Made in Texas: Meet the woman whose cosmetics company helped millions of other women thrive in a male-dominated business world

Mary Kay's TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Foaming Cleanser. (Mary Kay - Facebook)

HOUSTONWelcome to Made in Texas, where we write about products made in the Lone Star State.

Today, we’re featuring the cosmetics brand which has helped millions of women worldwide make a living while having a flexible schedule and becoming their own boss, Mary Kay Inc.

The brand

Mary Kay Inc. is an American company that sells skincare, makeup and fragrance products exclusively through independent beauty consultants.

The founder and the brand’s story

It was 1963 when 45-year-old entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash used her life savings of $5,000 to open up a small storefront in Dallas.

Ash had recently retired from a successful 25-year-old direct sales career and after realizing there was a lack of advancement opportunities for women in the industry, she decided to write a book to share her experiences and help women thrive in the male-dominated business world, according to the company’s website.

Ash had a dream to inspire women to transform their lives, and in doing so, help other women achieve success, according to the company’s website.

With the help of her son and her direct sales experience, Ash launched the company’s first product line which consisted of a basic set of five skincare products and four additional items: a rouge, a lip and eye palette, mascara and an eyebrow pencil, according to the Mary Kay Museum.

Within the first two years, Mary Kay Inc. had over 800 independent beauty consultants and by its third year, it had surpassed $1 million in sales.

Ash became widely recognized as one of the country’s most influential female entrepreneurs. During her lifetime she received many prestigious awards such as Texas Woman of the Century in 1999, followed by plenty more after her death in 2001.

Today, the Addison-based cosmetics brand has three million consultants who offer more than 200 products in more than 35 countries around the world.

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