Pink Truth in the Springfield News Sun

This newspaper article was in the Springfield News Sun in June 2007. I love the mention of Pink Truth, along with the web address. This is cool!


It pays to be in the beauty business
Local woman finds her way through Mary Kay
By Elaine Morris Roberts
Sunday, June 03, 2007


For 38 years retired teacher Pam Stevens molded young minds.


Now the Springfield resident focuses her time on the business of beauty as a Mary Kay sales representative, which has proven to be a good second career. And the pay isn't bad, either.


While Stevens, an independent sale director, doesn't drive a Cadillac, she does sport a Pontiac Grand Prix, thanks to her 5-year-old business and the 75 consultants she manages.


As a director, Stevens earns income from her own direct sales and receives a commission from the sales of each consultant working under her.


"I came to Mary Kay at the right time in my life," she said. I enjoy meeting people and making them feel good about themselves. This just works for me."


Mary Kay Cosmetics, with headquarters in Dallas, was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash. She had a background in direct sales and a desire to establish a direct-sales business that would provide opportunities to women and product lines women were comfortable selling.


The company's independent sales consultants number more than 1.7 million and operate in more than 30 markets worldwide.


Columbus resident Marla Morris, who now works under Stevens, began using the products in 1979. A high school Spanish teacher for 21 years, Morris decided four years ago that it made more sense to become a sales consultant and offer the products directly to her family and friends.


She said she has learned how to be an effective small business owner (all consultants are considered self-employed) and has gained respect for the company as a whole.


"The company is wonderful," she said. "They treat their employees well and … are also governed by the Golden Rule … Not many companies teach their employees to treat each other as well as they wish to be treated."


Mixed in with the success stories are negative experiences, too. Not every woman who chooses to join Mary Kay's pink brigade has found success.


The Web site, established by Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant and former sales consultant, offers opinions and experiences from women who have been members of the sales force and opted out.


On the site, Coenen listed her major concerns about what she believes is a multi-level marketing operation. "Incomplete information given during the recruiting process, unsubstantiated earnings claims, and pushing large quantities of inventory on new recruits" round out her list.


Willa Eichelman, a division chief with the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Enon resident, has heard the claims, but feels every woman involved can make her own decision. Working as a sales consultant under Stevens for the past year, Eichelman said she did not feel forced to take on a large inventory she could not afford.


She decided to carry an inventory so she could fill customer orders immediately. "It's a personal business decision. It was suggested to me when I started, but not required," she said.


Eichelman said she does have to invest a small portion of her earnings back into marketing items such as product samples, brochures and a Web site. "The company provides these materials and resources very reasonably," she said.


"The only prerequisite is that you enjoy the company of other women," Eichelman said.