Final Farewell to My Mary Kay Offspring

[Reposted from our archives because it was so awesome and is still relevant!]

Written by JTA

I know you think ill of me and that I am nuts. Some of you even hate my guts. But, I still love each and every one of you despite this and although I am at the end of my Mary Kay journey, thank God, I’d like to share with you a final farewell. Of course none of you read Pink Truth so you won’t see this, but maybe it will help someone else. It is long but please hear me out.

Realizing that you all believe my feelings and actions to be that of a crazy person, please remember I am the same person that you followed for all those years. You former future NSD, the one you listened to, the one who mentored you, the one whom you went to for any and all issues and gave you advice that you followed.

It took me months and months and months to take the position that the Mary Kay business is fatally flawed. And most of all, regardless of what you now think of me personally, the main reasons I have taken this position is that most of you barely make production, many of you BUY your production, and ALL of you make very little income. That is an indisputable, numerical fact that has nothing to do with me, my thoughts and beliefs, or my actions.

But the question is, if you listened to me for years, believed in me all that time, why now am I crazy and/or to be despised and ignored because of my opinions about a company? You dropped me like a bad habit. This seems wrong doesn’t it?

Having said that, a year after my “20 reasons” post , all of the backlash and anger, and months of drama, thankfully every one of the major production buyers from my former area are no longer Directors. Those of you who remain, however, continue to struggle and I cannot imagine what lies you tell yourself to continue to push forward. I can only pray that you one day see that you are involved in a cult to put it simply, one that causes you to do unexplainable, ridiculous things. Not to point fingers, because it caused me to do those things, too. It seems to cause EVERYONE to do those things. Another wrong.

You are all awesome, ethical, wonderful women who have as a result of your affiliation with MK have become LIARS. Again, not to point fingers, I was, too. Think of the $1,000s upon $1,000s of fake orders, the fake recruits, the times you stood up and talked about your ‘free car’ that you pay for and the ‘high check’ you had so long ago. How about the lies of omission which have been explained so well recently? We’ve all done that. You continue to do it. IT IS WRONG.

Then there are the issues at home. Most of you have some sort of family time which is precisely why your production sucks. To succeed you have to work 24/7, that is the plain and simple truth. So kudos to you that you’ve kept that part sacred and have not succumbed to that piece of brainwashing (the ‘short term sacrifice/long term gain’ fallacy).

But please know that this and only this is why you have not, nor will you ever, do the ‘big numbers’. Not because you can’t, not because you aren’t capable, not because you haven’t done this or that promotion. You could do it, and I never doubted that. The numbers are how they are ONLY because you do not work around the clock. Unless you are willing to work around the clock (or recruit Nigerians, which one has so far with some success, so good for her, but that is another story.) it is never going to happen for you. NEVER. This, too, is wrong.

But a few of you have worked more than others, and/or spent more than others trying to prop up your units, doing a little better and making very low 5 figures instead of 4. Your relationships have suffered because of it. There have been a few near divorces that thankfully were caught in time as the Director resigned/was terminated for lack of production. There have also been some of the real deals, though.

And yes, I do blame Mary Kay. I am sure there were other problems as well, but the bottom line is the men were NOT brainwashed, did NOT agree with the time you spent away from home, did NOT agree with the money you spent compared to what you make, did NOT believe the hype. So they are branded unsupportive and over time the marriages have failed. This is very sad. And also wrong.

So to summarize:

  • I am not crazy. I even went to our NSD’s shrink (yes she sent me there thinking I was depressed or having some sort of mental issue) who stated what was obvious to the shrink: that I needed to take a step back from MK. That was hard to hear, but ended up being the truth. Once I did I realized all of the above wrongs and really looked at your numbers. Yes, I committed the crime of “studying the roots of the tree instead of just picking the fruit” as we’ve heard a million times. Now you see why we aren’t supposed to study the roots. They ain’t pretty.
  • I did not quit because my husband makes great money and we didn’t need the money. He did not influence me one way or the other, and has always been supportive of anything I wanted to do. He in fact did not work for so long that we are, in a word, poor. The details of this would shock you. Financially poor but rich in all other ways that matter.
  • I did not quit because I got a great job and make great money there. I have done some other things but most have been volunteer or not great money makers. See above that we are broke but I would rather be broke than live a lie.
  • I did not hang on and collect checks with any sinister motives. I did so because I could not sell the business that I spent 10 years working my ass off to build. I spent more money than all of you put together to do what I did how I did it. The events, prizes, visits to all of you, etc etc. So try to understand that I just wanted to try to recoup a tiny portion of what I had put into the business that would soon die. Not to mention my family needed the money. I am pretty sure you would have done the same thing if you were in my position.
  • I was not purposely deceptive or devious. All of my moves prior to last August were orchestrated by our National, presumably to soften the blow. In any case, I did exactly what she said to do for about 7 months. She read and critiqued every email and bit of communication to you. All the while you criticized me for what I was doing and how I was doing it. Of course once I did things my way you criticized me, too. My sisters, my friends.

I’ve been told by mutual friends that you all are big girls and can make your own decisions. Well, your decisions have been to the detriment of you, your families and finances. And the difference, the biggest difference between YOU and ME is that you all had ME all those years pushing you and teaching you all the wrong stuff. We have the same National who influenced us, sure, but you all also had ME, too.

So despite the fact that you are adults, I wrongly influenced you for years and years, some of you for more than 10 years. I will forever feel responsible for this.

So the bottom line is I ended a lifetime career for you. You may not believe that but it is the truth. I sacrificed that career I thought I would do forever, one that paid me thousands and thousands per month, for you. Yes, I am happier in that I have more time with my family, and I am not stressed.

But the main reason I left is because of what was going on with you. I made money, so at least I had something to show for it all. You didn’t and still don’t. My hope was that if you saw me leave, saw that I did not believe in the lies and unethical craziness that goes on, that maybe you would think twice and either change your ways or leave, too. It has been HARD, imagine losing your career, your big income, who you are and have been for over a decade. But as hard as it has been, it is worth it.

As I’ve told you before, I hope you know my door is always open. I think about you, all of you, every day and wish you nothing but the best, and I miss you. Maybe someday we will be friends once again.


  1. J

    So powerful. I sometimes wonder about the women from my previous units (I was an adoptee into two different ones based on moves, and I was only ever a red jacket for a few days). I wonder which ones are still scraping together gas money to drive to their unit meetings, feeling valued when the director shares the new limited edition products with them, glossy eyed and cheerful over an ancient purple mk pencil bag with felt flowers sewn on.

    Some seem to take solace in being the longest standing consultant of a unit. It seems to validate the lack of progress. It’s almost a faux wealth status—I’ve been a consultant for 15yrs, so I don’t need the money.

    I recently saw that tiktok banned mlms promoting on their platform. I would love it if other social platforms would follow suite. It could be a great wake up call to newbie consultants, but sadly won’t like impact the chair warming consultants who are collecting years served verses income.

  2. Mountaineer95

    Your post made me realize something (even if not related directly to your post; I just read the one before yours, too, so combined they have my thoughts going in a particular direction):

    Whenever someone leaves MK, especially as a director, they sometimes like to provide reasons for their departure to their recruits/units, and this is where the heavy upline kibosh shuts down all of it as being evil, toxic, and not true. Those issues that the departing MK-er provided might be legit, but nobody above her will acknowledge their existence except to condemn them.

    But this isn’t how the “real business world” works. If a management-level employee leaves, and in leaving, sends an email to her entire department warning them of unsavoury practices of the people above them, these accusations will be addressed. The “upline” will look into them and, if they find actual improprieties, will work to correct them.

    This is how real businesses work, especially those big corporations that the Kaybots are so quick to criticize. At least these companies have HR departments who really do care if upper management are blatantly misleading their staff, and they won’t stand for it. In MK? When the uplines are made aware of possible infractions, their response is the equivalent of a kid putting their fingers in their ears and screaming “I CAN’T HEAR YOU NA NA NA”

  3. Mountaineer95

    I’m curious about the “I made money” line. I know we always say “schedule C or it didn’t happen” so have we seen a schedule C from this writer? Maybe it’s just me, but that whole “at least I made money” bit is bothering me. If it’s true, she was in the top few percent of all of MK, and if Tracy knows her identity and can check Applause, she might find out if it’s true. Because I think it’s an important point that, if we’re going to fully appreciate her entire statement, we know the full truth of her MK career. If she didn’t “make money”, she’s either delusional, ignorant, or lying.

  4. Cindylu

    Shutting anyone down that dares burst the MK bubble is the norm. Wouldn’t MK herself have given any NSD, Director etc. a stern look and warning if they dared question this empire? As long as the minions (Directors and NSD’s) continue this charade than why question the alarming methods used? Why concern yourself about the debt and ruin of others? They are just numbers. Some Directors probably have Performance Addiction. It seems that MK herself believed that perfecting appearance and achieving status will secure love, respect and happiness. It is born out of an unsupportive story about the past. On the one hand we hear that People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. We also are told that a company is only as good as the people it keeps.” (How can this be with the three foot rule)? We are to pretend and make others feel important. This is done with flattery, trinkets and love bombing.
    We are advised that “Honesty” is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist. So based on this slogan hopefully more NSD’s and Directors will wisely quit. “Every silver lining has a cloud.” The silver lining is in being truthful. We were manipulated with false enthusiasm, false recognition and with pretending. Pretend to make a potential recruit feel important. Pretend that Faith, Family are the priority. This has been a 50 year bluff. MK is cracking. MK has definite limits. There is no shame in giving up a scheme that is intentionally complicated or vague on important details. Let’s hope there is enough remorse about the pain of thousands of families for a mass exodus.

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