|Type||Privately held company|
|Founded||Dallas, Texas (1963)|
|Key people||Mary Kay Ash, Founder
Richard R. Rogers, Executive Chairman
David Holl, CEO
|Industry||Personal care products|
|Products||Skin care, cosmetics, sun protection, perfume|
|Revenue||$2.4 Billion in 2007|
|Employees||Independent sales force of 1.8 million worldwide (2008) |
|Website||Mary Kay Inc.|
- Mary Kay is a brand of skin care and color cosmetics sold by Mary Kay Inc. Mary Kay World Headquarters is located in Addison, Texas, United States, a Dallas suburb. Mary Kay Ash founded Mary Kay Inc. on Friday, September 13, 1963. Richard Rogers, Mary Kay's son, is the executive chairman, and David Holl is president and was named CEO in 2006.
The company has been criticized by opponents who call it a "product-based pyramid scheme," relying on constant recruitment of new sellers who purchase inventory so those who recruited them can earn commissions. However, opponents also recognize that the operations of the company are not in violation of any laws. 
|Year||Market||Year||Market||Year Not Known||Market|
A grey market serves vendors of Mary Kay Cosmetics in other countries.
The original nine skin care products were based upon a recipe from a tanner, allegedly whose skin was much smoother, and clearer than his age would indicate.
In the United States, roughly 200 products are currently available. In other countries, fewer products are available, because they are reformulated to meet local laws or, more commonly, consumer preferences. For example, Asian makeup is sometimes much whiter than European makeup. African makeup has traditionally been more ochre than European makeup.
Some products, such as Mary Kay Whitener, are created for a specific country, or geographic region. Other products, such as the Mary Kay Limited Edition, are created to reflect seasonal changes.
In the early 1990s, recognizing that the majority of both its customers and consultants were women of color, Mary Kay introduced colors that were more suitable for that market.
PETA celebrated a semi-victory in the cosmetics industry in 1989, when Mary Kay Cosmetics announced a moratorium on animal testing. The sought-for victory --- fur coats are not prizes --- came in 1996, when Mary Kay stopped offering fur coats as incentive awards for its sales force . The final push may have been a series of embarrassing cartoons that appeared in newspapers across the country in the years immediately preceding the ban. In 1989 they were published in The Night of the Mary Kay Commandos by Berke Breathed. A famous line from the book reads Even their Uzis are pink.
In 1995, to adhere to the laws of The People's Republic of China, Mary Kay opened a plant in Hangzhou to manufacture and package products. A European plant was opened in 1997, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, to serve the European market but was closed in 2003.
|Year||Wholesale Volume||Consultants||Directors||National Directors||Wholesale volume / Consultants|
|2002||$1,600,000,000||850,000||19,000||more than 300||$1,882.35|
|2003||Just under $1,800,000,000||1,100,000||18,500||More than 100||$1,636.36|
|2004 United Kingdom||$7,700,000||3,500||More than 70||0||$2,200.00|
|2005||$2,200,000,000||1,600,000||31,000||just under 500||$1,375.00|
|2005 United Kingdom||unknown||5,000||140||2||unknown|
|2006 Worldwide||US$2,250,000,000||1,700,000 +||unknown||about 500||$1,323.53|
|2006 UK||unknown||5000 ||140||2||unknown|
|2007 USA||unknown||700,000||14,000||215 ||unknown|
|2007 Worldwide||US$2,400,000,000 ||1,700,000 ||unknown||unknown||$1,411.76|
|2008 Canada||unknown||30,679 ||608 ||24 ||unknown|
In 1968, Mary Kay Ash purchased the first Pink Cadillac, where it was repainted on site, by the dealership owner, to match the Mountain Laurel Blush in the compact. It was such a good rolling advertisement that Mary Kay Ash decided to reward her top five producers, by providing them with a Pink Cadillac paid for by the company in 1969. Pink was an obvious color choice --- matching the company's eye and lip color palettes. Since 1980, the shade used by the Mary Kay fleet has been exclusive to Mary Kay. Every two years, a Director or National can requalify for a new Cadillac. When the two year lease has expired, the cars are repainted, prior to being auctioned off. The shade of pink has changed over the years. In 1998, the color was changed to "pearlized pink". In honor of its 35th anniversary, the Mary Kay edition, white GMC Jimmy sport utility vehicle was offered in the United States. In 2007, top Independent Sales Directors can still earn the coveted pink Cadillac, however the color changed to black for Independent Sales Directors and smoky platinum for Independent Beauty Consultants.
In the United States, the 2006 vehicle choice consisted of a Pontiac Vibe, Pontiac Grand Prix or a Cadillac. A Mary Kay director that qualifies for a car may choose from a Cadillac DTS, a Cadillac CTS, or a Cadillac SRX. In 2007 the offered cars were Saturn Vue, Pontiac G6, Pontiac Vibe, Cadillac CTS, and Saturn Aura.
In 2009 GM announced it be discontinuing the Saturn and Pontiac lines forcing Mary Kay to choose new choices for Directors and Consultants to earn. Independent Beauty Consultants can earn the use of a Smokey Platinum Chevy Malibu or cash compensation of $375 a month. Independent Sales Directors can choose a Silver Toyota Camry, Chevy Equinox, or $500 a month. Top Independent Sales Directors can choose between the Pink Cadillac DTS, Cadillac CTS, or cash option.
In 2005 the GM (USA) fleet size was 9,870.
In the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Ukraine, the car is a pink Mercedes-Benz. In Argentina, one receives a pink Ford, while in Taiwan, it is a pink Toyota.. In Australia, one gets to choose between a Ford Falcon, or Volkswagen Beetle. In China, the vehicle is a pink Volkswagen Santana. In the Nordic countries you receive a pink Volvo V50.
The specific qualifications for earning the car depend upon the country, and vehicle that is desired. If those qualifications are not met, then the Car Driver has to pay for a portion of the lease of the car for that month. Meeting the qualifications entitles the Car Driver to pay no monthly lease and 85% of the car insurance, or a pre-determined cash compensation award.
Since the program's inception, more than 100,000 Independent sales force members have qualified for the use of a Career Car or elected the cash compensation option. It is not known how many Directors select the cash option in lieu of the car, but GM estimates that it has built 100,000 pink Cadillacs for Mary Kay.
As a private company, Mary Kay Inc. does not make all of its financial information available to the public. As a consequence, there is very little reliable information about actual earnings by consultants.
There are two ways for consultants earn money in Mary Kay:
"Recruiting commission earnings" reflects the commission and bonuses that one earns from the wholesale purchases of their downline. It does not include income from retail sales and it does not include income from the Mary Kay tools business.
A press release  claimed the following for Canada in 1999:
Of the 16,000+ consultants:
In an April 2005 press release, Mary Kay (Canada) claimed the following for Canada in 2004:
Of the 29,357 independent Mary Kay Consultants:
In an April 2006 press release, Mary Kay (Canada) claimed the following for Canada in 2005:
Out of 32,821 independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultants:
In a February 2007 press release, Mary Kay (Canada) claimed the following for Canada in 2006:
Out of 34,272 independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultants:
In February 2009, Mary Kay (Canada) claimed the following for 2008:
For Mary Kay (USA) Nationals, the 2006 median gross income (prior to business expenses) is $75,443.
A 68.6% per annum turnover figure has been calculated based upon information supplied by Mary Kay (USA) to the FTC.
A 85% per annum turnover figure has been calculated, based upon the data supplied by Mary Kay (Canada). That document excludes individuals who earn a commission and are in the company for less than one year. It also excludes individuals who are in the company for more than one year, but do not earn a commission check.
Individuals who qualified as National Director, prior to the age of sixty, are given the status of National Director Emeritus at age sixty five. This status entitles them to a retirement income that is equal to 60% of the average of the best three of the last five years prior to retirement. That monthly is paid to the retiree or their surviving family for 15 years. There is no retirement plan for other consultants.
A number of criticisms have been leveled at the company by current and former Mary Kay Consultants.
|Woolf v Mary Kay Cosmetics|
|Northern District of Texas|
|Full case name||Claudine Woolf v. Mary Kay, Inc.|
|Date decided||20 October 2004|
|Citations||Northern District of Texas 301 cv 688-57|
|Judges sitting||Justices Morris, Moseley, and FitzGerald|
|Prior actions||191st Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 00-05612-J|
|Subsequent actions||Certiorari Denied 31 May 2005.|
|Workplace Rights do not apply to independent contractors.|
Woolf v. Mary Kay Cosmetics, was originally decided in favor of the plaintiff, Claudine Woolf. In doing so it marked the first time that workplace rights could be applied to independent contractors who worked from their home. This decision was stayed and then reversed after an appeal. The Supreme Court USA ruled Certiorari Denied 31 May 2005.
In this case, Woolf was terminated from her position as director because her unit failed to make production for three consecutive months. Woolf contended that her firing was illegal, because of her medical condition --- she was suffering from cancer.
|Mary Kay Inc v Touch of Pink Cosmetics|
|Northern District of Texas|
|Full case name||Mary Kay Inc v Amy L Weber, Scott J Weber and Touch of Pink Cosmetics|
|Citations||Northern District of Texas 3:2008cv00776|
|Judges sitting||Judge A. Joe Fish|
In May 2008, Mary Kay Inc sued Touch of Pink Cosmetics, a website that sells product from former Mary Kay consultants at heavily reduced prices. The company claims that Touch of Pink interferes with their business by offering to purchase inventory from discontinued consultants, and that their use of the Mary Kay trademark in reference to Mary Kay products they sell is deceiving.
On 20 July 2009, Mary Kay Inc sued Pink Face Cosmetics for violation of 15:1051 Trademark Infringement.. The specific issue appears to be the use of the Mary Kay name, in selling Mary Kay products on eBay, and other Internet venues, for less than the wholesale cost of the products.
Established in 1996, the mission of the Mary Kay Ash Charitable
Foundation is two-fold:
• Committed to eliminating cancers affecting women by supporting top medical scientists who are searching for a cure for breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers.
• Committed to ending the epidemic of violence against women by providing grants to women’s shelters and supporting community outreach programs.
In May, 2006 The Foundation awarded 13 cancer research grants of $100,000 each to esteemed doctors and medical scientists in the United States. In October 2006, the Foundation awarded $20,000 grants to 150 women’s shelters across the United States for a total of $3 million.
Additional information about the MKACF and annual fundraising/donations can be found on their website.