Saturday, October 27, 2007

My original apology to Pink Truth members

As you may recall, one of the first incidents in the chain of events that led to me starting this site was the rejection of my apology and subsequent banning from the Pink Truth club.

I was going through some of my files and saw that I had saved the apology in its entirety prior to posting it. In the interest of demonstrating why I believe that I was not out of line, I have decided to post it here.

If you or someone close to you has been burned by someone (singular or plural) in Mary Kay, please accept my apologies.



I am intrigued and troubled that there are so many of you that were hurt by individuals involved in Mary Kay. On behalf of my wife and I am sure countless other consultants, directors, and corporate employees, I am sorry.

Really. I am not trying to convert any of you or tell you that you are wrong. It breaks my heart to hear stories of people being taken advantage of and abused. Please accept my most sincere apology that this happened to you. In addition to that and in support of the creators of this website, if you are feeling pressured to spend money that you don't have, act selfishly in the name of God, or profit from being deceitful, you should indeed run, not walk away from those that promote these practices.

However, the atrocities listed on these pages have not been my experience or of my wife. I have been exposed to and witnessed many MLM and Direct Sales horror stories. So, when my wife expressed interest in MK I was wary. I carefully monitored everything she brought home and challenged all the details of the program. I have been nothing but impressed with the way we have been treated thus far.

We were both raised by loving parents who instilled good values in us and introduced us to a relationship with Jesus. We are both committed Christians. I was a youth pastor for five years and we both have our eyes fixed on doing everything we can to honor God. I have been impressed with the way my wife's Mary Kay business allows her to keep her priorities straight.

The way I see it, and I hope this will help set up an open-minded perspective, Mary Kay is a business. Like any other business, their primary purpose (this is important) is to make money. I don't believe that anywhere in their literature, they claim anything other than that. Anyone will tell you that in order for a business to succeed, it must make money. In order for that to happen, their product or service must be sold. In order for a company to be profitable doing this, the money they make must be more than the money it costs for them to produce and distribute that product or service.

A common rule ratio for the actual cost of a product and the retail price of that same product is 1:4 or 25%. In other words, if you buy an energy drink for $1.00, it probably cost the retailer $.25. This is not exact, it is just a basic rule of thumb used for determining if you can make money selling something.

The problem is that just because you have a product that you can sell at an incredible mark-up doesn't mean that you can make money. You have to find a way to tell people that you have this product and what separates it from the product your competition offers. Enter advertising/marketing.

We are all familiar with advertising because unless you live in a cave, you have seen TV commercials, heard radio ads, seen billboards, read Newspaper ads, and been introduced to products and services in ways that you sometimes don't even realize. Most companies spend the majority of that 75% "profit" on these various forms of advertising. I am sure that most have you have heard about the price of advertising in the Super Bowl ($2.6 million for a 30 second spot! Just ONE!!) The bottom line is that if you want to succeed, you have to find a way to introduce your product to the people that will use it.

Mary Kay, as you all know chooses to invest their "marketing budget" directly into a sales force of (mostly) women who enjoy the product themselves. On the "front end" of the deal, they give you 50% of the profit. You do not have to design the product, create the product, ship the product (unless you have it shipped to you and then in turn ship it to your clients), warehouse the product (unless you choose to build your own inventory), or reimburse your clients for product they were not satisfied with. All you (and I am now using you because it seems that most of you were at one time MK representatives) have to do is demonstrate the product to people that might like it and exchange their money for the product they want (glorified cashier if you will).

In order for this style of marketing to have the same reach as, say, Pepsi, who uses traditional advertising, there has to be a LOT of people offering the product to a LOT of people. This means that naturally the company will reward the members of the sales force who perform well. In our experience, our desire to sell more products (so as to make more money) has always outperformed the expectations of our director. That is not to say that we have not been encouraged to sell more, work harder, etc. but I have never seen this as being any different than my friends encouraging me to train harder (sports) or my parents encouraging me to study harder when I was in school. People get paid to offer this kind of motivation! They are called trainers.

I want to again emphasize that I am not saying that your stories are invalid. Unfortunately, anytime you work with people, you will find that selfishness is inevitable. There are undoubtedly many people in Mary Kay that see a shortcut like pushing their consultants to order more product than they need and take it. There are not strong enough words to describe how horrifically angry it makes me that people claiming to represent the same company my wife represents have done these things to you. To me it is tantamount to the way that people have brutally murdered their fellow man “in the name of God”. (To scale of course)

My wife recently told me that there were several directors (I know not what level) that were dismissed from Mary Kay for doing some of the things that were mentioned on this site (i.e. forcing consultants to place huge inventory orders, taking out loans/credit, etc). They were told that they could never sell Mary Kay again. I applaud and appreciate these actions, and hope that it is evidence of ongoing protection from the corporate level to prevent these sorts of happenings from occurring.

I love my wife strongly, and I know her heart and her character intimately. When she hears no, she stops. When she “compliments” someone, it is sincere. We have both set our course to value people as people, not dollar signs. If we can grow a business through selling cosmetics and skin care products, great! If there are other women or men who would also like to sell these great products, even better. I truly believe that this can be accomplished without manipulating the people around you.

Do I naively suppose that Mary Kay is a perfect organization with no inherent problems? By no means. But I do strongly suggest that you take a look around at any of the major companies doing business in the US and around the world. I think that you will not find many with the integrity and vision of Mary Kay. Does Mary Kay aim to operate their business using Godly principles? I hope so. Do they try to use God to manipulate you to buy makeup? Not the people we’ve met.

We (my wife and I) as well as the people in our small unit try to use Mary Kay as an opportunity to serve God. Not the other way around (Using God as an opportunity to serve Mary Kay). Nonetheless, I can see by your many comments and well written posts, that there are some (if not many) who have gotten it all screwed up and in the process inflicted much damage.
I know that I cannot undo what has been done, but what I can offer you is what I have learned through my personal experiences with abusive treatment. I have learned that the best thing to do when you are wronged is to forgive those that have wronged you. So I again offer my sincere apology for the wrongs that have befallen you and ask you (not for my sake but for yours) please, forgive those people that mistreated you, and find away to sew seeds of life into the people that are around you.

Thank you for your time,
God Bless.


I know that was pretty long, but if you were able to take it all in, I would love some feedback. Was I out of line? I really did not mean any ill will by it, and to this day am a little put-off by the fact that it was on the basis of this comment that I was rejected by this "friendly community" with absolutely no explanation.

Oh well, C’est la vie

What does everyone else think?


  1. I know this post is really old, but I'd like to chime in with my opinion anyway.

    I do not believe you were out of line. I just left Pink Truth because I got fed up with the way people of opposing opinions are treated over there.

    From experience within my own unit, the only real dishonesty I saw came from my ex-Director, my current Director (I intend to find an ethical director to adopt me), and 2 consultant. My unit is quite large, so as you might guess, they are the minority. 2 consultants are Mennonites. I bring religious affiliation into this only because, as most are aware, the Amish/Mennonite code of conduct (for lack of a better term) is very strict and is also very strictly enforced. To behave in the way Pink Truth would have us believe all consultants/directors/NSD's etc. do, would require that these ladies step beyond the church and their husband's authority, and risk bringing shame upon their families.
    While there are some unethical consultants and directors at varying levels of the corporation, I do not believe that this is true for a large part of the sales force. I myself do not front-load, have not lied to my potential recruits, and have not opened a separate account to hide my spending from my husband. I believe there are likely deeper issues for those who do.

    I'm sorry this post was so long :)

  2. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I thought Mennonites didn't wear cosmetics.

  3. I thought so too, felt it strange that I would find a Mennonite at a unit meeting in the first place. I am unsure if they only sold the product without using it, or if they used skincare with no color, which is probably the strongest possibility as I don't remember ever seeing either of them wearing makeup, but then again, most of us did not follow the MK "dress code" so it wouldn't have really stood out that much.


For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For (here) (there)
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