More than Beauty

"For every failure there's an alternative course of action. When you come to a road block, take a detour." Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash was born on the 12th of May 1918. She got married at the young age of 17 and while her husband fought in the 2nd World War, she sold books from door to door. She later developed her skills as a sales person.

In 1939, Ash became a sales person for Stanley Home Products, hosting parties to encourage people buy their household items. She was so good at It, World Gifts, another company bought her over in 1952. Ash spent over a decade there but protested when yet another man she had trained was promoted over her and placed on a higher salary. She quit the job.

Following her bad experience at her work place, in 1963 she decided to create a business of her own, she was 45 at this time. She started the business with an initial investment of $5,000, purchasing skin lotions. Her son, Richard Rogers opened a small shop in Dallas and had 9 sales people working for her. Today there
are over a million sales representatives.

The company turned a profit in its first year and sold over a million products in its second year. Her cosmetics were sold through home parties and other events. She had no territories for her sales people. She believed in a golden rule, "treat others as you want to be treated" and operated with the motto, "God first, Family second and Career third". She wanted everyone in her organisation to partake of its success, the sales people were called consultants. The consultants had the right to buy products from the company direct and sell to retailers making them earn from the third party. Her marketing skills and people savvy helped the business become very lucrative. The business went public in 1968 but was bought back by Mary Kay Ash in 1985. The company remained successful with its annual turnover exceeding 2.2billion dollars. Centred in the business was Mary Kay Ash's enthusiastic personality. Her most loved colour was pink and she gave her top earning consultants pink Cadillacs annually. She once said, "People are a company's greatest asset".

 She wrote several book about her experience, her autobiography, "MaryKay" sold over a million copies in different languages, "The success story of americas most dynamic woman"(1981), "People Management(1984) and "You can have it all"(1995) it achieved a bestseller status within two months of introduction. She stepped down as CEO in 1981 but still played a very active role in the company. She established MaryKay Charitable Foundation in1996 to support cancer research on cancers affecting women and efforts to end domestic violence.

In 2000, she was named the most outstanding woman in business in the 20th century by lifetime TV, she was also recognized in US Business Hall of Fame in 1996. She died November 22nd, 2001 in Dallas, Texas. At the time of her death, the company had covered over 37 countries with over 800,000 representatives and sales on retail over $2 billion. She was honoured as a leading entrepreneur in American history. She'll forever be remembered as a woman who began from scratch took others along with her idea and created opportunities for millions of people.

"Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dared to try" Mary Kay Ash

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