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Mary Kay Convention Draws Thousands, Brings $33M To Local Economy

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The annual Mary Kay convention is one of the Dallas Convention Center's biggest events.  It attracts beauty consultants from all over the world, and they come to Big-D despite a flagging world-wide economic downturn.

Behind the cheers and good vibrations from the convention center arena are some quiet and comforting statistics.

Mary Kay reports $3  billion in sales world wide; and bringing all these excited, enthusiastic businesswomen to Dallas pumps an estimated $33 million into the local economy. And it's growing.

"Year-to-date 94,000 women have started their own Mary Kay business," says Sheryl Adkins-Green, Mary Kay's chief marketing officer.  "About a third of the new Mary Kay businesses were started by women under 35," she adds.

The women, and sometimes men, of Generation-Y are the growing new face of Mary Kay. Like Tim and September James of Carrollton.

" Being a part of Gen-Y I've loved it," said September James, adding, "actually this past year, which I guess you could say has not been the best economically, has been the best year I've had in my business in 11-years. Even pregnant with a fourth child."

While many Americans are struggling, husband Tim has been able to change careers.  "I was in banking and management, and now I'm a teacher," he told CBS 11 News, "so I'm giving back in a different way and it doesn't matter that I'm not making quite as much as before."

Tawnee and John Hammett have a similar tale.  "Honestly, the economy has not effected my business," said Tawnee, adding,  "As a business owner, I don't know that a lot of people can say the same thing."

Husband John believes his wife is in the right career path.  "She's told me a hundred times, Cosmetics is recession-proof. Because no matter how bad a recession gets, women are still going to have their cosmetics."   He understands they are pretty well off considering the state of the economy.

"Because she does make great money through this company we're, I won't say recession-proof as a family...but we've had the comfort we've always been accustomed to.  We haven't felt the pain very much."

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