TC woman wins the iconic Mary Kay Cadillac | Company
TRAVERSE CITY – Rewards and recognition for being at the top of a particular profession vary widely.
For some vendors, it may be a crystal trophy. For others, it may be a blazer in company colors.
For Mary Kay Independent Sales Managers, there’s a very noteworthy reward for a sales milestone: a pink Cadillac.
Charmaine Lipscomb of Traverse City picked up the keys to a pink 2023 Cadillac XT5 from Serra Traverse City Cadillac on Thursday. Sales of more than $102,000 for a six-month period allowed Lipscomb to leave the dealership with a two-year lease, which includes more than 95% of insurance costs covered by the 59-year-old company.
“It’s beautiful,” Lipscomb said of the vehicle, which had Mary Kay on the door and a bunch of balloons attached to the windshield wiper inside the showroom at 1747 S. Garfield Ave. .
It’s the third time Lipscomb has qualified to rent the pink Cadillac, but only the first since moving from Alpena to Traverse City in 2008.
“It’s exciting to be the only driver of a pink Cadillac in northern Michigan,” said Lipscomb, who has already reached the sales milestone at Alpena. Another time, Lipscomb said she took the company’s $1,000-a-month cash option.
Serra Traverse City staff were also happy to present the new pink Cadillac at Lipscomb.
“It’s been really exciting,” said Chrissie Felke, Serra Traverse City Cadillac Sales Consultant, who baked brownies with homemade buttercream and pink raspberry lemonade for the occasion. “It’s been fun talking to her, getting to know her and customizing the vehicle for her.”
General sales manager Mike McFarlan said it was the first time Serra Traverse City has delivered a pink Cadillac to a Mary Kay sales manager since the new showroom was built a decade ago.
“It’s been a while for sure,” McFarlan said.
Lipsomb has been with Mary Kay for 26 years and said business has been strong during the pandemic. She said Mary Kay’s virtual presence and free shipping of American-made products resonated with consumers.
The result was $488,000 in sales this “seminar year,” which ended in June. It was $100,000 more than the year before.
“It was amazing how my business exploded just by making people look good and giving them great skin,” said Lipscomb, who wore diamond pins for $450,000 and $350,000 on her lapel. .
Feike said the pink XT5 was the result of Lipscomb’s “hard work and success” before handing over the showroom floor and the keys to the recipient.
Although she is leaving with the Cadillac and pledging to “drive more than ever,” Lipscomb said it was a group effort. Mary Kay Inc. is a privately held, multi-level marketing company that sells health and beauty products. Mary Kay was the sixth largest marketing company in the world in 2018 with a wholesale volume of $325 billion, according to Direct Selling News.
Lipscomb said there were about 110 consultants on his team. Lipscomb said about 80 of the 110 consultants are from northern Michigan. She said some of them are consultants only for personal use of Mary Kay products, which Lipscomb says don’t have sales quotas.
Eight consultants under Lipscomb attended Thursday’s ceremony in Traverse City. Two of them came from Escanaba the night before and four were from the Alpena area, where Lipscomb worked after moving from the Chicago area in 1997.
“They’re the reason we were able to achieve this goal,” an emotional Lipscomb said, waving to the consultants, family and friends gathered around the pink Cadillac.
Everyone gathered to support Lipscomb was invited to her house for lunch, if they weren’t stocked up on pink cookies shipped from Grand Rapids, gummy bears from Germany or candies made by Feike.
One of those who made the trip from the northeast was Anita LaFave. She has been a Mary Kay consultant for 2 years and said Lipscomb was a great mentor.
“I think it’s awesome,” said LaFave, who lives in Hubbard Lake. “She works very hard and she helps everyone below her. She always has time for everyone.
“She’s the most generous person I know. Her heart and soul is Mary Kay and she always helps people.
“If anyone deserves this car, it’s her.”
As she admired the pink Cadillac in the showroom, LaFave was asked how long before she would qualify for the iconic vehicle.
“If somebody wants to take me there, they’ll take me there,” LaFave said of Lipscomb.
Lipscomb began selling Mary Kay when she left a teaching job in the Chicago area to become a stay-at-home mom. Lipscomb said she left in her first pink Cadillac while working at Alpena when her children were “in diapers and car seats.”
Lipscomb said she took a step back during her first move to TC, working and volunteering with Traverse City Christian High School. She said about 80% of her business comes from customers in the Traverse City and Alpena areas.
According to the company’s website, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants who achieve Independent Sales Manager status can earn the use of a Cadillac XT5 (or cash instead).
Started by Mary Kay Ash, the Cadillac program was started “to reward the best of the best,” according to the website. Approximately 1.5% of Mary Kay Independent Consultants achieve Sales Manager status and approximately 10% of Mary Kay Independent Sales Managers earn use of the iconic pink Cadillac.
Since the Mary Kay Career Car Program began in 1969, more than 171,000 sales force members have qualified or requalified to earn the use of a company car, according to the website. There are currently over 3,600 of these career cars on the road in the United States. Of these, more than 1,000 are pink Cadillacs.
Lipscomb drove a Chevy Traverse company car to Serra Traverse City Cadillac on Thursday and drove off with another. While his blue Chevy may not have stood out, it no longer will.
“They’ll know,” McFarlan said of the new pink vehicle.