They wanted it all - a fulfilling and lucrative career, to be able to keep up with hectic family obligations and maybe have some time left over for some semblance of a personal life, or even to volunteer in the community.
Their common goals led Donnelly and Perez to step out of the full-time job market and became independent beauty consultants for Mary Kay, Inc. Recently, the women’s drive to succeed earned them each new vehicles, courtesy of Mary Kay (no, the cars are not pink).
The new Black Saturn Aura is Donnelly’s third car courtesy of Mary Kay, the Texas-based cosmetic company that boasted wholesale sales in excess of $2.25 billion in sales in 2006. The new black Saturn VUE is Perez’s fourth.
The vehicles are theirs to keep two years, and Mary Kay pays for a percentage of the insurance, Donnelly said.
Donnelly has been selling Mary Kay for 10 years, having started when she was 19. “I was a newlywed and was working as a restaurant manager, often putting in 60 or 80 hours a week,” she said. “It was very stressful.
“I looked at my aunt, who had been selling Mary Kay for umpteen years, and she always seemed to be happy. She loved what she was doing and had a flexible schedule so she could be with her family,” Donnelly said. “I wanted to be successful, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my marriage and my sanity, so I knocked on my aunt’s door and I thank God I did.”
She kept her full-time job for awhile while she built up a list of clients, she said, getting her feet wet by demonstrating the Mary Kay products to family and friends. “It seems like everyone knows at least three people, and pretty soon, through networking, I had built up my business,” Donnelly said.
Perez became an independent sales consultant in late 1998 and by 2000, she had earned her way up to sales director. “I had previously worked as a sales director for Uhlman’s department store,” she said. “While I was on leave having my first child, the store was sold and I no longer had a job.
“A girl I knew from jazzercise mentioned that she sold Mary Kay,” she said. “I had never tried the products, but when I did, I really liked them.
“I thought I’d sign up as a consultant just to get the discount for myself and family,” she said. “As it turned out, I really enjoyed the flexibility and the earning potential I had. I found myself becoming more and more successful thanks in great part to the help of the Mary Kay team members who mentored me.
“As a single mom, it’s the ideal job for me. You truly are your own boss,” Donnelly said. “There are no pressures, no quotas. You work as much as you like.”
“What I like is, you help customers look and feel good and the same time, you’re getting support and encouragement from other team members. Then as you move up, you have the satisfaction of providing that mentoring and support to help other women achieve success too,” Perez said. “It’s not like other business atmospheres - we’re not competing against each other for bonuses and rewards – you make your own schedule, essentially, you write your own paycheck.”
The “you can do it,” philosophy is just what Mary Kay Ash had in mind in 1963 when she decided to retire from a successful career in direct sales to start a company geared toward giving women the opportunity to develop their talents and achieve success on their own terms. It would be a company, as Ash often said, “With heart.”
In addition to their income, Mary Kay consultants have the opportunity to earn other rewards and bonuses as they become independent sales directors and national sales directors, including trips to worldwide destinations and diamond jewelry.
“Things women don’t generally buy for themselves,” Donnelly said.
For more information, or to get in touch with a consultant, visit www.marykay.com.