Mary Kay’s Pink Pyramid of Success
Mary Kay Celebrating 50th Anniversary
In 1963, Mary Kay Ash was fed up with the company where she worked to train men for executive sales positions, who would then be promoted and given significantly higher salary than she was earning. When she confronted her boss about this, he reasoned that they had families to support. Ash, then a single mother of 3, had a family of her own to support. So, she decided to retire and write a book about how women could succeed in business, and how they should be treated. The book became her business model for her new business venture, Beauty with Mary Kay (now known as Mary Kay Cosmetics). On Sep 13, 1963, with $5,000 and the help of her son, Richard Rogers, Mary Kay Cosmetics opened its first storefront in Dallas, Texas. From there, the company grew into an international private company. At the time of Ash’s death in 2001, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales over $200 million. This growth, however, would never have been possible without the installation of the Mary Kay philosophy into every aspect of the company.
Today, the direct sales company generates annual global wholesales in excess of $3 billion and has a worldwide independent sales force of over 3 million men and women. And while Mary Kay is an international cosmetic sales company devoted to sharing Mary Kay cosmetics with as many women as possible, the philosophy behind each sale is so much more than that. That philosophy began with Mary Kay Ash herself at the time of the company’s conception.
The most important aspect of the Mary Kay Way is the following of the golden rule. In her book, ‘The Mary Kay Way,” Mary Kay Ash outlines her simple yet revolutionary thinking that led to the deep role the Golden Rule plays in her company. In her book, Mary Kay explains that, “Being a mother and grandmother, my maternal instinct made me want to do for my associates what every mother wants to do for her children – what’s best for them.” This maternal thinking is what her company embodies as she sought to create and achieved a company that treats both customers and beauty consultants with respect and kindness. A deeper look into the company’s philosophy brings you to ‘The Eight Principles,’ which Mary Kay herself worked to follow and instill in every member of the Mary Kay team. The most important of these eight principles are: praising people to success, developing and promoting people from within, and Faith First, Family Second and Career Third. “Recognition is the most powerful of all motivators” is the reasoning Ash supplies for the first of these principles. Building loyalty is what will be achieved through promotions within. And keeping business in balance allows women to maintain a balanced life of love and success.
To create a successful company, salespeople must be productive. And for them to be productive, they must be happy, and therefore praised for their work. The balance, which Mary Kay promotes, allows consultants to maintain a healthy home life that translates into a healthy professional one. This fundamental belief in praise, promotion, and balance is what fuels Mary Kay Cosmetics and keeps it successful company that millions of women want to be involved in. The Mary Kay way is simple yet resoundingly successful, as shown by the millions of sales representatives that make up this well oiled and beautiful machine.
The Real Face of Mary Kay
Asenath Lawton and her family
When you first meet Asenath Lawton , the first thing you’ll notice about her is her personality. The second thing is, you will wonder where her pink suit is? Let’s clear that myth up. Mary Kay consultants do not wear pink suits. Once you get over that, you will be drawn in by her enthusiasm and passion. Lawton has been a Mary Kay consultant for six years now, and is still continuing to grow. She started as one would: an independent beauty consultant. Now she is a director with a team of 50, and drives a free Chevy Cruze. It will not be long before she has a pretty pink Cadillac sitting in her driveway.
It is hard to believe that someone so cheerful and driven had several life battles to get where she is now. Unfortunately, that is just a part of life. We all have our own ups and downs. Her first exposure to Mary Kay was when her sister-in-law dragged her to a Mary Kay party. Before she knew it, she fell in love with their products and company, and the decision was made for her, quite literally: her husband signed her up to be a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant.
Subsequently, she became a leader (Star Team Builder) within her first three months. Then two years later, she earned her first car, a Chevy Malibu. Shortly after earning the Malibu, she stepped away from Mary Kay to move cross country. Additionally, she fought to overcome the depression that was a result of her two miscarriages. By her sheer strength and faith she managed to overcome the struggle, and was welcomed back to Mary Kay with open arms. She truly believes in their philosophy and their Golden Rule that putting faith and family first. They gave her the flexibility to be the businesswoman that she is.
Her client list is broad. She serves both men and women, ages 14 and up. Her personal selling philosophy is to meet the needs of others and make them feel important. Beyond that, Lawton’s clients choose the Mary Kay brand because they see the results. There is a 100% company buy back guarantee. No matter how much good is in the company there is always opposition; some websites tell the stories of disillusioned consultants, others will sell “discounted” products with no guarantee on the product or verification of how old it is. Lawton defended the integrity of Mary Kay by saying “it’s like any business, you make your own choices. You work hard and you work smart. You can’t take advice from anyone you wouldn’t want to switch places with. You can’t focus on the negatives if you want to have a successful business. There is no force; you make your own decision. And everyone will have his or her own opinion.”
So Lawton is not only a mother, wife, and director, but she also teaches 4-6 classes a week and puts together Mary Kay parties. That is the real face behind Mary Kay.
If you are interested in the parties or becoming a consultant, please contact Asenath Lawton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out her website at www.marykay.com/alawton.
Written by Lisa Hoang and Greta Humphrey