Pink Truth Hater Hotline

This week’s official release of Harper’s Magazine story “The Pink Pyramid Scheme: How Mary Kay Cosmetics Preys on Desperate Housewives,” along with the NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook episode entitled Investigating Mary Kay has brought out the haters.

I generally don’t allow Pink Truth haters and trolls to comment here. The reason is simple: Mary Kay doesn’t allow alternative (“negative”) viewpoints on its site or FaceBook page, so we don’t allow opposing viewpoints on Pink Truth. When Mary Kay changes their policy, we will consider changing ours. Those who want to bash Pink Truth and its mission have plenty of “positive Mary Kay” sites on which they can share their opinion, so we don’t need to give them a platform here.

Nonetheless, I have been amused by some of the comments here and on other sites, so I am going to share a few with you.

First and foremost, we must review the fine comments of one Pamela Waldrop Shaw. These comments were made on the page featuring a podcast of the Investigating Mary Kay radio segment. The commenter holding herself out as Pam Shaw, top-ranking national sales director with Mary Kay, posted the following:

I was most disappointed to hear about the broadcast yesterday where you gave voice to such false and misleading information regarding Mary Kay Inc.  I grew up on your station as my parents are lifetime, money donating patrons.  You might want to do a little research before you slander and falsely accuse any company where many people would be affected by the tone and accuracy or lack thereof your broadcast.

The terms “Multi-level and Pyramid” don’t even apply to Mary Kay.  We are a part of the Direct Selling Industry, but we have a duel-marketing plan.  (Do your research.  The differences are vast).  The impressive awards and recognition for the fairness of our marketing plan has a long list of qualified endorsements as we enter our 50th year in 2013.

Women who open their Independent business with Mary Kay have the OPTION of starting with just their Starter Kit for @ $100 + tax (valued at over $350 with full size product + sales aids) or they can add inventory from $200 wholesale up to fit their business goals.  You wouldn’t shop at a grocery or department store who had nothing to purchase right then and there, so in the interest of great customer service, many of our Sales Force DO CHOOSE to start with and carry inventory so as to provide superb customer service.

The Company offers a 90% repurchase for Consultants who choose to terminate their relationship and SELL back their inventory.  This product the company crushes and absorbs the loss.  NO other business risk provides that safety net of support.

Mary Kay the marketing plan, the product and the opportunity ‘work’.  Sadly, there are those who ‘blame’ their lack of results on ANYTHING other than the fact they didn’t show up for education, remain accountable with their Sales Director for quality coaching, gave hap-hazard efforts or simply never went to work.

I’m a former High School English and Dance teacher.  Since I left, does that give me a voice to slam all public education?  Do you know other professionals who have left jobs or shut down small/large businesses?  Does that mean the Company was rotten?  I have a 26 year tenure with this amazing Company.

As a widow of 5 years, the success from Mary Kay has provided my family with great flexibility to grieve and parent;  to put my Faith first,  my Family second and my Career third;  to stay in our home.  The generous commissions available, bonuses, the sale of the product (buy it for $1 and sell it for $2), the women-helping-women philosophies have been a blessing beyond description.

That you would give air time to disgruntled people with short tenure, low knowledge and little experience;  that you would assume ‘their’ representation of our Company is valid–is VERY unprofessional of you and very disappointing to me.  I look forward to a public apology.

Sincerely,Pamela Waldrop Shaw
Sr. National Sales Director, MKI

I can’t prove whether this was truly written by Pam Shaw, but my instincts say that it was. I find it interesting that she makes a blanket statement that “false and misleading information” was presented about Mary Kay, but fails to specify even ONE fact that was presented falsely.

The truth is that Virginia Sole-Smith was right on point with everything she said. I could not have done a better job than she did on the radio program. Major kudos go out to her for all of her efforts to expose the dark side of Mary Kay.

What does Virginia have to gain by painting a false picture of Mary Kay? She was hired to do an investigative piece, and she did exactly that. I doubt that her pay was dependent on a particular outcome or point of view. In spite of her dim view of Mary Kay that was the result of her personal experience in researching this story, she treated MK Inc. very fairly in her piece.

On the other hand. Ms. Pamela Shaw – – former high school English teacher with atrocious grammar – – has a vested interest in painting Mary Kay in a positive light. Her income depends on it. From July 1, 2011 through April 30, 2102, Ms. Shaw was paid over $242,000 in commissions by Mary Kay . That’s more than $24,000 per month commission income (prior to the payment of any business expenses.) I estimate that beauty consultants had to purchase more than $4 million of products at wholesale prices during those 10 months in order for Shaw to be paid that money. (And when you consider that there are 40,000 to 50,000 Mary Kay items being auctioned on eBay at any given time, you can bet that little of that $4 million in products actually was sold to retail customers.)

From an anonymous male:

Ive got an idea…You all stop blaming the loss of money on MK and get off your butt and work it for 8 hours a day like a normal job and see what happens. Im a guy that was forwarded this email because someone thought i would agree with if but the fact of the matter is that its not a get rich quick scam and it does take a lot of work. If your not a people person or good in front of crowds or salesie then what would make you think this is for you? I know quite a bit about the company and here is my experience from the past 10 years. I have never seen any woman work the company as intended any not sussed. I would suggest that you stop picking on the women that are more motivated than you.

From Mary Kay sales director Karla Reno, formerly known as Karla Sides, who thought she was posting anonymously. Karla is an old “friend” of Pink Truth, and is a typical Mary Kay failure. She was an Executive Senior sales director in 2005, but has been demoted all the way down to Senior sales director.

Tracy– you’re stil a loser asshole and I’m still making money in Mk after 20 years! Yay!

What’s the Pink Truth about Karla Reno? She hasn’t been listed in Applause magazine in the last six years, and she works two jobs in addition to Mary Kay. AND Karla shills for another multi-level marketing company in addition to Mary Kay. Sounds like her bee-lief and success are both a little lacking.

Kelly Walston wants us to know:

Are you kidding? Are you really so incensed that you would need to put some money into a business to make money. $3K is really not a lot to invest in a business. I did and sold 1800 my first month. Also, the company will buy back your inventory at 90% if you change your mind. So what’s your beef? If there was no retail market for the product, the consultants would be returning their inventory in the following months and these NSD’s would implode. That doesn’t happen because YES, there is a market for skin care and cosmetics and YES Mary Kay is a fantastic product!

Sorry Kelly, but that’s not exactly how it works. There is tremendous pressure to NOT return products, along with misinformation about the return process, which means a very small number of women ever return their things. And Mary Kay is not a business.

Barbara Ritchey tells us:

If you were any sort of a truthful person or group you’d put your real names. You are all bitter people who were too lazy to make it work. QUIT POLLUTING THE WEB WITH YOUR NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA.

From the alleged child of a Mary Kay nsd:

You wanna know why the success rate for Mary Kay isn’t so high? It’s because although this company is about making your own personal business, it’s mainly about building leaders while building youre own character. People think they can become rich just by selling products themselves when really its about building a team.

My mom is an NSD and she started out where everyone else does. She came into the country not knowing the English language, she was as shy as it gets. But she didn’t succeed by doing it herself, she made it by developing 10 first line she can trust and as time went by she developed into one of the best leaders this company has. Not only that but she thanks them every chance she gets and always assures everyone that she would not be In The position she is if it weren’t for her people.

Bottom line is, yes the company tells you that it is YOUR business but you will also get no where if u try to do it alone without building anyone else up. That’s the problem with the 90 percent of you that go on here to blow off steam after failing.

I guess we have been told off!!!

40 Comments

  1. AesSedai

    “People think they can become rich just by selling products themselves when really its about building a team.”

    There you have it folks. Straight from the mouth of a child of a woman at the top. This business is not about the product, it is about the recruiting. There isn’t much money to be made selling the product. The only money is in recruiting.

  2. Havurah

    The problem I saw from the broadcast is that the words customer and end user got confused so that Soles-Smith never was able to fully define the issue of just who ends up with all of the purchased product.

    The customer is the Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and there is no end user because the company claims not to track the sales of the consultants. Therefore the customer and the end user are the same, that is the Beauty Consultant herself. I also found the show host himself to be complicit in creating this confusion either by over intent to be fair or his own biases.

    I have always maintained that people cannot be saved from themselves. There is always someone who believes she can attain something for nothing and that maxim is as old as time. Mary Kay is dependent upon this dependable condition of human nature.

    I did not fully read the article because I do not subscribe to Harper’s and did not have a link for the full story. Nowhere in the broadcast was there any discussion of religion and the coercive tactics of recruiting through religious guilt and regret. There is no understanding of MLM and their self denying organizations without the religious elements as a pressure tactic to sign up for a so called business.

    Also lacking was the recruiting protocol with the DISC manipulations and the pressure to commit. Soles-Smith touched on that briefly but then the subject was changed. I don’t think the host gave her enough time to expand on her thesis.

    Always more of the same and the shmegeggees above keep the Pink Truthers in business. And so it will always bee…lol.

    1. Scrib

      Don’t worry, Havurah; I wouldn’t expect Virginia to be able to cover ALL aspects of the business in a few interviews, but she gave an awesome breakdown of the bare-bottom basics; that makes for a splendid running start. She’s already proven that all MK Corporate can do when confronted with their own garbage is recite empty apologies, carefully-memorized trivia, and a token “It’s not for everyone.” Gee, where have we see THAT behavior before?

      There will be more than enough time for the deeper aspects of MK to be revealed; the husband-disrespect, the scripture-twisting, the use of God as a bargaining chip, and so much more. The rabbit hole does indeed go deeper. 🙂

      1. Windy_City_Gal

        Scribbler – I agree with all you said. I am so excited about the Harpers article and all the repercussions. The fellow from MK [sorry, forgot his name] did trot out all the retoric. It was interesting how much he, representing corp, distanced himself from the ibc. Such a mixed message of “we are there for you, but you are on your own”. Truly, that is what I experienced. They are there for you when you are succeeding, but you are own your own when you are not. I am so glad I am OUT!

        PS – Scrib, I am one of your fans.

  3. Scrib

    “I can’t prove whether this was truly written by Pam Shaw, but my instincts say that it was.”

    I’m pretty confident we were blessed by the mighty NSD Pam Shaw. After I posted a handful of posts on the NPR site that quoted her frontloading teachings back to her and proved to all that she regularly pushes $3600 inventory packages onto new consultants, the “New Consultant” and “Education” sections of her website suddenly became password-protected.

    I’d visited those two sections of Shaw’s site not more than a week ago and at that time, accessing both sections required NO password. It appears to me that someone has more than a few things to hide.

  4. Kinzie

    “Tracy– you’re stil a loser asshole and I’m still making money in Mk after 20 years! Yay!|”

    –Very professional!

    ” $3K is really not a lot to invest in a business. I did and sold 1800 my first month”

    –Big whoop. That comes out to $11.25 and hour before taxes and the millions of people who make that much at real jobs don’t have to invest anything upfront. You are so deluded.

    1. Scrib

      You know how it’s often touted in recruiting interviews that Mary Kay is the best self-improvement course out there? I’m seeing that long-term exposure to Mary Kay – like asbestos or artificial sweetener – tends to jack with one’s brain cells big time.

      Look at NSD Shaw; 26 years in and we’ve seen her display a severe sense of self-entitlement, a control streak that would make Jezebel look like Mother Teresa, pompousness, and dishonesty. And that’s just for starters.

      There’s been interesting dialogue on Virgina Sole-Smith’s FB page with an SSD Cynthia Ruccia, who’s been in Mary Kay for 28 years. Recently Ruccia was called out on her claims that she made a six-figure income. Ruccia wasn’t featured in Applause and hadn’t been for quite some time, and when this fact was pointed out to her, the folks over there got a healthy dose of her Go-Give spirit in the form of profuse name-calling.

      SSD Karla Reno has 20 years in the business, but apparently, she stoops to calling anyone who doesn’t buy into her MK income claims an “a$$hole.”

      Sure, some women in MK may have gained confidence and lost shyness as a result of constantly having to stalk people in Target, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart, but it’s clear by these three examples that Mary Kay plays a tremendous role in helping to birth, nurture, and reward NEGATIVE characteristics, too. Consultants, beware!

    2. MLM Radar Detector

      ” $3K is really not a lot to invest in a business. I did and sold 1800 my first month” [she probably means $900 wholesale]
      –Big whoop. That comes out to $11.25 and hour before taxes ”

      Of course, there is the little issue of the other $2100 wholesale she DIDN’T sell. I wonder how long she was stuck with that….

      You can’t call it a Profit until you’ve covered your expenses. I’d say she LOST $13 an hour the first month, before counting credit card interest and the rest of her expenses.

    3. Pete

      Kinzie

      Tipical MLMer, someone like Tracy exposes you and MK and you get on the DEFENSIVE. By using cuss words to express yourself really shows how ignorant you people are.

      By the way, be careful,, the MK God may not be fond of your choice of words.

      1. Scrib

        Pete, Kinzie wasn’t directing ire towards Tracy; she was quoting SSD Karla Reno’s kind words as mentioned in the above article.

        No harm, no foul; just mentally swap “Kinzie” for “Karla” and you’re good. 🙂

  5. raisinberry

    ” Too lazy to make it work”. Laugh out Loud.

    Once you start up the career path, Mary Kay becomes your entire world. EVERY waking minute. Every woman becomes a target. Every event, occasion, a mini recruiting or booking activity. If your top 2%, your DIRECTORS, are on this site warning that the “system” is at cross purposes to your success, where would you get the notion that the problem is “laziness”? Are you outside your mind?

    “Success” (loosely interpreted) in Mary Kay is nothing more than a Recruiting Crap Shoot. WHO did you find, who did you recruit, who had credit worthiness, who was needy enough to stay loyal, who was wounded enough to blindly follow, who was starved for attention enough to do whatever it takes.

    There ya go…your recipe for success. Now tell me again about that work ethic that’s getting you all that pink cash?

  6. gotheart

    By golly, finally, some one on the mk side speaks the truth of what is really going on!

    “…always assures everyone that she would not be In The position she is if it weren’t for her people.”

    Couldn’t of said it better myself!

  7. Deflated Pink Bubble

    I am so glad I am out of this mess. Yes, I lost a considerable amount of money and had I stayed with it I probably could have sold that inventory off eventually but just to be out is nice. I’ll take the loss I took by selling it to a liquidator and smile. It’s been 2 years now since I defogged myself and life is good.

    It does pain me that so many are still in so deep. I talked to someone today who has been deep into Mary Kay for many years, she has a ton of product and is heading off to Seminar. I asked her what kind of spin Mary Kay was putting on the bad press they have received in the past few weeks. She knew nothing of it. I offered to give her the links so she could read for herself. She wasn’t interested. It’s a new quarter and I am positive she will be placing another star order…. poor kid.

  8. job4me2

    It’s amazing to me how some people go through life not wanting to hear anything opposite to their beliefs. How could someone not want all information available? Isn’t that how we make informed decisions? Yet, something tells me that people that push information away do because they know they’ll hear things they don’t want to know. It’s “safer” to put those blinders on an stay in a comfort zone than to know the truth. I’d suggest sending her the links anyway, Deflated Pink Bubble, but we know the brainwashed would just delete them without reading anyway.

    And for those who aren’t afraid of the truth, ask yourself what kind of company has a business model that depends on loading up their “sales” force with products that they know (and don’t care) won’t ever be sold to real customers. If Mary Kay, or any MLM for that matter, really thought those products were worth their “retail” price, they’d want a piece of that pie. And don’t tell me how altruistic Mary Kay is. This is a company that charges back commissions to their sales force. They are in a win/win situation that has the directors and consultants taking all the hits.

  9. MLM Radar Detector

    The Company offers a 90% repurchase for Consultants who choose to terminate their relationship and SELL back their inventory. This product the company crushes and absorbs the loss.”

    The company crushes returned products?

    Raise your hand if you ever received an order that had another consultant’s label stuck on one of the items.

  10. Dazzling Diva Dana

    Having traded posts and emails with Vincent Ortega Jr. (NSD Gillian Ortega’s MLM loving son, I am CERTAIN that HE is the author of that last statement above. Her I-story goes that she came to the US from Ireland to Nanny and didn’t know our language… and was shy, etc. His on-line tools businesses have ALWAYS been aimed at his mommy’s friends, so he’s on top of ANY of us criticizing his dear mommy.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      Her I-story goes that she came to the US from Ireland to Nanny and didn’t know our language… and was shy, etc.

      Odd, I thought the Irish schools taught English as well as Gaelic.

      1. Mi Ki

        English is the principal language of Ireland, the predominant first language among its inhabitants. A fair number speak Irish also, then you’ve got some who speak Scots Gaelic etc. Watch an RTE broadcast on YouTube and hear crystalline English with a delightful spin…

        So either someone is betting that Americans are completely clueless about Ireland and no one will bother to pose a challenge, or the person in question came from a family who first immigrated to Ireland from somewhere else.

  11. skeptigal

    quoting Raisinberry: “Success” (loosely interpreted) in Mary Kay is nothing more than a Recruiting Crap Shoot. WHO did you find, who did you recruit, who had credit worthiness, who was needy enough to stay loyal, who was wounded enough to blindly follow, who was starved for attention enough to do whatever it takes.”

    YES! That is how it works, and why it is often vulnerable women who get sucked into the MK abyss.

  12. Scrib

    “Mary Kay sales director Karla Reno…was an Executive Senior sales director in 2005, but has been demoted all the way down to Senior sales director.”

    What a depressing track record this woman has. To have worked for a recruiting racket for over two decades and stalled out at Senior Sales Director is…well, depressing. If women really were leaping for the MK product and opportunity, wouldn’t Reno be at the top of the food chain by now? Is she just not working hard enough, is God not her business partner, or what?

    Reno’s consultant profile says “I am a lifer in MaryKay so you will always have me….I won’t leave you.”

    “A lifer in Mary Kay?” Ugh. Way to lay a curse on yourself.

    1. MK Taints the Color Pink

      She’s a lifer in MK because she won’t have any savings for retirement. She will have to push product amd “opportunity” until her last breath.

  13. A Reader

    All Mary Kay wants is to make money off of people they could care less how it effects people and there families I knew a woman who put it before her family at all costs and she is slowly losing all her family because of it IT RUINS LIVES and honestly there is nothing godly about mary kay its about making money,lying and manipulation which are all instruments of evil if your dissing this page you are brain washed by this godforsaken company Mary Kay is a cult in my eyes and if your in it you better get out as quickly as possible in less you want to lose everyone and everything in your life Ive seen what mary kay does to people and its not good at all

  14. Scrib

    UPDATE regarding one SSD Karla Reno, per this post:

    “Mary Kay sales director Karla Reno…was an Executive Senior Sales Director in 2005, but has been demoted all the way down to Senior Sales Director.”

    “What a depressing track record [Karla Reno] has. To have worked for a recruiting racket for over two decades and stalled out at Senior Sales Director is…well, depressing. If women really were leaping for the MK product and opportunity, wouldn’t Reno be at the top of the food chain by now? Is she just not working hard enough, is God not her business partner, or what?”

    A quick check of Reno’s status in MK reveals that she has been demoted to Sales Director. That is quite the far fall from the position of Executive Senior Sales Director, a whopping three positions up the MK food chain. Ow.

    In short, I feel Reno’s claim of “I’m still making money in MK after 20 years! Yay!” would be more accurate if we wedged the word “less” between “making” and “money.”

    1. Monique

      I find it awesome that 4 of her (Karla Reno) offspring directors wised up about MK and either quit or went back to being consultants………..personally I hope they quit!!!

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