Mary Kay Business Model Drawing in Younger Representatives

With lackluster Department of Labor reports and the onset of new college grads looking for jobs, the outlook for traditional employment can be bleak for many, especially Gen Yers. Recent college grads experience a double whammy because many are saddled with student loan debt, which now exceeds credit card and mortgage debt.

The shortage of job opportunities and rising debt are two primary factors driving young adults and college grads to look for options to earn money while finding that first big job. Many are turning to Mary Kay. Economists point to direct selling as being one of the more recession-resistant industries, and this has held true for cosmetics giant Mary Kay. In the past three years, Mary Kay has seen a growth in sales and an increase in the number of people starting to sell Mary Kay beauty products.

The reality is that the faces of Mary Kay women entrepreneurs are looking younger, not only because of the skin care and color cosmetics they demonstrate and sell, but also because of a growing number of new saleswomen who are younger. More than 36% of the company’s new independent beauty consultants in 2012 are from the Gen Y (18- to 30-year-olds) segment, and Mary Kay also reports 94,000 total new independent businesses were started last quarter—more than 34,000 by Gen Y.

“Gen Y has a unique set of talents and career expectations,” said Sheryl Adkins-Green, Mary Kay’s chief marketing officer. “They are tech-savvy and digitally connected. They want to control their destiny and are not excited about a 9 to 5, one-size-fits-all position. A Mary Kay business provides training, flexibility and it can be customized to individual goals. Plus, Mary Kay’s social media presence and digital tools have proven to be extremely attractive business-building tools for Gen Y.”

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