DALLAS -- When it comes to empowerment, women mean business. And they're increasingly getting involved in business.
From 1997 through 2017 the number of women-owned businesses in the United States grew 114 percent, and the number of businesses owned by minority women shot up 467 percent! A big driver of that has been Dallas-based cosmetics company Mary Kay, and the proof is on display right now at its annual convention at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
"It's so much more than just makeup; it's truly changing women's lives," says Kara Luchowski, a future sales director from Pennsylvania who has been selling Mary Kay for eight years. "I came in [to the company] to get my products at a discount. Over the years my passions changed, and I build my business now for my financial freedom within my family and just to spread and enhance and enrich women's lives everywhere."
"This is transformational," adds Regena Pipkin, Mary Kay's director of U.S. marketing. "This is one of the biggest and greatest opportunities for many of our women, so we are excited to have them here."
The City of Dallas is excited, too. The Mary Kay Seminar is currently Dallas' longest-running convention-center event, having started in 1975, and it's actually a four-day event done four times, back-to-back-to-back-to-back, to accommodate the nearly 30,000 attendees registered to take part. Those 16 days, plus an additional 14 days of set-up and three more days of tearing it down, will pump an estimated $37 million into the local economy according to the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
And the convention gives back in other ways, too, including recycling makeup and lotion containers, planting trees, collecting clothing for women's shelters, and donating money for cancer research and domestic violence programs.
"You come here and your bucket gets filled," says Luchowski. "You're filled with enthusiasm and knowledge and things to take back out into the field and to share with my team."
Nothing like a morale makeover to help drive you forward--although the Mary Kay-edition cars and SUVs that super-sellers can earn help with that drive, too!