Mary Kay Ash's successful cosmetic business actually started far before she even had an idea for a business. It started when she was a six year old girl, taking care of her ailing grandfather while her mother worked 14 hours a day to support them. For most of her life, if Mary Kay had a problem, she'd ask her mom for advice. Her mom would advise her, then tell her "You can do it.". That spirit was part of the way Mary Kay decided she could start the business she did.
When Mary Kay was studying to become a doctor, she was also selling products on the side. She soon decided she was far better at selling than she was at being a doctor, and switched to selling products full time.
Eventually, she found her way into sales training, but after working there for 25 years, and being passed over for promotion many, many times, she got fed up and quit.
After she quit, Mary Kay started writing a book on business. She soon realized, however, that what she had actually written was a plan for a business. Mary Kay enlisted the help of her 20 year old son, and with the $5,000 she had saved up, started Mary Kay Cosmetics. Within the first year of the business, they earned something around $200,000, but that was not the goal. Mary Kay's goal was to make a place where women could be equal to men, where they could achieve their dreams. She wanted to make a company "with heart".
Mary Kay retired in 1987.
Mary Kay Ash Biography
Remembering Mary Kay