Mary kay thank you cards

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Hope is a gift that comes from the heart.

Virtually everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. Mary Kay Ash's personal encounter came in 1980 when her husband, Mel Ash, died of lung cancer. Subsequently, each time a member of the extended Mary Kay family was diagnosed with cancer, she became even more determined to work to find a cure.

In 1987, Mary Kay decided to put her money where her heart was and asked employees at Mary Kay Inc. and the independent sales force to do the same. Together, they began raising funds for cancer research, and in 1996, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was established to formalize the raising and distributing of research funds for cancers affecting women. In 2009, the name of the Foundation was changed to The Mary Kay Foundation.

Mary Kay Ash cared about all issues affecting women, and she knew domestic violence was a problem in the community. She began to hear how prevalently this issue affected the Mary Kay Inc. independent sales force across the nation. So in July 2000, The Foundation embraced a second mission: to prevent violence against women.

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Mary Kay Ash

I Was a Mary Kay Consultant for 9 Days

You know how sometimes your gut says no, but you forge ahead anyway?

That’s exactly how I came to be a Mary Kay consultant. However, you probably figured out from the title that I’m not doing Mary Kay anymore. Yep, that little business venture only lasted a week and a half.


Here’s the deal

About a month ago, I attended a Mary Kay debut with a family member, and enjoyed listening to the speeches from women who were obviously so excited about the product. I wasn’t particularly happy about my current direct sales company, and thought a fresh start with Mary Kay might be just what I needed to help our income out a little bit.

Besides, I was a total convert to the products – they do truly work! So I made my list of questions and took advantage of this meeting to thoroughly comb through the details.

I went home saying no to the Mary Kay opportunity that night. There was nothing wrong with Mary Kay, I just didn’t feel it was for me. I’m a writer and a blogger, and wanted to devote my time to developing the community here.

The month of April came around, and starter kit was being offered at a stellar price. I gave it another honest go-around. What if I could just buy my own products at cost and sell to family and friends?

Uh oh.

Once I’m in, I’m all in

I got right to work when my starter kit arrived.

There was a new Facebook page to be had, a blog post debuting my new business, a giveaway (which ends tonight, and yes, the winner will still receive their prize), as well as a mass email to all my friends, co-workers, and family.

Then I pulled out a fresh new pink notebook, and starting working my way through the MK website.


During this time, I realized a couple things:

  1. I had to spend more money than what the starter kit required. There’s the additional business cards, MK website, and a credit card processing program, among other incidentals.
  2. I was strongly encouraged to buy a significant amount of inventory. A great deal, for sure, but again, more money. I declined.

Then my first order came in. I was ecstatic! But when I tried to submit it, that 50% discount I had been promised wouldn’t go through.

Note: the fine print.A consultant must place a $400 retail order every 3 months to maintain active status and receive her Earned Discount Privilege. (The 50%)

Funny. No one mentioned that. So, I went ahead and coughed up more money toward inventory to secure my discount. I was currently almost $500 in the hole, and I had yet to place that one order.

That’s when I started to rethink my decision.

What was I going to do with all that product? We had just moved to Florida, and I didn’t have any contacts yet! Perhaps the question I had the most, how did I not know this before I signed up?

Then I found some other MK consultants who had gone through similar situations to mine. Reading their words made me feel even worse, yet validated, and I knew I couldn’t continue any longer.

A lesson in business practice

Mary Kay Botanical Effects

I want to be careful with my words so as to not damage the relationships of those I know in Mary Kay, and also those reading whom I don’t know personally. I’m not saying that Mary Kay is a scam, or a MLM company that doesn’t provide you with legitimate income.

However, if you are considering an “opportunity”, here’s what I want you to know: You are the only person with your best interests at heart. Not the company, not it’s directors, YOU.

Likewise, it is your responsibility to get the facts first, and then fact check again. Talk to those who were previously with the company, or gain the perspective of consultants who are not directly involved in your up-line. The point is to gain a well-rounded view, so you can make the right decision.

After quite a bit of research into Mary Kay business practices, I could not visibly foresee it being a profitable venture, unless I, one, focused on recruits, and two, pushed hard on sales to get rid of all that inventory (or continued to buy product myself to meet my sales quotas).

Not to mention I had already spent two years working hard for another direct sales company and after all my expenses, I barely broke even.

Either way, I wasn’t being true to myself, and I just can’t live with that.

**2016 Update** For those of you who claim I don’t know what it takes to run a business, I actually make my full time income with this website! Click here to read about my journey of how I made it happen (without any quotas or requirements).


Over the years since I published this post, I’ve received a lot of questions from those who found themselves in the exact same spot I was. Here are the answer to the most common questions I receive!

I want to cancel my membership with Mary Kay. How do I do that? 

I just remained an inactive consultant until my yearly subscription ran out, then I just didn’t sign on again.

How did you return your starter kit/inventory order?

As long as you haven’t used any of the products yet {and the forms are still in their original packaging}, you should be able to return the kit for a full refund. Just call the consultant phone number, and they can give you directions on how to return everything. I never got a refund because I had used some of the catalogs already, but I was able to cancel my inventory order with no problems, and received a full refund.

Were you able to get your website fee back as well?

I wasn’t, unfortunately!

What should I do with the inventory I have?

If you can’t return them, you can try to sell them elsewhere, perhaps as lots on eBay.

My director/upline is pressuring me. What should I do?

If you truly love the product and think for sure you can sell it to family and friends to cover what you personally use and perhaps make a little extra on the side, then I would be very firm with your director and say that you will be working Mary Kay on your own terms. They like to call it incentives and encouragement, but sometimes it can be downright rude and pushy. Don’t let them control your business…YOU control it. And if you find out it’s not for you, you can always sell off the inventory and walk away.

My friend/family member is joining Mary Kay, and I want to support her but I have some concerns. What should I do?

I would encourage you to support her in her business ventures, but to also strongly encourage her to keep accurate, up-to-date business financial records. Many times people in MLMs feel like they are making a profit because they aren’t keeping an accurate ledger and are being their own best customer and don’t realize it. With accurate records, over time she will be able to see if Mary Kay is a path worth continuing.


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