Mary Kay Ash’s life. Cosmetic industry - Fashion Essay Example

“MARY KAY ASH”

Mary Kay Ash’s life - Mary Kay Ash’s life. Cosmetic industry introduction. Cosmetic industry

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Mary Kay Ash was born in Hot Wells (Texas) “some time between 1910 and 1915”. Her father was “permanently disabled by tuberculosis” and her mother “worked 14-hour days” to support the family, so Ash had to do the housework, cook meals and care for her father. But in spite of all those difficulties, she always “viewed her many responsibilities as challenges”. She was a brilliant student but had to quit her studies as her family could not afford the tuition. Instead Ash married Ben Rogers, a local radio star, and started a family. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm)

“As money was tight for the family” Mary Kay “decided to try to help by selling products door-to-door. “She began her sales career peddling a set of books called the Child Psychology Bookshelf”. Then, prior to World War II, she signed on as a Stanley Home products consultant, “a direct sales company for housewares and cleaning solvents”. She was once crowned Queen of Sales at the company’s annual convention in Dallas where Ash got very disappointed by the prize she received, a flounder light. She realized that “her profits far exceeded mere prizes and recognition”. After her husband demanded a divorce, Ash concentrated on a career in sales and soon “became a regular top-earning sales representative for Stanley Home products and was eventually promoted to manager”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm)

Ash always felt that “her talents were being wasted” among her “mostly male management team” so she left Stanley in 1952 “to work as the national training director for the World Gift Company, another Dallas-based direct-sales firm”. She “extended World Gift’s distribution into 43 states and earned herself a position on the company’s board of directors”. But again “she found that her suggestions fell upon deaf male ears”. She decided to quit and take an early retirement “after a man she had trained was named her supervisor and paid twice her salary”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm)

 

 

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After having retired Mary Kay wrote a career guide where she described her negative experiences and made a list of positive experiences “that might result in better productivity and happier, more confident employees”. Then an idea occurred to her that she could start her own company. Even the death of her second husband just a month before Ash’s business was set to open didn’t discourage her from continuing with her plans. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm)

“With innovative sales techniques and programs aimed at boosting the self-esteem of her employees, Mary Kay Ash built the largest direct-sales cosmetic empire in the United States”. She founded her company with an investment of $5, 000 and “a vision of how to manage a product and work force based on her often bitter experiences in male-dominated business culture”. Her company’s success rests both “on her dynamic personality and personal sales ability” and “on the quality of the merchandise”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm)

“From its base in Dallas, Mary Kay Cosmetics has grown into an international empire with consultants throughout Canada, Europe, and even the former Soviet Union”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm) “At the time of Ash’s death, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800, 000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales over $2 billion at retail”. (Mary Kay Ash. Founder and Chairman Emeritus, www.marykaytribute.com/HerLife3.htm)

The Mary Kay product line includes “more than 200 premium products in eight categories: facial skin care, color cosmetics, nail care, body care, sun protection, fragrances, men’s skin care, and men’s and women’s dietary supplements”. (Mary Kay Ash. Founder and Chairman Emeritus) “Animals are not used for product testing and the company has been cited by the United Nations Environment Program for “exemplary leadership in promoting sound environment policies within the cosmetic industry”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm)

Breast cancer supporter

Mary Kay’s personal encounter with cancer came in 1980 when Mel Ash, her third husband, died of lung cancer. After that, every time “a member of the extended Mary Kay family was

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diagnosed, she became even more determined to work to find a cure”. (How Mary Kay’s Quest for the Cure Began, www.mkacf.org/WomenAndCancer.shtml). Starting from 1987, Mary Kay and “the independent sales force and employees at Mary Kay Inc.” began raising funds for cancer research. (How Mary Kay’s Quest for the Cure Began) In 1996 “she established the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, a non-profit public foundation that provides funding for research of leading cancers affecting women”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.famoustexans.com/MaryKayAsh.htm) Since the Foundation “began awarding research grants in 1996, several of the grant recipients have achieved great progress toward their research goals in searching for new treatments for cancers affecting women”. (How Mary Kay’s Quest for the Cure Began)

Mary Kay Ash served twice “as honorary chairman of the Texas Breast Screening Project and was instrumental in helping pass legislation in Texas for insurance coverage of mammograms”. She was “also active in raising funds for cancer research programs through the Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Mary Kay Ash Center for Cancer Immunotherapy Research at St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, which was dedicated in 1993”. “On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Company and as a tribute to her efforts in breast cancer awareness and fund raising, the employees of Mary Kay Inc. presented to Mary Kay the Mary Kay/St. Paul Medical Center Mobile Cancer Screening Unit in July 1993. A cancer research wing at St. Paul Medical Center previously dedicated to Mary Kay Ash was expanded in 1995 and in 1998 the hospital dedicated the Mary Kay Ash Cancer Research Institute”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.famoustexans.com/MaryKayAsh.htm)

Management style. Leadership. Motivation.

Mary Kay Ash “gave credit for her successful management style to the simple truth of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12)”. (McGarvey, Candice Mary Kay Ash, http://poptop.hypermart.net/testmka.html) “She used the Golden Rule as her guiding philosophy and encouraged employees and sales force members to prioritize their lives according to a simple but empowering motto: God first, family second, career third”. (Mary

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Kay Ash, www.famoustexans.com/MaryKayAsh.htm) This formula “seems to be working as the company continually surpasses its goals”. Mary Kay Cosmetics today is full of women who “strive

to treat their customers and each other with the kind of respect and love that they hope to receive”. (McGarvey, Candice Mary Kay Ash)

Mary Kay’s goal was “to provide women with an unlimited opportunity for personal and financial success”. (Mary Kay Ash, www.famoustexans.com/MaryKayAsh.htm) She showered her top performers “with lavish gifts and public praise”. “Every year the company awards the trademark pink Cadillacs, diamond jewelry and five-star vacations to outstanding consultants, managers and recruiters”. According to Fortune magazine, “among the company’s 300, 000 consultants there are over seventy who have earned commissions of more than $1 million over their careers”, another 6, 500 “are driving the complimentary Cadillacs”, and several hundred “earn six-figure salaries” – almost all of them women. (McGarvey, Candice Mary Kay Ash) Indeed, “she made the world a better place for women and their families”. (Mary Kay Ash. Founder and Chairman Emeritus)

Awards

A dynamic speaker, motivator and entrepreneur, Mary Kay has been recognized for her achievements through numerous awards and honors” including: (Mary Kay Ash, www.famoustexans.com/MaryKayAsh.htm)

·         Received Women of the Century award from Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas, honoring the state’s 100 most influential women of the last century (1999);

·         National Association of Women Business Owners 1995 Pathfinder Award (1995);

·         First female recipient of the Kupfer Distinguished Executive Award from Texas A&M University (1993);

·         Living Legend Award from the Direct Selling Education Foundation (1991);

·         Outstanding Business Leader Award from Northwood Institute (1990);

 

 

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·         First Annual National Sales Hall of Fame Award from the Sales and Marketing Executives of New York (1989);

·         Circle of Honor Award from the Direct Selling Education Foundation (1989);

·         Texas Business Hall of Fame Award (1986);

·         Outstanding Women in Business in Dallas Award from the Dallas Chamber of Commerce (1985);

·         Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Edwin L. Cox School of Business from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (1983);

·         Outstanding Corporate Sales Executive, The Gallaghar Report (1983);

·         Distinguished Business Leadership Award from University of Texas at Arlington College of  Business Administration and Advisory Council (1982);

·         Golden Plate Award from American Academy of Achievement (1980);

·         Hall of Fame Award the Direct Selling Association (1976).

For taking an active part in raising funds for cancer research programs Mary Kay Ash received Honorable Mention Award for Awareness and Achievement from the Board of
Sponsors of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1994 and Individual Komen Award for Philanthropy from the Komen Foundation for the Advancement of Breast Cancer Research in 1990. She was also awarded an “EPAcres” Certificate of Recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Lights Program for Company’s accomplishment of preventing pollution equivalent to planting 100 acres of trees through the use of energy-efficient lighting (1999); the prestigious Horatio Alger Award (1978); Dale Carnegie Leadership Award for “assisting the Mary Kay sales force in programs of self-development leading to improved performance and personal growth” (1978); Christian Excellence Award in Business, International Association of Women in Leadership (1987); Churchwoman of the Year Award, Religious Heritage of America (1987) and many more awards. (Mary Kay Ash. Founder and Chairman Emeritus)

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY:

1.  How Mary Kay’s Quest for the Cure Began, www.mkacf.org/WomenAndCancer.shtml (July,

20 2005)

2.  Mary Kay Ash, www.donnabayes.com/id156.htm (July, 20 2005)

3.  Mary Kay Ash, www.famoustexans.com/MaryKayAsh.htm (July, 21 2005)

4.  Mary Kay Ash. Founder and Chairman Emeritus, www.marykaytribute.com/HerLife3.htm

(July, 19 2005)

5.  McGarvey, Candice Mary Kay Ash, http://poptop.hypermart.net/testmka.html (July, 21

2005)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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