Model and social media personality Natalia Taylor has done a video on her experience with Mary Kay. It wasn’t good.
The short version is that she was a broke college student who attended a Mary Kay party. She ended up signing up because she wanted to make money. And she left MK with $10,000 of credit card debt. The money, the cars, the vacations, the prizes… it’s all nonsense to get you to sign up and spend money on an inventory package. (But we already knew this.)
Natalia says about MK: “It’s just a ploy to recruit people and send them into debt while people at the top get even richer.”
Naturally, during the recruiting process Jo gave Natalia the whole spiel about how she’d be perfect for Mary Kay and it was so easy. She told her she was on the road to being a “Mary Kay millionaire.”
Natalia includes clips from the 20/20 story that was done on MK in 2015. (This was the story that got started because of Pink Truth. A producer contacted me and wanted to do a huge story, blowing the lid off Mary Kay. ABC flew a group of us to New York City to film. They put us up in a nice hotel in SOHO. Paid for our meals. Filmed for an entire day. They were going to do a 2 hour episode on what a scam MK is! And then it became a 1 hour episode. And then it became one 20 minute segment. And then it actually ended up being a segment that had equal time devoted to the “good” side of Mary Kay. Seems as if the Mary Kay legal department is awfully good at arm twisting! But I digress.)
New recruit Natalia felt great. She felt like a business owner. She was excited and started going to weekly meetings. And then the red flags started.
Red flag #1 – She had to pay to go to the weekly meeting.
Red flag #2 – It’s not a $100 opportunity. They started twisting her arm to buy inventory. They wanted her to spend $2,000 and she was an 18-year-old without money. So what did they do? They convinced her to get the Mary Kay credit card. But where did the “spend $100 and start making money” opportunity go???? She got the credit card and put $2,000 of inventory on it. Now Natalia is motivated to sell because she’s in debt to the tune of $2,000.
She started to sell but wasn’t making much. She was trying to earn a “free” car. But to earn that you have to have orders from team members at a certain level. Natalia was on target for the car and met the goals for two months. But in the third month it looked like she wasn’t going to make production so she talked to her director.
And director Jo told here there was another way… Purchase all the products yourself with your Mary Kay credit card. You’ll have your status. Natalia (like so many others) purchased the products because she did want to lose the progress she had made toward the “free” car. $500 more is now on her credit card.
Like so many recruits, Natalia was losing money in the venture, but she thought this was just how it went. You had to work hard, the whole thing was difficult, but it would pay off if she stuck with it.
It’s clear that Natalia kept ordering products she didn’t need in order to keep her level or move up a level. Oh, the Kaybots will say that’s not the “Mary Kay way.” They’ll say you aren’t supposed to do this. You’re only supposed to order if you’re selling. NOT TRUE. This is exactly how levels are achieved and prizes are won. EVERYONE tops off their production and their recruits to keep moving up. Everyone adds one more friend as a recruit… the friend who will never “do” Mary Kay but rounds out the numbers. Everyone places the order in the name of that recruit to get her “active” in the MK system and to bump up the production numbers needed to “achieve” the goal.
When Natalia brought her concerns to Jo, she was told things like:
- “You don’t support women working for women?”
- “You don’t support empowerment?”
She points out what we at Pink Truth know well: It’s terribly manipulative to market yourself as a company that supports and promotes women while taking advantage of them financially.
Then there is recruiting. Natalia is having a terrible experience in MK, but she’s supposed to recruit others. She messaged hundreds of people a week to try to get recruits. It was hard for her to think about leaving after all the time and effort she had put in. Maybe she was just about to turn the corner to the big success that she was told would come?
She went to seminar to hear the speeches and how ANYONE could have the success. You, too, can get rich. You’d leave feeling special and motivated. And you’d be ready to dig yourself even further into the financial hole. They’d parade around the “Mary Kay millionaires” (using this phrase frequently) and tell everyone that you could be there too. Anyone can do it!
But the truth is that not even 1% of women in Mary Kay make enough to sustain themselves financially, much less get to that millionaire status. (Here are the real stats on people making money in MK, and here are the numbers for the bigtime “successful” women.)
How did Natalia get out? She looked at her credit card statement, and saw she had a 26% interest rate on that MK credit card. After charging a bunch of products on the card and letting interest accumulate, she was now $10,000 in debt. Enough was enough and she left. It took her 3 years to pay it off.
This video is a bit dramatic and of course, it’s meant to be a bit showy because it’s part of the business of a “social media influencer.” But it’s an entertaining way to expose the Mary Kay lie, and Natalia has a huge following. (As of the writing of this article, the video has over 600k views.) It’s a win in my book.
same old story. same old scam.
Great story! Nothing has changed has it?
It’s hard to believe that I was in MK 20 years ago and they still use the same scripts and tactics.
So true! In Cleta Colson-Eyre’s Boss Babe call last week, she gave recruiting tips from the letter Mary Kay Ash sent her 30 years ago.
Kristin Sharpe just used a Golden Goblet to describe the recognition you can get from MK. Those were around decades ago, too.
Nope. Nothing changed. Except they are slicker at their manipulation.
One wonders how any of MK’s corp staff can still work there, especially the “legal dept,”, making sure they hide the truth from future victims.
It’s ridiculous MK had Laura Beitler on the 20/20 interview listed as VP Recognition & Events when she’s actually AN ATTORNEY. Who better to defend their practices? She’s been with their Legal Department for years, and it struck me as hilariously insulting that they position her as an innocent employee when in reality she’ll lie through her teeth to defend them.
You may review Laura Beitler’s comments here: http://www.pinktruth.com/tag/laura-beitler/
Also, here is the announcement of her promotion from legal to sales: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140501006418/en/Top-Beauty-Brand-Names-Leaders-Vice-President
As Vice President of Recognition and Events, Laura Beitler now leads the team responsible for developing and implementing Mary Kay’s independent sales force recognition programs and special events in the U.S. Beitler joined Mary Kay Inc. in 2000 as a staff attorney and eventually transitioned to Vice President and Associate General Counsel where she provided guidance and legal direction for the North American markets and the company’s 12 subsidiaries in the European region. Mary Kay’s Global Executive Team named her Leader of the Year in 2011. Beitler earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Texas Christian University in 1995 and a Master of Business Administration/Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University in 1998.
Pink Truth has been a trailblazer in informing people about the dangers of MLMs and finally the rest of the world is getting on board. I’ve been following this site for some time because I had numerous issues and questions about experiences with friends selling MLM junk and it helped me tremendously. I recently rewatched the 20/20 story and what a missed opportunity that was! They could have been at the forefront of the Antimlm wave but they blew it. Anyway, thanks for fighting the good fight.
Ok so I watched a few of her videos last night… Umm she’s great at setting up YouTube click bait, I dare say even better than a lot of drama channels on you tube….. Her story is bringing notice to the anti MLM movement, but I don’t believe for one moment she didn’t look at her cc statements for 6 months they would have been calling her for payments or sending notice after notice….. She ignores it but she knew even at 3% interest there going to be a significant charge for that amount of a bill.
Good for her for coming out, but seriously she also almost joined a mega cult church because they gave her free coffee and mugs… She’s not the most aware person given by her own videos…
She was 18. I totally didn’t look at my bank statements for months when I was a teenager.
what drama channels do you watch @Wastings90?
Wow. New visitor, here. I stumbled across you guys having a look/see about what I may have missed out on. Many years ago, I was recruited by my best friend at the time. I have the dubious distinction of being both her first recruit and the first person to quit on her-I quit after I realized what a mistake it was to order $1500 worth of inventory using a bank loan. Thankfully, I returned my product that same month.
She is a director of some kind now, she quit her full-time w/ benefits teaching job within 3 months of joining, she retired her husband from the police force and now earns “an executive income” and employs a personal assistant. She drives the Cadillac and supports her husband and 2 kids. Lots of Bible verses, #blessed, “what is your why”, “doing it messy” stuff on her Instagram. Saw your article about the recent Orlando trip and realized her feed was exactly the same as everyone elses!
Or, at least that’s how it appears. Looking at these articles and realizing what she must be going through in reality makes me sad.
Her name is Shauna Abbotts if anyone knows her here. Not trying to “out” her or anything, just curious.
So glad I escaped!
Welcome to Pink Truth. Shauna made about $100k last year in commissions. But she is one of the very few. And the only reason she made that much was because hundreds in her downline lost hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively. Also, that is what she received BEFORE paying any of the many business expenses she has.
Wow, thanks. Makes me sad for her and her family and looking around this site, I’m so, so grateful I sent my inventory back all those years ago!