THE ICONIC FOUNDER OF MARY KAY COSMETICS
1918 – 2001
In 1961 I was paid the first time for my Calligraphy. In 1963 Mary Kay reported her first year of sales at just under $200K. She turned out to be a bit more successful in her business that I did in mine.
In 2011, Mary Kay was the sixth largest direct-selling company in the world with U.S. net sales of $2.9 billion. The company is based in Addison, Texas, about 20 miles from my Studio. Their primary manufacturing is in Dallas, Texas. A second plant was opened in China in 1997. Anyone alive in the civilized world has seen the pink Cadillacs many of the sales associates drive. General Motors claims to have supplied over 100,000 of them to Mary Kay executives and associates.
Many years ago, I was driving in north Dallas and for a few moments, came along side Mary Kay, herself, in a pink Cadillac Alante’. There was no mistaking, it was Mary Kay. Though these days few would do this, I managed to make brief eye contact with her. I smiled and waved. She acknowledged with a quick wave and a smile. I quickly drove on past to assure her it was only a friendly wave from someone who recognized her. Probably happened often.
Soon after, I went back to our studio in Hugo, Oklahoma, where we lived at the time. I gathered up a large assortment of our prints and laminated PocketPrayer cards, included a brief note, and sent them to her office. I mentioned in my letter we had waved to each other and hoped she’d remember. I think she did.
Below is the letter I received within a few days of that chance contact.
Four years later I sent her another packet of our prints and cards. I’m sad I never got to meet her in person but it’s fun to know she knew of Gail and me and our work….and that she liked it well enough to share it. Below is her other response.
About 6 years ago I got a call from a woman in the corporate office in Addison. Traces of my connection with Mary Kay somehow surfaced and they found me on the web. I was asked to do a large job engraving the mirrors in their beautiful plastic compacts with Mary Kay’s name on the front. Since then, I’ve done cases of their fragrance bottles; all of them went to the Ukraine. Just last week I had another nice batch of compacts brought in for a presentation this week. Below is a photo of the work that went on a recent order of compacts. I hear from them often at corporate.
Pardon the pun but I’ve barely scratched the surface of the potential business Mary Kay must have in sales offices and for their sales associates scattered, literally, all over the planet. Check out the stats on this company.
Bottom line: Beat your own drum. Wave your own flag. Seize every opportunity to show off your skill and service, wherever you are, whenever you can.
I had NO idea what would develop from a friendly wave to a business icon. I expected nothing. At that time it was mostly having the warm fuzzy feeling of being that close to an individual whose name, products, and pink Cadillacs were known so widely.
Here’s my thought behind digging these letters out of my archives and sharing them with you. There are tens of thousands…if not more…of Mary Kay sales associates selling their cosmetics line. Some are in your neighborhood. Come let me teach you how I do all I do. From the ground-zero basics of making the letters to the many ideas, off the wall and otherwise, to help you get noticed and sell your skill. The opportunities abound to sell hand-engraving at every turn, no matter where you live.