discussing the ‘cult’ attitude of Mary Kay and the manner of exploitation used by this company and its higher level directors…and how the way to ‘really make money’ with Mary Kay is to recruit…for if one recruits then each/every recruit is encouraged to ‘buy product’ to establish an inventory and when a new recruit establishes an inventory, the cycle begins….and it continues. Some of these forums actually state that ‘no praise for Mary kay is permitted’.
The problem with all of the anti-Mary Kay (there are similar websites for almost all of the direct sale companies out there) web sites is that they don’t talk about the quality of the product…which is superb by any standards and in order for the individuals that reach the higher pinnacles to sell the product, the ‘standards’ have to be there…
Mary Kay’s Marketing Plan has been used in many business school text books around the globe….the most famous being Harvard Business School. Please note that because a company is studied, it does not mean that the particular business school studying the company is supporting the company. I’m sure Madoff’s ‘Ponzi’ scheme is in many business school textbooks at this point in time, however, Mary Kay has been in business since 1963 and it is only getting ‘bigger’…it must be doing something ‘right’.
….and let’s not forget the products…some of them are superb and some are mediocre….none that I have used would I ever consider sub-standard. Some of their products are considered the best in it’s class and all are given exemplary approval ratings.
One may not like the Marketing Plan that Mary Kay has in place…the more one recruits, the more one makes…but it works…and it has ‘fed’ a good number of individuals in this country and around the world…raising the income of women and selling a relatively good product that can help make people ‘happy’ and prosperous...
On another note, I feel Mary Kay could do a much better job of promoting the Mary Kay Foundation, www.marykayfoundation.org which contributes to any/all causes to end Domestic Violence and contributes to research for the eradication of all Women’s Cancers.
If you have any questions about direct sale organizations or Mary Kay in general, please contact Rosanne Bennett at 484-947-7063 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.