MARY KAY ASH Biography - Bussiness people and enterpreneurs


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Founder of a cosmetics empire                                                         
Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Inc. was born on May 12, 1918 in Hot Wells, Texas. When       
she was six years old, she had to look after her ill grandfather while her             
mother was the working to provide for the family. Throughout her life, Mary Kay's     
mother had a huge impact her daughter, and she attributed her indomitable spirit       
to her mother who encouraged her with the words, "You can do it."                     
She started studying as a doctor and selling part-time, but she proved so adept       
at selling that she soon did it full time. She sold products for Stanley Home         
products and went on to World Gift. At World Gift she eventually became a sales       
director, but was passed over for promotion so many times, that she decided to         
call it quits after 25 years of corporate sales.                                       
She turned her attention to writing a book which turned out to be the plan for         
her business. On September 13, 1963, with $5,000 in savings, she opened her           
dream cosmetics business with her son Richard Rogers. She had bought the formula       
for a skin-care cream and started operating from a small Dallas storefront. With       
nine salespeople, or beauty consultants as she called her team, they made nearly       
$200,000 profit in the first year of operation.                                       
The company's success soured, especially after an interview with her on 60             
minutes. She also had the trademark reward for her top salespeople: pink               
cadillacs. The company went public in 1968, but went private again in 1985. To         
this day, it remains one of the largest private firms in the US. Mary Kay Inc.         
also rates well in Best Company to Work For surveys that is done on a regular         
In 1987 Mary Kay Ash retired and became chairman emeritus of the company. Mary         
Kay measured her company's performance on P&L, not profit and loss as in many         
other companies, but rather, People and Love. By 2004 the company had sales of         
over $1.8 billion in 30 markets and had an independent salesforce of 1.3 million.     
Mary Kay Ash left the world a poorer place when she died on November 22, 2001.         
Her son, Richard Rogers, continues to build the company he helped to create with       
her. The Mary Kay Ash charitable foundation also continues to make contributions       
to cancer research and preventing violence against women. She once said that, "My     
goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, she           
cared". And Mary Kay Ash did.