Dora woman picks up Mary Kay Cadillac at Carl Cannon

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A Mary Kay sales leader who now lives in Dora picked up another pink vehicle that the company is famous for - and, for the first time, she got it from Carl Cannon Chevrolet Buick GMC. 

Kathy Rodgers-Smith has made a 34-year career with the company, intending only to join long enough to help a relative get their own pink Mary Kay car. On Wednesday last week, she picked up a 2021 Cadillac XT6 - what she thinks is her 18th pink Mary Kay vehicle. 

In a small celebration with other Mary Kay saleswomen joining in, Rodgers-Smith visited the Jasper dealership, picking up the keys from Carl Cannon Cadillac specialist and digital manager Joshua Salter.

Rodgers-Smith is a national sales director for Mary Kay, meaning she is a top sales producer in the company. Mary Kay's website said it has 3.5 million Mary Kay "independent beauty consultants" and $4 billion in global annual sales, making the company "a top beauty brand and direct seller in more than 35 markets around the world."

Normally those in the sales force qualify for one of the pink vehicles. She qualified for her first car in 1987. She works with her team, with wholesale quotas part of the process. 

"Normally, you have it two years and you re-qualify for another one," she said. "When you reach the pinnacle of being a national sales director, it is automatic. You never have to re-qualify again. So I've been a national since 2007."

As she automatically gets a new one, she puts in an order for it. Rodgers-Smith has been driving an Escalade, with car tags and insurance covered. 

Asked why she still sells for Mary Kay, she said, "I absolutely just love the people, helping the people and the transformation that it makes, making a difference in people's lives." 

Working for Mary Kay instills more confidence, and allows them to apply make up and make other women feel better about themselves and prettier, she said. 

"But it is also the inside. It is the personal touch that we give, the positive influence in their lives, breathing belief," she said. A number of other Mary Kay personnel came for the presentation last week, and she pointed out most of them have earned a career car as well. She said one can "breath belief" into others through the company that they can achieve their goals.

Her whole national area team has about a 1,000 people. "We don't have territories," she said. "The majority of my organizations, as we call it, are in Alabama, but we do have them in Tennessee and Georgia. Now, with Covid, we have them all over the United States because we've worked Zoom. And Zoom is easier to do all over, so we have them everywhere." 

She noted the pandemic has been a challenge, "but the company is still allowing us to earn a pink Cadillac." On Zoom, "we'll hold the product up and we'll talk about it," she said. 

Instead of being there in person to demonstrate the cosmetic to a customer, sometimes the sales people have sent out samples to try, and then the customers want to buy the product, Rodgers-Smith said. 

Originally, Rodgers-Smith had most of her business in Oneonta, in Blount County. Then she was in Tennessee for several years to be closer to some family, including grandchildren. Now she has recently moved to Dora. She has a daughter and a son, both grown, and two grandchildren. 

"I am kind of finishing out," she said. "I'm in my last couple of years before I retire," with a paid retirement available through the company. "I'm here to do as much as I can and  help as many people as I can," she said. 

As for advising anyone interested into working for Mary Kay, she said, "I would just tell them you have nothing to lose. Just go for it, because it was personally life-changing for me," as she previously had a daycare. 

Originally, she said she was using the Mary Kay product line, which she loved. 

"At the time, what got me in, a family member was earning her very first pink Cadillac. She needed one more person. She said, 'If you will just help me win this pink Cadillac ...'"

So she did on March 31, 1987, which did result in the pink Cadillac being awarded.

"But it turned into being the plan God had for my life," Rodgers-Smith said. "But I just didn't know that." 

With Mary Kay, she has been able to be her own boss and to help other people to achieve their goals. "You can't lose. You just have to make a decision and go for it," she said.

She said she "absolutely" enjoyed her first experience in ordering a car at Carl Cannon. "They've been fabulous," she said. 

Anyone wanting any more information about Mary Kay can contact the company at www.marykay.com. She noted one can go onto the website, put in a zip code and find a local independent beauty consultant and connect the customer to their websites.