Mary Kay Ash


Mary Kay Ash was a multi-millionaire businesswoman from Dallas who made her fortune selling cosmetics and contracting with other women and men to sell the line of make-up named after her.

In 1963, she used $5,000 and a muleskinner's formula for skin care to found Mary Kay Cosmetics. She eventually built it into the country's second largest direct-sales cosmetics company with $1.7 billion in sales in 1994.

Mary Kay's business motto was "God first, family second, career third." Believing that women are more inclined to put their families before their jobs, she developed a way for them to sell her products from their homes while they cared for their families. She advised women not to work to the exclusion of everything else, but to achieve balance in their lives. Mary Kay Ash used a system of encouragement and rewards, giving away prizes such as jewelry, trips, cash, mink coats, and the most famous emblem of the company, pink Cadillacs.

Biography Source Information

Biographies are reprinted from the Foundation for Women’s Resources (now Women’s Resources), Dallas, Texas. They originally appeared in "From Gutsy Mavericks to Quiet Heroes: True Tales of Texas Women," video study guide, Austin: The Foundation for Women's Resources, 1997. Death dates have been added where needed.