Watching Seminar From a Distance

Written by SuzyQ

It’s 2023, I am 16 years out of Mary Kay and I still read and contribute Pink Truth. Pink Truth saved my life as I publicly imploded as a director on the site in 2007.

I am watching the Seminar 2023 thread and it is heart-wrenching. Things have changed. Not the things that matter, like being honest about the fact that MK is a MLM and 90+% of people will lose money. But instead, things like seminar recognition and the used to be usual fanfare.

The royalty reception used to always include the “fancy” mashed potatoes in a champagne glass and lots of fancy appetizers. (With tall tables and no chairs and nowhere to put your purse.) Jowdy used to do the photography and we were able to view all the photos they took and buy the ones we wanted. (I remember I had at least 3 to choose from for my stage walk.) We could review all the photos from all the seminars and see other women we knew, or women we wanted to emulate.

We either earned lunches or we ate in the cattle call lunchroom. The earned lunches were passable, but always included chicken. If we ate in the cattle call lunchroom it was not uncommon to buy $6 hotdogs and $4 water from the vendors.

There were so many added expenses for Seminar. One year our wanna-be-area had a banquet at the hotel we were staying in. (at our national’s request) We served salad. I mean that is all we served. Salad. That was all we could afford to pay for. As a special touch, we had a horse’s head at the serving table reminiscent of “The Godfather” scene, we had a denim and diamonds theme, and somehow the hotel thought this was an appropriate decoration. The “dinner” was at least $35 for consultants.

When I was attending Seminars, the goal was to have the most ribbons attached to your name tag as possible. The longer the string of ribbons, the better you were. I remember seeing Lisa Allison at a seminar. We debuted as millennium (1999) directors together and she was at my DIQ training. At seminar in 2000, she said she was some super dooper director and had just broken a nail and she was very upset… I didn’t know how to respond and left the room.

I would really like to bring this post to a logical conclusion, but I think about nsd Mary Kay Raynor calling me a “baby Christian” (and retired after 5 years) and Marlys Skillings (former nsd) sent me birthday cards for a least 5 years after I quit, wishing me my best MK year ever, and Amie Gamboian (former nsd) who got honest for once in her life and “retired” after 5 years because the hamster wheel went on and on. And Stacy James who I idolized and until she moved to Oklahoma was local so I attended her events.

And my BFFs forever who are still in Mary Kay, pursuing this stupid goal, and probably going to Seminar this year for the 10th, 20th maybe 30th time. Wasting time, money and self-respect for a dream that will never happen. Ever.

Some things never change. But I’m so happy I got out when I did.


  1. Of course Negative Nellie’s nicked nail was her own fault because she didn’t think to pack replacement tips, cutter, grinder, adhesive, base coat, polish, top coat, and a compliant nail tech in her overnight bag.

    I’m glad you got out when you did too, SuzyQ.

  2. we had a horse’s head at the serving table reminiscent of “The Godfather” scene

    So even if you are a talentless hack, the support of a Mafia-style mentor guarantees you success. Sounds like a good lesson to learn and one that’s been followed by many former NSDs giving their unit to their daughters or daughters-in-law.

  3. “The ‘dinner’ was at least $35 for consultants.”

    The consultants pay for everything in Mary Kay. In the real world, this dinner would be provided by the company, using revenue from sales to outside customers. In Mary Kay, corporate revenue comes from the pockets of the consultants. No outside sales necessary!

    • I remember our “wanna be NSD” group-area had a dinner with awards at Seminar, too. Everyone involved in the planning wanted to keep the costs as low as we could for the other consultants, yet we still ended up with ~$45 pp for cold salads (usually a green one, potato, maybe pasta), cold deli sandwiches, cookies, iced tea, and water. It was a buffet/serve yourself. While the food wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great. The directors were expected to help cover the cost of the party room space at the hotel, too.

  4. It’s declining like a band with annual tours … the arenas get smaller and sleazier, the free steak dinner for the roadies turns into pizza from a cheap spot and then chips and water.

    • Exactly! It’ll be interesting to see what the final attendance will be once seminar is over. That will say it all. Declining sales force numbers means less revenue for the corporate coffers. There was no career conference this year and that’s says a lot!

  5. Does anyone know if Linda Toupin’s daughter ranked this year? Linda posted video of Katie arriving on the red carpet for the Royalty Reception and in a formal gown.

    If so, that has got to STING like crazy by all the Directors that actually did the work to get there!

    • I think I saw that “her” unit did the million again this year. She’s local to me, and the local directors are PISSED about the whole situation. Naturally, you’ll never hear anything negative publically, but it’s proof positive that nepotism is everywhere, and the Linda-Katie debacle is cutting through some of the pink fog for a lot of people. I find the whole thing hilarious, because up until her retirement, Linda was spouting at every guest event I saw her at that in Mary Kay, “it doesn’t matter who your daddy was or how cute you are. It’s all about how hard you work!” Yeah. Right…

      • One photo I saw looked like her sash said “Runner-Up”. No matter how high or low, that’s completely unfair to every Consultant struggling to make good money and to every Director who has worked DECADES to make it to Million.

        If they did this for Linda, they have to do it for all NSDs. Imagine how watered down Directors and the company will be if they just hand off units to all their daughters.

  6. SuzyQ- I found Pink Truth the same year as you…logged on and stayed up all night reading the entire site… I knew by morning I was going to leave Directorship…and MK for good. Your post gave me a little PTSD…So glad we got out when we did. Can’t believe this company is still ruining so many lives…so many years later. So grateful for Tracy and Pink Truth!!

Comments are closed.

Related Posts