Hello SOTGC community,
I was asked to help celebrate Women’s History Month by writing a piece on an amazing woman.
I love celebrating women, but I have to admit, I was unsure who to write about. There are so many amazing women that have not let fear or anything else stop them from the many great things they have accomplished. Their accomplishments have resulted in so many opportunities for us, and they allow us to hopefully pay it forward with our contributions.
Then it hit me as I was driving the other day when I saw a signature pink Cadillac pass me on the highway. I had to write about Mary Kay Ash.
Growing up in the Midwest, there was always someone selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Little did I know…this was actually my first insight into entrepreneurship.
Mary Kay started Mary Kay Cosmetics in 1963 after resigning from her sales job. A job where, yet again, she was passed over for a promotion to a man that she had trained and mentored.
In a time when there were very few women business owners, Mary Kay, at the age of 45, used a $5,000 investment to start Mary Kay Cosmetics with the Golden Rule of “treat others as you want to be treated” as the founding principle of the company.
Mary Kay continued to be a trail blazer by believing women could have it all. She operated by the motto: “God first, family second, and career third,” teaching women the importance of balance, while also giving women the opportunity for personal growth and financial success as independent sales reps (affectionately known as the “Mary Kay Lady” where I grew up).
In 1996, motivated by the loss of her husband to cancer, Mary Kay launched the nonprofit Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, an organization that provides funding and research for cancers affecting women. The nonprofit ‘s other mission is to put an end to domestic violence against women by providing support to women’s shelters and educational programs.
By the time Mary Kay passed away in 2001, Mary Kay Cosmetics, now known as Mary Kay Inc., had grown into a worldwide business, while she herself received many accolades and awards, including the “Most Outstanding Woman in Business in the 20th Century” award from Lifetime Television.
Today, Mary Kay’s legacy lives on with a reported $3.5 billion in global wholesale sales and with more than three million Mary Kay Independent Beauty consultants worldwide.
The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, with the help of donors, provided support in the amount of nearly $5 billion to its causes in 2013.
As I did my research on Mary Kay, I was so inspired by all that she had accomplished but also grateful for all of the opportunities available to women like us because of amazing women like her.
This week, take some time to reflect on who inspires you and then pay it forward in some small way.
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