Over the years, there have been many successful business leaders but none as unique as the
legendary Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Inc. Even though she passed away in 2001, her
words of wisdom and life lessons continue to inspire and remain a source of encouragement
around the world. Mary Kay Ash left an indelible mark on American business and on opportunities
available to women.
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Mary Kathlyn Wagner, born on May 12, 1918, began building a
foundation for believing in herself. At age seven, she cared for her seriously ill father while her
mother worked 14 hours a day in a Houston restaurant. Mary Kay cooked, cleaned, brought home
straight-A report cards, won trophies in typing and debate, and outsold every other student from
Girl Scout cookies to school-event tickets. "My mother's words became the theme of my childhood,"
she said. "They have stayed with me all my life: 'You can do it.'"
As a mother with three children of her own to support, Mary Kay sold part time while taking premed
courses at a local college – until an aptitude test showed her selling ability outranked her science
ability. After deciding to tackle sales full-force at Stanley Home Products, a direct sales company,
she began her success story starting with weekly sales goals written in soap on her bathroom
mirror. By scheduling three home-demonstration appointments a day, Mary Kay won so many sales
awards she had to cram them in a box in her closet. She broke even more sales records at a
company called World Gift, where she became national training director. But eventually, as the male
colleagues she'd trained were promoted ahead of her – and at twice her salary – Mary Kay had had
enough. After 25 years in direct sales, she retired.
Retirement in 1963 lasted all of one month. "To me, work and growth were the same thing," she said.
Within a week, she started writing a how-to career book for women. The book then turned into a
marketing plan for a "dream company." "Before long," Mary Kay said, "I began asking myself, 'Why
are you theorizing about a dream company? Why don't you just start one?'" After buying a
formulation for a skin care cream she had been using, Mary Kay enlisted her husband to handle
operations and began recruiting friends to be independent beauty consultants for the venture she
called "Beauty by Mary Kay."
The launch almost didn't happen. Mary Kay's husband died suddenly just
a month before the scheduled opening. But strengthened by the
encouragement of her two sons and daughter, Mary Kay formally
launched her company on Friday, September 13, 1963. She wrote, "I knew I
would never have a second chance to put my dream into action." Based
on the principle, "The more you give, the more you receive," the Company
ended the year with a profit. In the first calendar year, sales reached
$198,000. Within five years, the cosmetics powerhouse went public and
then became private again in 1985. Mary Kay Inc. today remains one of
the largest privately held firms in the United States. Mary Kay is fondly
remembered for creating an award system designed specifically for
women, including expensive feminine items and the famous pink Cadillac.
In 1980, Mary Kay's husband, Mel, died of cancer. Having witnessed his
suffering, she became committed to the fight to find a cure. Involved in
fundraising for more than 20 years, she established the Mary Kay Ash
Charitable Foundation, www.mkacf.org, a nonprofit foundation that
provides funding for research of cancers affecting women. In 2000, her
Foundation expanded its outreach to include violence against women.
Mary Kay authored three books, all of which became bestsellers. Her
autobiography, Miracles Happen, has sold more than 2 million copies
and appears in several languages. Her business philosophy, presented
in her book Mary Kay on People Management, continues to be a great
source of wisdom and has been included in business courses at
renowned business schools like Harvard and the Wharton School.
Mary Kay Ash's third book, You Can Have It All, launched in August
1995, and remarkably achieved best-seller status within days of its
introduction. Her speeches and quotes continue to inspire the women of
the Mary Kay independent sales force and people around the world.
 Achievement. Success. The realization of dreams. Mary Kay Inc. was created from one
woman’s desire to enrich women's lives. She began by offering quality products to
enhance a woman's image and a perfect business opportunity to help women earn extra
money, enjoy more flexibility and grow as independent business owners. The result is a
company that, more than 40 years later, still embodies the core philosophies of its
founder: to use the Golden Rule as a business guide and to help women live a balanced
life by placing God first, family second and career third.
 Mary Kay Inc. is one of the largest direct sellers of quality skin care and color
cosmetics in the world.
Company Facts:
 •The Mary Kay independent sales force exceeds 1.6 million Independent Beauty
Consultants in more than 30 markets worldwide. •Mary Kay Inc. has averaged doubledigit annual growth since the company’s founding in 1963. •In 2005, sales of Mary
Kay® products exceeded $2.2 billion in wholesale sales. •From an initial nine-item
collection, the Mary Kay® product line has expanded to include more than 200
premium products in six categories: facial skin care, color cosmetics, nail care, body
care, sun protection and fragrance. •Richard R. Rogers, Executive Chairman, is the
youngest son of Mary Kay Ash and co-founder of Mary Kay Inc. He has held numerous
positions within the company including General Manager, Vice President and Chief
Executive Officer. •David B. Holl is President and Chief Executive Officer of Mary Kay
Inc. He joined Mary Kay Inc. in 1993 and has held numerous positions within the
company, including Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis and Treasurer;
and Chief Financial Officer. •Mary Kay World Headquarters is located in the Dallas
suburb of Addison, Texas. Mailing address: P.O. Box 799045, Dallas, TX 75379-9045.
Enriching women’s lives through an unequalled
business opportunity is the mission of Mary
Kay Inc. Unlimited earning potential, flexible
hours and a unique support system of fabulous
women allow you to create the home-based
business of your dreams.
I’m a Independent Beauty Consultant. Please if you have any questions, please feel free to
contact me @
(559) 222-7578

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