Business Interview Project
Mary Kay Incorporated
Independent Beauty Consultant, Megan Jones, began her career with Mary Kay Incorporated in August of 2004. Being a wife and mother of a nine month old, she was looking for a way to supplement the family income from home. Megan said she had always dreamed of owning her own business one day. She thought it would be a real estate business not a cosmetic one.
The consultant’s mother was sponsoring a Mary Kay skin care class and invited Megan to attend. She was intrigued from the very beginning of the class at what the hostess, Holli, was doing. She asked questions throughout the class trying to gather as much information as she could. When the class ended Holli began explaining the business plan to her.
Mary Kay Incorporated was founded by Mary Kathlyn Wagner Ash. She was born in Houston, Texas into a home where her mother was the sole income provider due to her father’s illness. Mary Kay learned at the age of seven the skills that would eventually make her a success, determination and stamina. Not only was Mary Kay her father’s caregiver, she also took care of all the daily household chores and attended school. She never questioned these monumental responsibilities, but when she would become overwhelmed her mother would offer her the encouraging words of, “Honey, you can do it!” These words became Mary Kay’s life theme.
Mary Kay became a very competitive and goal-oriented woman. Everything from earning straight A’s in school to selling Girl Scout cookies offered her an opportunity to compete. She not only competed with others, but with herself as well. This competitive spirit would be another factor in the future success in her direct-selling career.
Ida Blake gave Mary Kay her first opportunity in sales. Mary Kay discovered her natural talent by selling $35,000 worth of children’s books during her first nine months of employment. At that time, Mary Kay learned an aspect of business that she would later incorporate into her cosmetic company, customer utilization and satisfaction. Even though she had sold a tremendous amount of books, her customers were not satisfied with the products they purchased. Customers told her they made the purchased in part due to the enthusiasm she sold the products with, but they found that they didn’t use them after the purchase.
Mary Kay Inc.’s success has been attributed to the companies adherence to the personal relationship developed between each Independent Beauty Consultant and her customer. The customer not only purchases a product, she purchases the knowledge of how to use that product also. Mary Kay wanted women to be able to purchase the products in a teaching environment where they felt comfortable learning how to use cosmetics while enjoying the personal service and product knowledge of her own Consultant. This has led to a very loyal customer base and repeat purchases for the consultants (HighBeam).
She took a part-time job in direct-sales with Stanley Home Products in 1938 to earn enough money to enable her first husband and herself to move out of her mother’s home. At that time she was attending the University of Houston enrolled in the pre-med program. During this period an aptitude test revealed that her selling ability outranked her scientific ability. It was recommended that she change her major to marketing. Mary Kay made the decision to drop out of college to pursue a career in sales. She enlisted her three children to pack products and began selling Stanley Home Products full-time. This move would also initiate her son, Richard R. Rogers’, lifetime career as her business partner.
Mary Kay was inspired three week later while attending the company’s annual convention in Dallas. She witnessed that year’s “Queen of Sales” receive an alligator hand bag. She became determined to succeed at sales which she did the following year by being name “Queen of Sales,” to be disappointed by receiving...