01-20-2011 9:15 AM

Annie Josefsen, Vice-President of Sales for Mary Kay, Inc.Welcome back loyal Mary Kay Way readers!  Our first post of 2011 comes from Annie Josefsen, Vice-President of Sales for Mary Kay, Inc.  Annie first joined Mary Kay in April 1972, and currently is responsible for some of the most important programs that pertain to the Mary Kay Independent Sales Force, including: Sales Force Recognition (our incredible jewelry, wonderful contests and amazing Career Apparel,) the Career Car program (all those amazing cars... especially that Beautiful Pink Cadillac) and NSD Services, an entire department dedicated to assisting our National Sales Directors, the incredible Top Leaders of our Independent Sales Force.

I can’t believe it’s already a brand New Year. Where did 2010 go? I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Thinking about the past year, I’m comforted by the reminder that each day, Mary Kay independent sales force members, Mary Kay employees and generous people throughout this world are doing great things every day in the spirit of helping others. 

Around here, it’s sometimes easy to take that “Go Give” philosophy for granted. After all, Mary Kay’s guiding principle was the Golden Rule, and we have that in our DNA. Recently, I was talking to my 28-year-old goddaughter on the phone. She was so excited because she’d just looked at the Mary Kay website and read about all of the great things we do for the community – from our efforts to end the epidemic of domestic violence to the cancer research that’s been funded through The Mary Kay Foundation. All I could say was “Well, yeah --that’s who we are, and that’s who we’ve been for as long as I’ve been here.” (I've been at Mary Kay 38 years; I started when I was 2!) The conversation later got me thinking that, for Mary Kay independent sales force members and Mary Kay employees alike, helping others has always been a natural extension of our mission to enrich women’s lives. Mary Kay Ash founded her Company on that mission in 1963, and at that time, she had no idea that the message would echo with so many women throughout the world. This Company, this independent sales force and our mission have always been great, and why after all of these years didn’t my goddaughter know that? I decided it’s my fault because I don’t tell the story enough to everyone I know.  Sometimes it just sounds like bragging, but it’s the truth. No brag, just fact. 

Then I received a copy of a blog from a makeup artist named Diana Manzanares. Diana’s not affiliated with the company but partnered with Mary Kay to give makeovers to women who were victims of domestic violence. You can read Diana’s full blog about the event here.

In her blog, she shares how rewarding it was to work with Mary Kay to help these women remember how to feel beautiful again. In Diana’s own words:

“[The last two weeks] have been a blessing and one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a makeup artist … I had the pleasure of giving these ladies a makeover and getting to know them. The greatest part of my trip was when one of the ladies who received the makeover said to me, ‘Gracias, gracias por estar aqui, y por hacerme sentir bella,  tu no sabes que esto sinfica par nosotras, y que te puedo dicer, te quiero.’  Translation: ‘Thank you for being here and making me feel beautiful. We’ve been excited about this day since we found out. You don’t know what this means to us, and, what can I tell you? I adore you.’ That to me was just so touching and moving.  I will never forget the women I’ve met … they were an inspiration.”

What a wonderful, eye-opening experience this was for Diana and one she will never forget. The amazing thing is this is a daily occurrence within the Mary Kay independent sales force, among our employees and throughout the world. I know that, each day, thousands of people – many associated with Mary Kay, some not -- are silently giving their time to help others in ways we don’t even know about and may never learn about. I only hope we learn more of their stories this year, because we need to shout them from the rooftops. To the Mary Kay independent sales force members, I tell you from the bottom of my heart: Great you will always be, but we need to add FANTASTIC to the description. We have fantastic products, the best marketing plan of any company out there, and best of all, we have YOU! A totally FANTASTIC you. Together, we can shine light in any dark corner of the world; this is an independent sales force and a company that makes a difference.

If you’ve never been a part of Mary Kay -- or if the sales force or our company has never touched your life in some way – I hope our mission to enrich women’s lives resonates with you this year. Maybe you’ll check out our website and read about our commitment to making this world a better place. Or maybe you’ll cross paths with sales force members or employees carrying on the Mary Kay legacy. And I hope they inspire you as they continue to inspire me.