The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 6, 2014

Valley woman is Mary Kay proud

Mary Kay Ash didn’t find her dream job until after she retired.

That’s because at that time — more than 50 years ago — the dream job didn’t exist. Hardworking women of that era were rarely recognized and rewarded for their efforts by the male-dominated companies for which they worked.

So in 1963, Ash created the job. Based on her experiences in the direct sales field, the assistance of her son and $5,000 start-up money, Ash formed the Texas-based Mary Kay Cosmetics Company.

The idea was to create quality skin care products for women that would be sold by a direct sales force that could “find success on their own terms and be their own bosses” balancing faith, family and career, said Ash in her book “The Mary Kay Way.”

An empire was born. Ash later introduced skin care products for men and opened the sales force — referred to as independent beauty consultants, sales directors and national sales directors — to men.

Today, the company’s executive chairman is a man. But that’s not really surprising. He’s Richard Rogers — Mary Kay Ash’s son, the same one who helped his mother create the dream job five decades ago.

The best-known symbol of Mary Kay is the pink Cadillac, part of the Career Car Program Ash began in 1969. Use of the pink car is given (under a lease-type of deal) to the top Mary Kay sales directors — the highest status within the independent sales force — for outstanding performance and exceeding goals.

It immediately tells the world the driver has done Mary Kay proud.

If you see a new, pearlized 2014 pink Cadillac CTS cruising the Valley, chances are it’s Kassondra Kantz.

Career choice that works

Kantz, who was born and raised in Richfield and now lives in Harrisburg, recently took delivery of the car at a dealership in Carlisle.

It’s her third Mary Kay career car.

Kantz, 23, started working for Mary Kay — or, as she describes it, “started her business” — at age 18, after she graduated from high school. “At that time, most people thought I was crazy,” she said.

But Kantz saw the bigger picture. “From the beginning, I wanted to be a leader in the company and work this as my career. I wanted a career that would offer an executive income with a flexible schedule so I could have a balanced family life and still be successful professionally with unlimited opportunities for growth and income,” she said. “With Mary Kay, I can do all of that.”

As a sales director, she teaches people how to take care of their skin and apply cosmetics but also coaches and mentors her own “unit” of consultants in building “their own successful businesses.”

Kantz is personally familiar with all her customers, spread throughout Snyder, Juniata and Mifflin counties. She attributes Mary Kay’s corporate success to this high level of “unbeatable customer service” along with its quality products, all of which she said she uses. Another reason, she added, is the company’s philosophy of “God First, Family Second, Career Third.”

“We have,” Kantz said, “our priorities straight.”

Text Only
  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

Business Video