Bankrupted by Mary Kay

mary-kay-bankruptcyWritten by Francine

I was a Mary Kay consultant for two years and it financially devastated our family. We literally declared bankruptcy and I humbly and ashamedly want to express that we NEVER, not in ten million years, thought we would ever be in that position.

Although it is embarrassing and although I am ashamed to write this I feel that it needs to be written so please do not judge me when you read the next sentence because I fully take all responsibility for my own stupidity and my own recklessness in listening to and following the cult of Mary Kay.

When I stated that I never thought we would ever have to declare bankruptcy it is because my husband and I were 29 years old and had $170,000 in cash savings. We were on our way to living that elusive American Dream and we were doing it well. To be honest, a lot, but certainly not all of that money went to Mary Kay. When I was diagnosed with a very severe case of rheumatoid arthritis when I was 26 I found I was unable to continue working as a pharmacist due to the long hours on my feet and the sheer stress of the industry (being a pharmacist seems mundane and easy but in reality it is an incredibly stressful career that made me question my own ethics at times).

I had been purchasing Mary Kay from a friend for years and when she found out that I was unable to work as a pharmacist she recruited me. Looking back, I realize that she was probably quite delighted when she saw a nearly disabled and extremely depressed new prospective recruit and that thought alone makes me literally, I mean literally, dry heave. The Mary Kay tactics are at best unethical and at truth demonic.

However, at the time that I was recruited, I was simply in a state of severe depression and was open to anything that would allow me to feel that I was contributing to my household in some way. I needed a purpose and unfortunately my recruiter saw MY vulnerability as HER opportunity and I, in my stupor, was initially very excited about becoming a Mary Kay representative.

I feel it is important to share that I did in fact ask all of the hard questions because it all seemed way too good to be true. My mistake was that I listened to the nonsense that was provided to me as the “answers” (now I realize this was all scripted dialogue) to my questions, and, as idiotic as it sounds and as foolish as it may seem, I believed her answers.

Skip to one year later and although I made a few sales, I ultimately fell for the “profit-level” scheme and routinely ordered way too much inventory in the sadly mistaken and foolish assumption that I would first be able to actually sell this crap and that I would secondly be handsomely rewarded for my sales. I was rewarded for my sales in the form of worthless merchandise and fake jewelry. Oh, gosh I forgot to mention the fabulous plastic “designer bag” and the 25 plus Mary Kay pins that I received and was simply far too embarrassed to ever wear.

Finally something had to give and the day after my mother passed away I was informed that I should seminar. I finally broke. Please understand that by broke I mean that I almost broke my NSD’s legs. I am not an unintelligent female and I hold a doctorate so I know from my own personal experience that Mary Kay can bamboozle anyone. Wealthy, poor, attractive, intelligent, mediocre, average, fabulous, smart, dumb, ANYONE.

Although I take full responsibility for my own stupidity and my own reckless spending on these worthless products, I cannot help but realize and understand that I did just as many people do. I was drawn into the pink haze as others are drawn into religious cults, unaware they are being manipulated despite their own intelligence and reason. It is no different than Jonestown or the Branch Davidians. I (and many others) was promised friendship, wealth, camaraderie, and support but received only ruination of my finances, relationships, self-sufficiency, and, most tragically, my happiness.

If this company were to really think about their methodology and if the big wigs were to look into a “soul mirror” or maybe even just stop and breathe and decide to be honest about this catastrophe they purport to be a legitimate company, I know in my soul that they would be ashamed and horrified by what they simply MUST know they are doing to ruin women’s lives and ruin entire families. If they are in fact actual human beings I cannot help but think that they must feel some shame and some hatred for their deeds. They must know that Mary Kay is a dangerous pyramid scheme .

What is so tragic about the Bloody Mary scheme is that I fear it will continue to trump any other pyramid scheme in the history of this world by continuing on with their saccharin chatter and their “assurance” that there exists “no risk in just trying it out for awhile”.

I hope that anyone who may stumble across this post will take it as a cautionary tale and if I can prevent one other person from falling into the hell that is Mary Kay cosmetics then my life will not have been in vain. As intense and as dramatic as that sentence may seem it is my simple truth and I mean every word of it.

6 Comments

  1. Burnnurse

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s disheartening to realize the lies and deception in Mary Kay and important to warn others of the trap. I fell for it too and am embarrassed and ashamed I trusted what the director told me. My gut said no, but I did not listen. Thanks again for sharing your story.

    1. BestDecision

      You’re not alone. I devoted over 10 years of my life to MK from the products to unit meetings at night to countless workshops and self-help books that someone had said changed their business forever. I fell for it. It’s embrasssing, and I won’t divulge to anyone that I was even a Consultant for MK because I’m ashamed of the time I lost, the career I gave up, the time I forfeited with my family, and the power to speak only the truth about my commission checks, how I felt about MK, and how I really felt on any given day.

  2. Char

    “Although it is embarrassing and although I am ashamed to write this I feel that it needs to be written so please do not judge me…”

    The thing about “scams”, it is their sole purpose to deceive you. Otherwise, they would just rob you of your money at gunpoint etc..

    Yes it sucks that scams are not immediately recognizable, or that a person is persuaded to disregard the warnings. The best we can do is keep spreading the word and exposing them. So thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it has helped save someone from Mary Kay.

    P.S. I think it’s hard to judge someone who has actually learned a valuable, and expensive lesson; and especially hard to judge someone who tries to help others from making the same mistake. 🙂

    P.S.S. Hopefully “ALL” readers realize that PinkTruth is here to make recognizing the Mary Kay scam easier. Free of charge with no investment necessary, of course.

  3. ihatemk

    You were approached about this “wonderful” opportunity at a time in your life when you needed something to fill the void and to feel productive. You were manipulated and lied to. There is no way you are stupid if your former vocation was a pharmacist. I am sad this happened to you and hope that others here will heed your story. Mary Kay is a pink vortex that just tries to suck people in and some believe what is told, the lies, the half truths, the no truths, you will sell it next month, streeeeeetch to make production, blah blah blah. I am sorry that your hard earned money went to this bs and I hope that you are doing better w/the RA. Prayers and hugs and may things improve for you.

  4. Lazy Gardens

    “If this company were to really think about their methodology and if the big wigs were to look into a “soul mirror” or maybe even just stop and breathe and decide to be honest about this catastrophe they purport to be a legitimate company, I know in my soul that they would be ashamed and horrified by what they simply MUST know they are doing to ruin women’s lives and ruin entire families.”

    They know and they don’t care. They are making money and they don’t care how they get it.

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