As women, we tend to think that we must follow the path that someone set before us, especially when it comes to our careers. This wasn’t the case for Mary Kay Ash, the founder of global beauty empire Mary Kay. When she came face to face with glass ceilings, she went and created her own company so she could structure the ceiling however high she wanted it to be. This is a woman who built her brand in 1963, in her 40s, and turned it into a global empire. Her story is all about being disruptive before the term was so commonly used, and being an innovator who thought ahead of their time. Mary Kay’s Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Julia Simon, joined us at C&C Chicago and dished on how the brand maintains its boss status today, after 55 years in the biz. Ahead, we’ve compiled five impactful takeaways from the conversation that all entrepreneurs and women in business can learn from and kick into gear today.
Use Data to Your Advantage
“The heart of our business for its entirety has been the salesforce. Our independent beauty consultants gain customers, service them, and have been doing so for 55 years. That one-on-one contact brings us analytics. When you get to add the digital tools and technology to that sort of a personal relationship, it just enhances it even more. We get real face to face data and can back that up with the digital analytics.”
Authenticity Is Everything
“Two things that are very important are building trust and building authenticity. Who are you? And do you match what you say with what you do? Do your actions and your words all match? In the world of social media, it’s easy for one thing to take you off on a tangent. If you can stay true to who you are and show that authenticity through everything you do - whether it’s how your beauty consultants treat people or the fabulous products you can present. All of those things come back to the real truth that helps us connect with our customer and form long-standing relationships.”
Disruption is Reconstruction
“I like to call the concept of disruption, reconstruction. There isn't any established brand that wants to stick around that doesn’t constantly evaluate and reevaluate who they are. Figure out what your core values are and stay true to them, but then constantly reconstruct and reevaluate. Ask yourselves, are we on the right path? Have we added the right tools? Are we talking to the right people? Are we engaging people in the way we need to engage them? I love to be around millennials because it makes me constantly educate myself about what’s new and what’s different. I don’t want to be stuck where I was - that won’t get me any further to where I want to be.”
Constantly Evaluate & Reevaluate
“Giving women around the world the opportunity to make money selling these products is really our goal. You can’t do that unless you have products that people really want. How you engage with people differs from market to market, but the one thing that is constant is mobile, digital, social media—all growing globally. We stay relevant because we’re constantly evaluating and reevaluating to ensure that what we’re giving to the marketplace results in a great opportunity for people to make money and great products for people to use.”
Mentors Are Everywhere
“There are mentors all around you. Whenever I go to meet someone, I ask questions. I’ve never really had anyone reject me. Some people are quick about their answers, but for the most part, they are happy to talk to you. There are real mentors all around you, so just have no fear and go out and talk to people.”
Brow Tips and Tricks from Mary Kay
Mary Kay was present on site at C&C Chicago and taught us the must-know tips and tricks for show-stopping brows all day. With brow expert and Mary Kay Global Beauty Ambassador Luis Casco on site, our attendees got tips from the best of the best on how to get a flawless set of arches. Check out some of the key pointers they learned:
For brow products, you always want to start with a color that's one shade lighter than your hair color.
If you have red, silver or gray hair, your brows will look best with an ashy tone. Try a blonde or dark blonde shade to start.
Before applying any product, use the Mary Kay Eyebrow/Eyeliner Brush to brush brows upward, then out toward the tails.
Always make sure that you're applying your brow products onto clean brows for the best results.
When using the Mary Kay Precision Brow Liner, using light, feathery strokes will make your brows look more natural.
When using the Mary Kay Volumizing Brow Tint, apply to the inner sections of the brows last - this is where you want the lightest application.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Let us know in the comments below!