It started long before I was tall enough to see the steering wheel.
“Mary’s your name?” Neighbors annoy me. “Your pink Cadillac must stand in front!”
“Yes!” I would answer. “I’m Mary’s, like cosmetics!”
When I hit kindergarten, the growing skin care company Marie Inc. made Pink Cadillac its calling card. “Trophies on Wheels,” as founder Mary K. Ash told them, has been given to the company’s top sales women – and very few sales men – every year since 1969.
The cars came in the same pale pink color as Mary’s cleanser and cream packaging, a shade was chosen so that her products would stand out in American bathrooms.
“In the early 1960s, when Mary Key founded the company, everyone’s bathroom was white,” author Jennifer Beckel-Cook told the Post. “She wanted to have beautiful utensils that would look good with white.
“If women leave the jar outside at their counters, they are always reminded to use their Mary.”
I “Move it forward(Brown Books) On Tuesday, Cook, a 45-year-old employee who founded Mary’s Museum in 1993, gives a loving account of the life and work of his former employer.
Cook reminded, “She was small, about 5 feet tall.” And you wouldn’t believe how charming a little grandmother like Mary could be. She will cry women’s tears, only with her glow.
Two decades after Ash’s death in 2001, Mary’s Inc. is still one of the world’s largest multi-level marketing organizations, with annual revenues of 3.5 3.5 billion. More than 3 million “beauty consultants” in 36 countries run sales sessions – billed as “skin care classes” – to promote a wide range of cosmetics in customers’ homes. Years later, Ash perfected the party sales model – and his technique is still adopted by brands such as Pampered Chef and Lou Laro.
But what Mary’s Inc. did to Ash’s unforgettable, bizarre emotions and her faith-based values, which Coke said, is at the core of the company.
“She believes in putting God first, family second and career third, and she taught us to do the same,” Cook said.
Ash’s Hard Scrabble had no Cadillac, Pink or otherwise in his childhood. Mary Kathleen Wagner was born in 1918 in Minskol Hot Wales, Texas. Future makeup magnet spent her early years caring for her illegitimate father while her mother worked long hours as a restaurant manager.
When Ash’s first husband left her and her three children in the early 1940’s, she began selling door-to-door sales, books, gift items, and cleaning supplies to a captive audience of housewives. He quickly discovered a skill for domestic sales strategies that companies like Tipperwear began shortly after World War II.
Disappointed at the age of 45, after many of his male trainees had been promoted to the top, Ash started his own company. Her nine sales women worked from a small Dallas storefront in 1963, where her pink-packed medicine was immediately affected. In five years, the sales force has grown to 3,000, and Ash is striving to grow her brand.
“In 1968, when it came time to bring her a new car, Mary’s company took the lip and eye palette to a Cadillac dealer,” Cook said. He applied for a paint job to match the compact’s signature pink case.
“The dealer told him, ‘This is crazy,'” Cook said. “You’ll be back in two weeks and ask me to repaint the car.” ”
But Ash insisted – “And when she took that pink Cadillac back to the office, everyone went wild for her,” Cook said with a laugh.
“It became a sensation in Dallas. Everyone waved at the red light.
The following year, Ash leased Pink Cadillacs to the company’s top five sales directors – rolling up billboards that promoted Mary Inc. everywhere.
As her saleswoman tried to win the favorites, Ash expanded the program. In 1973, 52 rose-colored vehicles were tolling on American roads.
Until then, Cadillacs has divided highways with a fleet of pink 18-wheelers that carry Mary’s products from distribution centers in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and New Jersey.
“We were all very proud of those pink trucks,” Cook recalled. “And of course back then truck drivers were brutally teased for driving pink trucks when it was really no trick.
He said, “But he loved his jobs, and he loved Mary.
On one of those visits, the founder unexpectedly announced a new uniform for drivers: a pale pink jumpsuit with the Mary logo.
According to the book, the news caused a stir.More than a pink Cadillac.By Jim Underwood
“We’ll laugh at every truck stop going from here to Los Angeles!” The men protested
At that, Ash burst into laughter.
“She just wanted to see the reaction,” Cook said. “She liked to tease drivers, knowing that teasing would happen to them.”
Initially, Ash often hosted her sales directors at her Lakeside Dallas home, and opened every room in the house for them. In 1969, a group of new recruits praised the sunken marble tub that adorned the founder’s bathroom, and two women began going in for an instant photo session.
Their mischief started the tradition of a company that continues to this day.
“It’s a lot of fun for them,” Cook said with a laugh. “Somehow it became a legend among sales directors that if you don’t get into the tub, you won’t succeed.”
Eventually the company bought a pink heart-shaped tub specifically for Sales Director Photo Aps.
“Every time they train new directors in Dallas, they bring out the tub and put it in the museum,” Cook said. “And one of the staff members is always there to take pictures of them.
“Traditions like these are important,” he said. “Companies that don’t have traditions are really getting lost.”
In the 1980s, Mary’s Inc. began international expansion, beginning in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. Ash’s Spanish-language tutor, Gladys Reis, helped launch Mary’s Cosmeticos de Mexico in 1986.
“Mary’s philosophy is perfect for a Latin woman,” Reiss told Cook in the book. “Family and faith are very important to them.”
The values that appealed to traditional-minded American women in the 1960s and ’70s now attract Catholic Muslims in Malaysia and the Philippines to sell Mary’s products in their countries.
“In a more traditional society, it’s a way to be able to maintain the role of wife, mother and spiritual leader of the home, but also a successful career,” Cook said.
Meanwhile, as the Iron Curtain was broken in the late 1980s, Mary’s Inc. helped take the first steps toward women’s economic liberation in Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia.
“First we get freedom, then we get Mary’s!” A former East German saleswoman screams as she visits Ash shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“Oh, she liked it,” Cook said. “As she understood it, those women were very appreciative of the financial freedom, the opportunity to build a business – something they had never had before.”
Back in the States, Ash spared no expense in building a stunning pink mansion in the Tony Dallas neighborhood of Old Preston Hollow. 12,000 square feet, six bedrooms in a classic style pile, eight bathrooms, broomsticks, a library, three living rooms – a 40-foot roof – and a courtyard pool surrounded by Corinthian columns and false Greek. There is a statue.
The ash filled the house with coral carpets, floor-to-ceiling curtains in salmon silk, fuchsia furnishings and a master bath with a rose quartz toilet and a pink marble soaking tub.
But construction was fast and the work was poor. When Ash welcomed the company’s top saleswoman to her new home in 1986, a sudden rainstorm revealed that the builder had never sealed the windows.
“Water was poured from the roof above the library,” Cook writes, “and Mary and her staff ran with towels and utensils trying to stop the damage.” A few hours later, part of the drywall completely collapsed.
In 1990, Ash took refuge in her former home with a photo-up bathtub, where she remained until her death in 2001.
The Pink Truck fleet was dismantled in 2003, and the Pink Mansion – which years of absentee owners struggled to sell – was demolished in 2017.
But Mary’s Inc. is still thriving.
“One of the goals was to move the company forward when she died,” Cook said. “She knew that a lot of companies are founder-based, and once the founder is gone, the company dissolves.
“But I think women love siblings, and it’s really siblings,” she said. “They’re out with other women, they host their meetings, and they build relationships that are always there.”