Photo Credit: Book Cover
WBLS CELEBRATES WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH: 31 DAYS, 31 PHENOMENAL WOMEN
Mary Kay Ash was the inspirational business leader and entrepreneur who founded Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Mary Kay Ash was born as Mary Kathyn Wagner on May 12, 1918 in Hot Wells, Harris County Texas. The mother of three was motivation to chase her dreams when she worked for Stanley Home Products, she was frustrated when the man that she trained was passed over for a promotion. From there she wrote her own book to assist women in business and the book eventually turned into her business plan.
Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, one of the largest beauty products firms in the United States, Ash sold a child psychology book door to door in the late 1930s and then was a sales representative and manager at the Stanley Home Products Co. from 1939 to 1952. Later, she was national training director at the World Gift Co.
In 1963, with $5,000 investment from her two sons, she founded Mary Kay Cosmetics in a Dallas storefront. Her mission was to allow women to advance by helping others succed. She adovacted “praising people to success” The firm sold products door to door using nine saleswomen, called “beauty consultants.” The business grew steadily, helped by Ash’s positive philosophy and her generous use of incentives, such as free pink Cadillacs and diamond jewelry, for successful sales people.
Mary Kay was active in her company until she suffered a stroke in 1996. Her son, Richard Rogers, then took over the reins of the company. At the time of her death in November 2001, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries and more than $2 billion in retail sales.
Her slogan: “God first, family second, career third’.