The Canvas Grey

Inspiration, Perspective, Insight


Posted by TheCanvasGrey on July 14, 2007

After working in Mary Kay since the 1980s (so I’ve been informed) there are women making money at it.  That makes me say hmm!  

I have no doubt that someone who has been in Mary Kay since the 1980s and really worked it could have a decent customer base now, 20 years later.  with plenty of reordering from a good customer base ($14,000 retail) AND sales of $500 per week all year ($26,000 retail) would make the annual retail $40,000 retail, oh, I’ll be generous and say, $60,000 retail a year or hey, even $80,000 retail a year; so that would be anywhere from $15,000 to $38,000 a year in your pocket IF you are frugal (not a lot of expenses, overstock, no samples, etc.).   so, for the sake of argument, that’s roughly 20 years in the “business” of selling product and maybe a few recruits and your annual (pocketed) is $50,000.   

After 20 years (1980s to present) in a real JOB you’d be making at least $50,000 to $160,000 that actually went into your pocket, depending upon your profession and work ethic.  And on top of that you’d have a pension and/or 401(k), life, health, disability, benefits to say the least.  In addition you’d have friends (that you’d met at work) who would remain your friends if you switched jobs, got promoted or transferred (that doesn’t happen in MK).  

ladies (especially those that are young) please note the following about selling Mary Kay in the 1980s (a perspective of timing):   

In the 1980s, in the “pyramid” scheme of things there were actually women who had never heard of or tried the Mary Kay brand.  There weren’t many department stores around to try cosmetics if you lived outside of an urban area.  Malls were just starting to take off and be built.  Home parties were all the rage (Home Interiors, Longaberger baskets, etc.).  So the market was ripe for a pink lady to make money. 1980 era Mary Kay ladies started climbing the pyramid during the cool of the morn.  

***side note:  Mary Kay just happened to be successful.  Did you know that there is another cosmetic company out there that started right around the same time as Mary Kay did?  They didn’t turn their company into a cult/culture but they are in business just the same…jafra.  Similar but very different, one company “made it” the other is doing “okay.”  See we never hear about the “others”  (remember for every number one there is a second, third, fourth…hey, what do you know the majority of us are NOT number one).*** 

Back to the pyramid, there is NO MONEY at the base of the pyramid which is where you are if you are just starting out.  But in 2007 you must contend with market saturation, busy women who work during the day and don’t want to be bothered with parties, department stores, the internet stores and of course, EBAY where you can get MK at less than wholesale.   

so as opposed to the ladies that started in the 1980s, those starting Mary Kay now are trying to climb the pyramid during the heat of the day.  They get hot, tired and sweaty pretty quickly.  They realize the only way to make it in LESS than 20 years is to frontload tons of MK product on unsuspecting newbies.  No one in Mary Kay (including the brochures, your SD or NSD) tells the whole truth about how one makes an income in Mary Kay (especially the fast and easy money…shhhh, frontloading newbies).   

So here it is the truth about Building a career and making money in Mary Kay. 

It is like playing the PINK lottery.  

I’ll take a real JOB every time! 

only the VERY few ever make it to a profitable state in a MLM (multi-level marketing) which is the Mary Kay business model.    There are thousands of women who never made it to a profitable place, THOUSANDS, you just don’t hear about them from your SD or NSD.   

The truth is that one must SELL a LOT of product OR recruit and frontload a LOT of women and keep them recruiting and frontloading others.   

be a business woman, don’t listen to others and research it ALL yourself!



  1. nannerfly said

    If it took you almost 30 years to figure out you wanted/needed/were looking for something else out of life – well, all I can say is it’s no wonder you were unhappy.

    There is nothing – NOTHING more pathetic and sad than people who think they are somehow smarter than everyone else and that the whole world would benefit from their opinion.

    You have no idea what ANYONE but you (and even that seems doubtful) wants/needs/expects from life. Just because accumulating lots of $$$ does not mean that is everyone else’s goal in life or what determines their self-worth.

    If you were unhappy (and discovered that only after 25+ years) being associated with Mary Kay I am happy that you finally got out.

    Good Luck with your next position – although I would imagine you will undoubtedly be unhappy with it also.

  2. thecanvasgrey said

    Ouch! This must have struck a nerve with you. If this was the only thing you read then you don’t know me well enough to make any judgement here.

    I wasn’t in for 30 years. I was in for less than one year.

    Interesting that you think your opinion matters and mine does not.

    I’m not here to argue with anyone. I’m here expressing my opinion and experiences. You certainly don’t have to read it or be offended by it.

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