Quitting Mary Kay

Hitting Bottom in Mary Kay

Written by A former  Cadillac “future executive senior sales director”

I started MK 4 years ago. To save money on product only. Went to a career breakfast and saw tons of sharp, happy, women who were “making money” and I thought why not. I was totally broke, but called and borrowed my dad’s credit card and started with an emerald star. I was not pushed, or talked into it- I thought I better have it if I want to sell it, and I wanted all the free product I could get.

My director held a debut for me- we sold $800 and I booked 1 class. I sold $545 to the 3 women there and booked a class from that. Sold almost $900 at that class- there were 8 women there. I still have customers from that class.

I went to meetings, brought guests and started to build. I didn’t care about sales, I thought that was icing on the cake- it made sense to me to build a team and get paid when others worked too.

Within 1 year I won my grand am (took the cash) and became a director. I earned the grand prix 1 month after debuting and my cadillac 6 months later. I finished all the director programs; on the write track, fab 50’s, honor society and I was number 2 in my entire director class of 251 directors. So I was on the Dean’s list. I had my name in the applause for my monthly production and my 13% checks. I was flying high and on top of the world.

I didn’t really hold classes- still don’t want or like to. I don’t like NOT knowing who will be there, or the place it’s held. I like to do 1 on 1 facials- and I usually sell a roll up at those. I love our products and I loved that I could be at home, homeschool my kids, talk about my faith and make great money.

I attended DIT- in Dallas… you’ll get a laugh out of this- Robn Blackmon-Dunda was one of the teachers. She was great, funny, and exciting- and she actually invited me and a few other directors to her suite, she had her new and movin up consultants visit- and we talked and inspired them for the evening!

RBD talked about how she and her husband did MK full time together. My husband was in the military, and I just knew that Mary Kay was our answer. He quit his job and we were going to do MK full-time together.

We moved to a new city and began to build our dream home. In addition to a pricey house, I leased my husband his dream car. I thought we had it all, and my office was filled with symbols of our dreams. What you think about you bring about, and it was working for me!

I was in the top ten for Queen’s Court of Recruiting in my seminar area my second year in business! I was on fire!

I quickly had 3 first line offspring directors. My goal was to have my first line commission pay the mortgage on my house. The ultimate goal was to become a national sales director within 3 years and “live the life”. We were well on our way!

Then life happened to my consultants and directors. Two of the directors had life-changing events stepped down from directorship. I had a unit of 150 people, but as things happened in the lives of my consultants, I found my numbers dropping. We were hovering between 30 and 50 and 60 consultants. It was constantly up and down, depending upon how many consultants I got from directors who left the company. The problem was, no one in my unit was really working.

I knew that I needed to personally recruit to build up the unit, so I got out there and got to work. Things didn’t get any better. In fact, we even missed production. That had never happened to me before.

I had to let go of my full-time office assistant. I simply couldn’t afford her $2,000 a month salary anymore. I hired a nanny to watch my kids instead, so that I could work harder.

The problem was that Mary kay was never hard for me before. I don’t want to work that hard! I loved the product and the company, and it was easy to recruit my friends across the country. But once they were recruited and I needed to build more, who would I turn to? I was having some success in recruiting and getting star orders, but they weren’t recruiting anyone new.

I finally hit my bottom in Mary Kay. My husband had to take a full-time job to help support us. We’ve declared bankruptcy because my $8,000 per month checks dwindled to less than $1,000 per month. I had good months now and then (usually at the end of a quarter), but those were not enough to support us. I did’t want to hold facials and classes and keep recruiting. In Mary Kay, you can NEVER stop – you can’t go away on vacation, you can’t have a bad day, it’s a never ending cycle.

I think MK is great for women who work 60-70 hour corporate jobs and want something different. IF they work hard for themselves, they can make this work (no guarantees though) or for women who want to save money on their own products, or women who want to make a little extra.

No longer can I tell people this can be their full-time job and they’ll never end up in financial hardship like me. I’m not SOLD anymore… and when I hear about dishonesty, and I know directors who call and beg for production- I WON”T DO IT! I want everyone to love their journey – and if they want to move up great, if they’re happy where they are, great.

The expenses are killing me, because nothing is coming in. I’m inactive this month- because it’s ridiculous to order when I have $15,000 in inventory. I have that much by choice and I have a solid customer base that buys a lot. But I’m seriously thinking about stepping down from director.

I’m tired of the whining and the not showing when I give my heart and soul to help others…. the problem with the business is as a director you work with people- and they let you down. I can’t guarantee what they will do- only what I will do myself. But I hate to lose all my work and my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line that I still have.


I don’t think MK is perfect- I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world either- I just think women need to know only 2% become directors, the turnover is huge, and you have to WORK HARD and NEVER stop.


  1. If you had an hourly wage or salary job and the pay checks suddenly stopped, you wouldn’t think twice about looking for other employment despite the years and effort you put in.

  2. “I’m tired of the whining and the not showing when I give my heart and soul to help others…. the problem with the business is as a director you work with people- and they let you down.”

    The real problem for the “let down” is, that a number of these recruits entered Mary Kay for reasons other than you did. Mary Kay has people targeting family and friends—people who often have a hard time saying NO. (It’s easy to say no to a stranger, but when your sister, cousin, best friend asks you to help with her business, it’s harder to refuse). Many reps are pressured into joining and their heart isn’t in it. It’s not that they’re lazy or mean to let you down, it’s that MK doesn’t meld well with their lifestyle–ie real job, kids, other responsibilities. It’s lovely to consider the magical thinking that MK spews out. You can dream and make vision boards until your brain is sore, but what you’re seeing right now is reality. Realistically, people can’t quit their steady jobs and have a balanced life selling MK with the effort that it requires to earn a stable living. Your recruits that aren’t coming through for YOU are most likely busy with both family and a steady, reliable job-that isn’t based on how much skin care they sell.

    I’ve watched

  3. Oops–I accidentally sent my reply mid-sentence!

    I’ve watched my friend recruit people who clearly couldn’t afford to be reps. I’ve seen her start them with the $600 kit (that they had to pay for), rather than the $100 one. MK is a dishonest, uncaring business that is based on lies. It seems cult-like the way that people idolize MK and her business model.

    For every MK success story, there seems to be a myriad of failure stories. Even my friend, who was honored at Queen’s Court deceives herself into thinking that she was more successful at MK than what she really was. Her house that is absolutely full of 20 + years worth of unsold product is absolute proof. She purchased her own way into Queen’s Court and I’m sure she;s not the only one.

  4. I never got into recruiting. Refused to. I wasn’t in it to build a team or to be a director. Now, it’s just extra pocket money for gas or eating out. I don’t make enough to even call it income!

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