Virginia Sole-Smith

The Beauty Business

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Hour 1:           What’s it really like to be a Mary Kay cosmetics consultant? We’ll talk this hour with investigative reporter Virginia Sole-Smith, whose piece “Pink Pyramid Scheme: How Mary Kay cosmetics preys on desperate housewives” appears in the August, 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine. We’ll also be joined during the hour by Crayton Webb, Mary Kay Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility.

  • Sherri

    I sold Mary Kay when there was only a small building–in the ’60′s. I wanted to put my kids through Kindergarten-it wasn’t free then. I also bought books for them. I did not want to be a director, so I wasn’t. It was a wonderful experience. The first time anyone gave me appreciation for work was in my Mary Kay unit. It served a social need and taught me how to sell. No regrets. I don’t want to do it now, but it’s a different time in my life. I still sell, but for a non-profit.

  • David in Plano

    Darn, I was really hoping just to hear only her side of the conversation, because it’s clear that the Mary Kay PR guy is chewing up time right now to minimize the damage…I know they’re a big local business, but still…

  • Sherri

    I sold Mary Kay when there was only a small building–in the ’60′s. I wanted to put my kids through Kindergarten-it wasn’t free then. I also bought books for them. I did not want to be a director, so I wasn’t. It was a wonderful experience. The first time anyone gave me appreciation for work was in my Mary Kay unit. It served a social need and taught me how to sell. No regrets. I don’t want to do it now, but it’s a different time in my life. I still sell, but for a non-profit.

  • David in Plano

    Darn, I was really hoping just to hear only her side of the conversation, because it’s clear that the Mary Kay PR guy is chewing up time right now to minimize the damage…I know they’re a big local business, but still…

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jratkins85 jratkins

    It’s not just Mary Kay, the whole Direct Sales Business is built on 1) Selling Dreams, 2) Recuiting others 3) Training and 4) some selling of products through to end customers. Most people do not understand the total cost and effort to have their own business, Direct sale, Franchise, or other.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jratkins85 jratkins

    It’s not just Mary Kay, the whole Direct Sales Business is built on 1) Selling Dreams, 2) Recuiting others 3) Training and 4) some selling of products through to end customers. Most people do not understand the total cost and effort to have their own business, Direct sale, Franchise, or other.

  • Checkoutseattle

    Whenever companies have been called out in regards to exploiting vulnerable hard working PEOPLE, as always, reps such as Crayton Webb who speak for companies like Mary Kay revert to the time tested defense where they don’t force anyone to become sales people. Meaning that if the individual does sign on the individual have only themselves to blame in the wake of failure and that they should’ve reviewed the contract thoroughly before signing. So very convenient. I mean, no mega company is ever going to reveal the research and data collected on innocent people and how it’s used to profit not from actual material goods, but from the desperate behavior of financially challenged people.

  • Checkoutseattle

    Whenever companies have been called out in regards to exploiting vulnerable hard working PEOPLE, as always, reps such as Crayton Webb who speak for companies like Mary Kay revert to the time tested defense where they don’t force anyone to become sales people. Meaning that if the individual does sign on the individual have only themselves to blame in the wake of failure and that they should’ve reviewed the contract thoroughly before signing. So very convenient. I mean, no mega company is ever going to reveal the research and data collected on innocent people and how it’s used to profit not from actual material goods, but from the desperate behavior of financially challenged people.

  • April Halstead

    Krys and team, kudos on a terrific show AND scooping the NPR mother ship by getting both sides of the fence at the table. Krys, superb job facilitating and directing the interview. Not many interviewers are brave enough or skilled enough, to manage opposing views in a live format, let alone invite callers. You succeeded with aplomb. Strong work!

    Thank you.

  • April Halstead

    Krys and team, kudos on a terrific show AND scooping the NPR mother ship by getting both sides of the fence at the table. Krys, superb job facilitating and directing the interview. Not many interviewers are brave enough or skilled enough, to manage opposing views in a live format, let alone invite callers. You succeeded with aplomb. Strong work!

    Thank you.

  • April Halstead

    Krys and team, kudos on a terrific show AND scooping the NPR mother ship by getting both sides of the fence at the table. Krys, superb job facilitating and directing the interview. Not many interviewers are brave enough or skilled enough, to manage opposing views in a live format, let alone invite callers. You succeeded with aplomb. Strong work!

    Thank you.

  • Taylor

    Virginia did a pretty good job revealing the true nature of Mary Kay, and engaging Mr. Webb’s claims. As for Mr. Webb, it is obvious that his knee-jerk, pre-made responses indicated his inability or unwillingness even genuinely address the questions and concerns at hand; he’d make a great politician! But then again, what sort of responses would you expect from a “Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility” who’s corporation clearly fits into the category of a pyramid scheme…

  • Taylor

    Virginia did a pretty good job revealing the true nature of Mary Kay, and engaging Mr. Webb’s claims. As for Mr. Webb, it is obvious that his knee-jerk, pre-made responses indicated his inability or unwillingness even genuinely address the questions and concerns at hand; he’d make a great politician! But then again, what sort of responses would you expect from a “Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility” who’s corporation clearly fits into the category of a pyramid scheme…

  • Taylor

    Virginia did a pretty good job revealing the true nature of Mary Kay, and engaging Mr. Webb’s claims. As for Mr. Webb, it is obvious that his knee-jerk, pre-made responses indicated his inability or unwillingness even genuinely address the questions and concerns at hand; he’d make a great politician! But then again, what sort of responses would you expect from a “Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility” who’s corporation clearly fits into the category of a pyramid scheme…

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