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

The Cost of Doing Business With Mary Kay

Reader Bill shares his experience with Mary Kay. His wife put his family in debt with Mary Kay, and the lies and financial wreckage eventually led to the end of their marriage.

Everything on this website encapsulates my story. I won’t waste time repeating what has already been said so well and in so many different stories. My surprise is, I thought I was unique: her quitting her job with no discussion. Her explaining that I would have tried to talk her out of the change as her excuse (she had a great government job with great benefits). Later telling me I didn’t support her and I was a negative in her life. In all of this, I thought it was just me (and made me doubt myself).

Then there’s the financial destruction. 19 different credit accounts and 3 different bank accounts. Buying thousands of dollars of product for “necessary inventory” that was never sold. Income tax losses every year. Check kiting and flipping credit cards to pay bills. All for the sake of walking across the stage in Dallas, taking trip to the Bahamas, and “earning” the pink noose (the pink car is not free).

Again, I thought it was just me, I thought it was just my wife making bad, irresponsible, decisions. Now I discover the truth. The dinners and meetings I attended in support of my wife made me out to be the fool; the smiling “sweet” vixen of a director(s) was promoting this sly and destructive activity that led to the demise of our relationship, our finances, and our family.

So what was the cost, the damage?

We divorced after 29 years of marriage. Our family is disrupted forever, my daughter and her family are torn, and my granddaughter will never be able to experience family life with her grandparents like I was blessed to experience.

Financially, my wife’s irresponsible actions (with MK’s guidance) led to the wasting of her inheritance. If it had stayed invested, in place, it would have grown to over $1,000,000 today (she had $15,000 remaining at the time we divorced).

Her perpetual use of accumulated credit, to between $100,000 to $200,000 of debt, led to the steady leeching from my cash accounts and her shifting more than $100,000 of debt to our home equity line of credit. Additionally, she continued to accumulate debt to $40,000 – $50,000,  had to do a debt consolidation, and now has a horrible credit history; her current debt payments mount to over $800/mo and she has no income.

All of this has crippled my ability to save and will dramatically postpone any plans for retirement. I will bought her out of our house, but had to take on the inflated mortgage and I had to assume all accumulated joint debt (of which most I did not know about), and I split my retirement plan assets with her in the divorce. Of course, since she has no income, I have alimony payments plus her monthly health insurance costs.

Most importantly, while I am not perfect and made mistakes, this is Mary Kay’s contribution to the destruction of our vows made before God, family, and friends some 29 years earlier. This is my story, but evidently the story of many others! I post this so that maybe my trials and experience may help to save other families from my(our) conviction. So think about it?

THIS IS THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS

25 Comments

  1. BestDecision

    You’re not alone! I know Directors that did the same things and hid it all from their husbands. Loans to finish Cadillac, more cards to finish Courts or trips, etc. MK Inc loves it! Just like in the 20/20 episode, they deny people do it and turn their eyes away from it.

    If no one ever did this, why is June 30 and every last day of the month such a busy day for ordering? If sales and recruiting were authentic, wouldn’t they be spread more evenly across the month and year?

    Totally fake. Another divorce from bad financial decisions in MK. So sad!

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  2. Pinkiu

    Wow. Just wow.

    Mary Kay is a predatory company and should be illegal. It’s not just one or a few bad apples. Rather, it’s a systematic culture of incentivized ordering that is taught and required in order to move up the ladder of adulation. Your story is a horrific example among thousands that testify to the nature of this pink beast.

    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Heather

      I think he’s referring to her inheritance. If she had left it alone and let it grow, it would have been more than a million. But her bad spending habits in MK decimated her inheritance principal and have left her with next to nothing.

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      1. Juliet

        Left her with nothing but BILL to support her – alimony, health insurance. She could have had a million, she chose to follow the pink path to hell instead of honoring a relationship that extended 29 years, instead of honoring the sacrifices likely made by those who LEFT her the inheritance. Anyone who says it sounds like he’s just mad about the million is not listening.

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  3. Charles

    I don’t understand why he has to pay any alimony unless the divorce was settled out of court and that’s what was agreed to. Most judges tell the non-working divorcee to get a damn job, unless they’re disabled or something.

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    1. Peggy Hicks

      Charles, he’s most likely paying alimony until she can get back on her feet. Most, if not all, states have no-fault divorce statutes & if women are awarded any alimony at all, it’s for a limited period of time. When I lived in Texas almost 50 years ago, alimony wasn’t in the statutes & women got nothing unless the man decided to pay her under the table. I knew too many working single moms who were struggling to make it financially without alimony, & if their exes failed to pay child support, then their situation was that much more dire. Nowadays, child support is the responsibility of both parents & it is calculated accordingly.

      Bill seems like a decent guy who got screwed over royally, & I hope he’ll be able to recover from what his wife did to him financially. She committed financial infidelity by not telling him what was really going on. Maybe, just maybe, if she had, they might have been able to stay married & make it work.

    2. Char

      “Most judges tell the non-working divorcee to get a damn job” — Those judges must be damn men who don’t regard raising a family and running a household….a job. All the while the husband has been collecting years of work experience and rising in the ranks. That damn judge now wants a middle-aged woman to start from scratch flipping burgers while still handling the majority of family duties? Husband keeps working his high-paying career, and leads a single, fancy-free lifestyle. Get lost Charles.

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      1. Charles

        Don’t tell me to get lost, it’s what happens these days. Child support is one thing, but alimony, as I understood it, rarely gets awarded anymore if the non-working divorcee is able bodied enough to work. Furthermore, in this particular case, it doesn’t sound like this woman did anything with the family duties, she spent all her time on her money-losing Mary Kay business. By the way, both myself and my wife work full-time and both of us are collecting years of work experience. Yes, we have children too. So it can be done. Times have changed. The middle aged woman in this story wasn’t doing anything but pouring all the money down the drain. Since Bill mentioned having a granddaughter, I assume the daughter he mentioned is fully grown and out of their house. So clearly the ex-wife wasn’t taking care of her either.

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      2. Charles

        Also Char, if you had read the entire story closely, you would have seen that this woman who lost everything (and then some) to Mary Kay DID have a good government job with benefits, which she quit to pursue her “dream” and that was her choice. Whether or not she could easily get another government job again, I don’t know but clearly she had advanced somewhat in a career and wouldn’t have to “start from scratch” at all. She could get some kind of job I’m sure and shouldn’t need alimony. Hopefully the alimony Bill had to pay was only short-term while she “got back on her feet” as another poster said.

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    3. Lazy Gardens

      The alimony may have been required by law.

      My SO’s ex tried to portray herself as woman who needed alimony, one who had left her career to care for the family, and would be middle aged and skill-less unless DH paid for college for her.

      The reality was that the children were in college, one had a restraining order against her, she was concealing her $60/hour ICU nurse jobs, and she was stalling for time on the decree because under the state’s law, a woman over 50 was mandated alimony.

      Her lawyer was not happy to find out he had been played for a foll, nor was the judge. She got SOME financial assistance, but not nearly as much as she would have if the stalling had been successful and if the nurses registries had not handed over her pay records for her “jobless” days.

      1. Charles

        That’s another sad story right there but I’m glad the lawyer and judge caught onto the
        ex-spouse’s outright fraud. I’m surprised about the state’s law mandating alimony though. I know that child support is non-negotiable and required by law, but a state mandating alimony really surprises me. It makes a little sense they would require it for women over age 50 but I thought alimony was one of those things that had kind of gone the way of the dinosaur with so many more women re-entering the workforce a lot faster than they used to after children were born. I will have to look this one up.

  4. Charles

    Please don’t tell me to get lost, it’s what happens these days. Child support is one thing, but alimony, as I understood it, rarely gets awarded anymore if the non-working divorcee is able bodied enough to work. Furthermore, in this particular case, it doesn’t sound like this woman did anything with the family duties, she spent all her time on her money-losing Mary Kay business. By the way, both myself and my wife work full-time and both of us are collecting years of work experience. Yes, we have children too. So it can be done. Times have changed. The middle aged woman in this story wasn’t doing anything but pouring all the money down the drain. Since Bill mentioned having a granddaughter, I assume the daughter he mentioned is fully grown and out of their house. So clearly the ex-wife wasn’t taking care of her either.

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    1. Char

      I wasn’t talking about Bill because you generalized. And, it was your tone, “Tell the divorcee to get a damn job.” There are many different situations, and another might include a wife assisting her husband with his career in an unofficial capacity, but with no credit for that.

      Sorry your wife has to work full-time and not be there for after school etc.. We do what we’ve gotta do to survive. Some couples, given the choice, would prefer a parent to be available at all times. It’s when divorce enters that picture that the women get screwed “these days”. As stated(!), she may be “able-bodied”, but she has to start with little work experience on the bottom rung. The husband has been collecting his years and raises.

      I stand by my statement.

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      1. Charles

        Stand by your statement all you want. Believe me, my wife is not sorry about having to work full-time, she enjoys her career, nor do I force her to work full-time. I’m sure we could make it work if one of us stayed at home and didn’t have income but this is our lifestyle. Whether any couple should have a stay-at-home parent and be available at all times is their own business and not a debate I’m getting into on this forum.

        In Bill’s case, his wife did have a career and shouldn’t have been getting a lick of alimony.

        Finally, I have no control over what a judge decides and believe it or not, not all family court judges are men, in fact I’m betting there are a lot of family court judges who are women.

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        1. Char

          It’s probably a good idea your wife has a job. For those who choose to be full-time wife, mother, and care for the household, and then divorce happens, they’ll be told to get a “damn job” – probably flipping burgers with teenagers.

          There’s no work experience or benefits for her former SAH career which was chosen by the couple during those child-rearing years! She’s screwed at the burger joint without alimony unless she is “disabled or something”, according to Charles. OTOH, the working parent, likely the husband, has collected all of the benefits and career relevant salary. But yeah, tell the middle-aged “divorcee to get a damn job” – probably close to minimum wage.

          I am simply defending the SAHM, not disparaging the paid working woman. It was your attitude that incensed me.

          Sadly, I do not recommend being a SAHM, unless independently wealthy, coupled with the desire of the person, because it makes that spouse extremely vulnerable – especially with attitudes such as yours. Again, this has nothing to do with Bill’s story for the umteenth time. I was addressing your comment.

          Ladies, being a SAHM potentially gives you the same security as being a Mary Kay consultant, diddly squat! Do not assume you will be together forever, and do not assume your sister consultants will be there for you if you don’t place orders or divorce MK.

          *No, I’m not speaking from personal experience re alimony and burgers and therefore bitter – if you’re wondering. I am simply fighting for the SAHM and giving her respect, if that was her chosen career, and against throwing her to the wolves after divorce!!!

  5. Charles

    ” do not assume your sister consultants will be there for you if you don’t place orders or divorce MK.” Well, there’s one thing we definitely agree on here. Sorry if I incensed you.

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