Joining Mary Kay as a Favor to a Friend

Another consultant who got sucked into the pink cult as a “favor” to her friend who was trying to move up in Mary Kay.

It started years ago. My best friend (at the time) just joined Mary Kay and invited me to one of their meetings. I went a couple of times and became a regular visitor.

One evening the sales director took me aside and wanted to know when I was going to join. She told me (guilt trip) that my friend needed to sign on her first recruit and if that recruit made a purchase, my friend would get this spiffy purple ring. To make a long story short, I went ahead and joined up for my friend’s sake. The Director sat down with me and “told me everything I needed to know.” Right! Imagine my surprise when I found out in order to get the products at half price you had to place a minimum order. It’s been so long I really can’t remember how much, but a lot more than what I wanted to spend.

My friend went off to the Seminar in Texas. I guess I was getting pulled into it a bit as I was unhappy with my job. I took my $650 tax return and purchased my first order. My friend got her ring at Seminar. Though that made me feel good, I soon began to regret dishing out that kind of money.  However, I am so thankful that I came to my senses when my recruiter sent me to a local finance company (can anyone say 36% interest?) who already had paperwork started for $4,000 so I could buy product. I didn’t take the bait.

I continued to attend the weekly meetings but the more I attended the more it looked like it was just organized hustle. An NSD stopped by the meetings frequently and would instruct us to cut our hair short if we were over 30, buy one expensive pair of shoes, and other such nonsense. I refused to immediately jump up and take their advice much to the chagrin of my friend. My friend, on the other hand, went out and paid a lot of money for a custom hair cut and very expensive leather shoes. I honestly believe she initially spent more on their suggestions than what she brought in profit.

I purchased gobs of CDs from various directors and NSDs. One NSD in particular said she keeps her children in a pink bubble because she doesn’t want them to have to deal with the real world. Not very responsible on her part, but it was like she was weaving this false sense of protection by being in Mary Kay.

I attended a local seminar. Inside, everyone was happy happy shiny sisterly love, etc. Outside, they huddled in packs, smoking cigarettes and ripping others apart with their nasty comments. I invited some relatives to a local event where our NSD was to talk. She went over 30 minutes. It was during that event that I knew I was in a hypocritical organization. The NSD was talking about a woman who made director; however, the females that comprised her group were single moms, welfare recipients, women living in shelters, and, as the NSD quoted, “disgusting”. She went on to say that the director lost most of her team but she re-built it on the right kind of women.

Now I’m thinking, was that really Mary Kay’s original philosophy? I thought Mary Kay said “God didn’t make a nobody, he made a somebody.” And here’s this NSD preaching that we need to recruit women who will do our bidding and make us money. Business smart, yes. Mary Kay’s intentions when she started the company, probably not. That speech alone turned me completely off.  I got my relatives out of the building but not before my director pounced on us, wanting their phone numbers so she could recruit them. I was able to distract her while they made a run for it.

I made the decision not long after that to turn in my product and get a refund. I had been in the company not even a year. Things also had started going downhill with my friend when it came to the recruiter/recruitee situation. Apparently she believed she was my boss. When I mentioned the problem with my director, she informed me that she did not need any negative issues to bring her down.  The next contact concerning me she got was Corporate calling to tell her I was turning in my product. Talk about unneeded stress! (LOL).

She called me at my office in a tizzy and just couldn’t understand why I was quitting. She wanted me to come by her house but I told her I was done. When she saw I wasn’t going to be swayed she sent me an email asking for my list of customers so she could “continue to give them the best possible service!” I had already given my list to a rep in another division.

I returned my product and got back most of what I had originally purchased. I hate to think of the money I spent on clothes to wear to their meetings (no jeans!), marketing and instructional stuff I just had to have, and other Mary Kay paraphernalia. I knew early on that you couldn’t make any money selling the product, you have to recruit, they have to buy product and recruit, and those recruits have to buy product and recruit, etc. I think the company’s lost sight of Mary Kay’s vision (even if it was still a business plan).