Mary Kay on ABC Nightline
There is one bright spot in a bleak economy, the women of Mary Kay Cosmetics. One hundred and sixty five thousand people started Mary Kay businesses in the United States last April alone. It's a second job for many of them but they work for themselves and they tallied up $2.5 billion in wholesale billing worldwide in 2010. These are people who are fighting to restore opportunities in this country; bringing America back.
It has all the glitz and glamour of the academy awards but this red carpet is in Dallas and it probably should be pink! It is awards night at Mary Kay Cosmetics and for the next few hours hundreds of women will receive a whole lot more than little golden statues. They're being recognized and rewarded for growing their business when so few others are. It turns out that even during the deepest of economic slumps, lipstick sells!
ABC Nightline first looked into Mary Kay two-and-a-half years ago when the recession was in its infancy. The message from CEO David Holl, this year, "Mary Kay is still bucking the trend. People still want to buy lipsticks. They may not buy as many or as much of the skin care line that's out there but you clearly see that by having value products that are just a little bit lower price point, that our sales force and their customers jump on that."
Mary Kay's business model is not exactly traditional. It's based on direct sales. In short these women make money not just on the products they sell but on the number of new sales consultants they share there business with. Critics call that a pyramid scheme but sales consultants like Courtney Armstrong reject that. When ABC Nightline first met her in 2009, she had a 130 women working on her team. Now that number has nearly doubled. Her days in the east Texas are packed with appointments, personalized instruction and deliveries, always with an eye on future sales. Courtney and her team sell enough make-up to keep her in one of those famous Mary Kay pink Cadillacs. This is her second SUV and she is well positioned for another.
ABC Nightline - "How do you explain continued success when so many businesses are having too much trouble?"
Courtney - "They are concerned about the stability of their jobs. They're concerned about the stability of their husband's job. They're looking for a backup plan and looking for a way to be able to make extra money so they have something else just in case that doesn't work out."
ABC Nightline - "So in an odd way does having a difficult economy and a recession that's been dragging on, does that bring more people into this organization?"
CEO David Holl - "Yes, absolutely. What can I do for my life besides just go work in the corporate job? They can work for themselves and that holds a lot of appeal for a lot of people."
While Mary Kay is still pink it's not nearly as white as it used to be. Training seminars are now translated into Spanish. As many as twenty percent of the company's new sales consultants are from the Hispanic community.
In fact this company, founded by a woman who passed away in 2001, is not shy about reinventing itself. This year for the first time they debuted a black ford mustang. In the past that would almost have been considered blasphemy however it was done keeping in mind the younger market that is coming into the company.
Stephanie from Tennessee is one of the first to earn that new mustang, complete with pink accents. When asked, "What do you think is the secret behind your success?" she replied, "They work very hard, we work very hard and we all work together to make the company successful and to enrich women's lives. A new look, a new car for a company that just keeps cruising, with tens of thousands of successful women along for the ride.
After Listening to the Video "Mary Kay on ABC Nightline"...
If you live in Canada and know that you want to something more, please fill in the form below...
To see why I love what I do click here