Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Party On, Sharpe

You have to love those powerful Mary Kay NSD speeches given at Seminar every year, where a timeless and true formula for success is given as the mechanism by which Mary Kay Ash, herself, built this company. There is no old way or new way to take the stairs to the top. There is only one way! The “skin care party”.

It worked in 1963 and it works today. So they say.

These words resonated with me as I got to hear a circulating I-story by NSD Kristin Sharpe. She’s the new Allison. If you believe her, she held 240 parties as an Executive Senior Sales Director, tracking NIQ, to generate the production and recruits to go from 6 first line offspring in January 2015(Leadership Conference) to 25 total by June 2015. Now this was done because the DIQ’s were met at skin care parties, and were trained to hold skin care parties, and so the recruits only learned the one way to recruit which was from skin care parties and the occassional guest event where products were applied first, before the guests were recruited, so it’s kind of like a skin care party.

Three parties a week. The whole thing just rocks at 3 or more parties a week, week in and week out. On paper. And in someone’s mind. Any way you look at it, Kristin still doesn’t get her big money from selling product. No one does. Best case scenario, with 3 parties a week @ $200 average (which is probably overstated, by the way) is $600 a week times 50 weeks a year and you get $30,000 in sales. At 40% profit (maybe) this is a whopping $12,000 made per year from these skin care classes. So review that in your mind a minute. A super producer makes $12,000 a year, maybe.

So something just didn’t add up. According to Kristin Sharpe’s stage speech in 2015, her 1099 says she made $239,000 for 2014 (before expenses). That would have meant that she, as a sales director with less than 6 Offspring made that kind of money from commissions. Oh and we can add her $12,000 profit from personal sales, which would have probably covered some of her expenses as a Director. That’s a wash. (Ya see, parties are really just for finding DIQs.) She was one of those speedy wonders, though. Went on target for her car in month one with 5 recruits and $10,000 production. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we?

So she says, “…at 25 when she started, 8 years ago, her plan of 3 classes a week paid for her 1st home that she bought at 26 years old.” 208 Parties. Okay, I’ll go with she didn’t mean it that way, not “paid” for it, just paid the monthly mortgage for it. Every year she was on the Queens Court of Sharing, so hey, 24 recruits a year @ $600 production minimum gets a nice recruiting check of at least $1,872 for the year. But probably lots more, cause these women were recruited from parties so they probably really did learn to buy product in hopes of selling it.

So, how does a Sales Director with only 4 offspring so far, making it to 6 offspring by year end, make $239,000 in commissions? One big way is through pushing big inventory packages on new recruits. That’s where most of the money is. The other possibility… I wonder if her NSD Mom, Connie Kittson had anything to do with it? I mean, besides cheering her on. When first line sales directors step down (resign or are terminated), their NSDs get to reassign their unit members to any unit they choose. What are the chance mom reassigned all of those to her daughter?

From the Stage, Ms. Sharpe stated that in June she needed 8 DIQs and $100,000 in production to finish. In June. It’s a MIRACLE! Surely, no monkey business here! They were an area of integrity and grace. I remember when our area finished and it was rumored that those last DIQs got their Units stuffed with recruits they didn’t even know and production from who knows where! Nobody ever talks about this so forget I mentioned it. I’m sure they all just partied and passed it on till every last recruit signed up and placed a order for a full store!

Well, it was nice to hear that it all still works the same as it did in 1963. It’s just so funny how it doesn’t really happen that way for 99.99% of the sales force. They have to be doing something wrong. (One wrong thing might be, not being related to a national!) It always feels like so many important facts are missing in these riveting tales of success. Like when you try and duplicate it. And you can’t get three classes to hold for even one week, never mind, every week for a year.

Maybe you have to be partying with something else to believe these scenarios.

Party on, Sharpe!


    1. onelessSD

      Done Girl… do you know this for fact? I think it’s safe to assume that there were SD’s ‘created’ to make the national area happen… but do you have names? I’m not suggesting to this there here… but to send to the moderator for verification? I’m sure there was fall out, etc… it happens to every national area… but I’m interested in the fall out #’s… can you supply those?

      Kristen Sharpe has been touted as being an ‘upright’ person… (obviously we all know that can’t be the case for one to make it to the highest position)… so if anyone has statistics on her.. it would be very interesting to see them. 🙂

      1. BestDecision

        She’s notorious in the Atlanta area for being full of hype, herself, and in the midst of recruiting disputes. No one wants to work with her.

        1. onelessSD

          BestDecision.. I totally believe you. When I was a SD… Kristen was working with John Maxwell.. and she came with her Mom to Washington to speak at a fall retreat that I was at… so sugary sweet and over the top positive…. but that was my only interaction with her… so I often wondered how she was on a regular basis. How many offspring does she have now?

          1. BestDecision

            http://www.yesunit.com has been password protected (surprise!), so it’s hard to say an exact number right now. All I know is that people think she’s fake, will recruit from underneath others, and likes to act like she’s a celebrity. I actually don’t doubt that she did all the work she talks about to make it to NSD, but I question her ethics. Her schedule used to be posted on her site, and it was clear she worked 7 days a week.

            What we all need to take away from her example is that it does take A LOT OF WORK to make it to NSD, but then you’ve no guarantees once you’re there (new qualifications). In the past, you could work that hard and then relax knowing that your title and trips weren’t threatened in any way. Now, these new NSDs can never get off the hamster wheel.

            There lies the issue I have with MKI. It truly isn’t “God first, family second…” anymore. You have to work much harder now to keep so little.

    2. Stella

      I don’t think that’s true. I don’t know either way. But sounds a bit unlikely. If it were true, it would be all over this website. Oh wait, that’s right. No need to create new content. Well I’ve got to go, I’m going to go read my cosmopolitan, November 2003 edition.

    1. Honeybeige

      I thought that when a SD steps down, the SSD gets her unit. Anyway – where in the world did she get 240 hostesses (assuming no duplicates) and nearly 1000 attendees at parties? If the odds are 1 in 10, that means she stalked 2400 women? The numbers are a little unreal.

      1. MLM Radar

        No one said SHE got the hostesses. More likely she got her underlings to schedule the parties, then she crashed them, took credit, and recruited the guests.

  1. SuzyQ

    In the olden days I used to ask people who asked me to host a party for anything to just let me have the catalog. Now, I don’t even do that. Warm sales markets cool so quickly, maybe peeps are finally figuring this out.

  2. Kathleen Sullivan

    My Mary Kay Story by Kathy in Connecticut
    The Park Plaza Hotel was full that night, it was a Tuesday, it was a requirement that you had to wear a dress, and be in full make up regalia. I had to pay S3.00 to get into the meeting, even though I was brought as a guest. There were 150 women in the room, it was very loud in the hotel, EST was meeting on the same floor, and it seemed all the ESTies knew the Mary Kay Directors pretty darn well, EST was not the only foray that Mary Kay was familiar with, they were also big on Silva Mind Control. In retrospect it’s understandable because the back drop, and the persona of a Mary Kay person is completely out to lunch. This was 1980, I had beautiful skin, I owe the ruination of my beautiful skin to ingredients I could not to begin to pronounce. Back to the meeting I had four used car salesmen on my case, there were eight in the room, I mean directors hounding me to join, and they were telling me my extended family, and friends would be my customers, I said great, I have a mom, and a disabled sister, and virtually no other relatives, my friends were all broke, and no one could afford the luxury of the hard sell. I needed a minimum $1200. order I didn’t join that night, but I joined a year later with a friend, Mary Kay backed some bank to send me a $3000. credit line with no credit. Then they told me about a bank that would give me another card for even more money. Before you knew it I I put in my order and two weeks later the complete eye formula was changed, I had to sell all my stock at a flea market to get my money back from $500. worth of eye shadows. A month after that they came out with a new kit and that was $100. by the end of 1988 I was in debt of $18,000, and I sent everything back so I could get 45% of $18,000 back, and it took me till 1993 working three jobs to pay it back, but I loved sending the product back, it was a slow seller, everyone I knew had ten grand or more invested in product. my director had at least 30k in product at a time, and a bunch of cheesy looking diamond rings bought at wholesale for seminar, where she went every year and brought home a new ring, each worse than the last, she did over 150k to drive a leased pink car, and get a few baubles. She worked full time as a teacher, and I will bet you most of her salary went to MKC. I have witnessed many stories like mine, Mary Kay Cosmetics did not empower women, if anything it made them poorer. I long for the day that Direct sales, and network marketing need to stick to truth in advertising, there needs to be rules to make all these companies accountable.

    1. TRACY

      The Kaybots will say this is an aberration. That YOU did this to yourself. That no one held a gun to your head and made you spend money. That you didn’t do it right.

      FALSE. This is the RULE, not the exception. This happens over and over, on varying scales. From the woman who spent a couple hundred bucks on products (and couldn’t afford that much!) to the woman who spent thousands. Both were following the direction they were given… to “invest” in their “business” and they would profit. Lies. Almost no one profits.

  3. Stella

    Do I believe she held that many parties? Yes. Actually, I’m sure she held more like 5-6 parties a week. Whether they were her own parties or her recruits parties, who knows. You cannot give your unit to whoever you want to now when you are a NSD. Used to be that way, but, not now. As for the income claim: I would have to sit down with a calculator and a calendar because her 1099 would be for January to December. Seminar year is July to June. She could have made the $230k, it depends on the star bonuses, the recruiting bonuses, plus top trip and car etc etc. My director makes about $11,000 a month pre tax and the whole shebang, on a low month. Her high months fall around $16,000. She has alot of offsprings (alot as in 8-10) so the offsprings do add up. She never boasts about her $$$$ though. That’s just what I see in applause every month. Anyway. Post some current stuff, and you guys might get somewhere. This article is from 2016.

    1. Melanie

      “My director makes about $11,000 a month pre tax and the whole shebang, on a low month.”

      Have you seen the checks? Have you seen her tax return? If you haven’t, you don’t know this for sure. I worked with small business clients of all stripes for many years. Some of the ones that were outwardly perceived as being extremely successful were, in fact, skating close to the edge of bankruptcy all the time. It’s no different in MLM. Without seeing financials, you have no idea what is going on behind the scenes?

      “Post some current stuff, and you guys might get somewhere. This article is from 2016.”

      Right. Because information that is, max, a year and some months old is so out of date? LOL. Get real, my friend, get real. You don’t know what you’re speaking on. You’re all over this site talking out of your rear end. If Mary Kay works for you so well, you wouldn’t be here spending so much time disputing. I feel for you, sweetie. We’ll look for you back here when you wake up and want to get real.

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