This month marks the iconic beauty brand’s 50th year of business, an outstanding achievement for a small company that Mary Kay Ash began with five products and only $5,000. The entrepreneurial spirit of this single mama to three kiddos is impressive even today.
Being a woman working in the field of direct sales in the 1960s couldn’t have been easy, so after conquering that, Mary Kay Ash sat down to write a book to help women survive working in a male-dominated business. In The Mary Kay Way, Ash shared her model which she believed would help women be successful outside the male-dominated businesses. A badass and a trailblazer, Mary Kay later went on to pen several more bestsellers, including You Can Have It All, the story of her life as one of America’s first-ever (single!) momprenuers.
At Mary Kay’s 10-year anniversary, the small storefront in Texas had expanded to an international market and a sales force of 20,000 independent consultants. Today the company boasts 3 million independent consultants, has over 200 products, holds over 800 patents, and sells in 35 global markets. Throughout the years, Mary Kay has also donated to several causes impacting women, including over $4 million through the 2008-2010 Beauty that Counts campaign.
Mary Kay’s product list includes skin care for men and women as well as fragrances and makeup. The TimeWise collection is one of the many patented products Mary Kay sells — it is promoted to help keep skin age-defyingly beautiful, and is one I’ve had awesome results with myself. Mary Kay is still sold by independent consultants, as it was in the beginning, but it also is sold online. What an incredible success story.
Overall, I’d say Mary Kay is aging well.
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