It is Women’s History Month, and Idea Design Studio is looking at women that have made a difference in the entrepreneurial and invention fields. Idea Design Studio is known for their marketing, and this entrepreneur has made an empire based on great marketing. Join us at Idea Design Studio, as we take a look at Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Born in Hot Wells, Texas in 1918, Ash seemingly had a sense of business brilliance from the very beginning. Married at 17, she sold books door-to-door as her husband served in World War II and managed to sell $25,000 worth of books in six months. After their divorce in 1938, Ash got a job working for Stanely Home Products. Despite being one of their top sales directors, she was repeatedly passed over for promotions and pay raises, given to men in her field that had achieved less.
Retiring from Stanely in 1963, she set out to write a book to help women in business. Ash’s book eventually turned into a business model, becoming the early stages of Mary Kay Cosmetics. She launched the company in 1963, with a 500 square foot store in Dallas. Ash was very effective in offering incentives for hard-working employees, such as pink Cadillacs. Taking the company public in 1968 was a great move for Ash, as it made her one of the richest women in the world, overnight.
The company stayed public until 1985. Ash remained an active part of Mary Kay Cosmetics, until a stroke in 1996, and her death in 2001. At the time of her death, Mary Kay Cosmetics had business in over 37 countries and annual sales of over $200 million. The company now makes over $1 billion in annual sales.
Idea Design Studio, and its co-founder, former NFL fullback Marvin Powell III, are firm supporters of women’s rights. Idea Design Studio salutes Mary Kay Ash and all of the women who have made their mark in the entrepreneurial and invention industry.