Meleah Oglesby has sold Mary Kay for nearly a decade. She has been in the Queen’s Court of Sales seven times in the last eight years. Last year, Oglesby finished sixth in the nation, and is currently fifth.
Did you study sales in college?
I studied medical technology and laboratory technology. I worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, then I went to work in the lab at Regional Medical Center, and I stayed there for 16 years.
What was it about medical and laboratory technology that interested you?
I enjoyed it because it was always something new. It was like “CSI,” or something like that.
Do you still work in a lab?
Now, I am what is called a lab director technical consultant.
What do you do as a lab director technical consultant?
Doctors’ offices that have labs are under an agency called CLIA that makes sure when you use the lab, you do not get bogus results, so I write their procedure manuals, review their quality control and their patient results. If anything is wrong, I do a quality assurance report and correct whatever the issue is.
How many labs do you consult with?
At one time I had two digits-worth of labs, but now I am down to just four because of Mary Kay; it has allowed me to cut down significantly.
What was your first experience with Mary Kay?
I started using Mary Kay 32 years ago in Birmingham. I was going to go work out with one of my best friends, and she said someone was going to come give us a facial instead.
When did selling Mary Kay become an interest for you?
About eight-and-a-half years ago, a girl from Munford got in touch with me and asked if I had ever used Mary Kay. I said, “Yes, and I am out of everything!” I have three daughters and one son, and I told my daughters they were going to start using Mary Kay. One of my daughters liked an expensive brand in the mall, and the other two liked over-the-counter stuff, but they would run out of it so often. When the girl from Munford came to our house, the girls loved everything; it was going to cost us over $800. She told me that I could sign up to sell Mary Kay and just buy mine at a discount. I said, “You could not pay me to sell that stuff!” (laughs). The rest is history. My coworkers at the lab would buy items from me. In the first six months, I sold $8,000-$9,000.
How did you become one of the top Mary Kay sellers in the country?
Well, those sales came from folks trying free samples. My daughter got engaged, and she wanted a beach wedding. My husband was a schoolteacher, and he said we could not afford it. I said I would make it happen, and that is when my Mary Kay business really took off. I always say, God had a plan for me, he just never told me about it (laughs). God has blessed me a lot. A lot of my business is because of referrals.
How much Mary Kay did you have to sell to become the fifth top seller this year?
Last year, they totaled me out at over $93,000. Three things are recession-proof: alcohol, tobacco and cosmetics. I am not going to sell alcohol or tobacco, so I sell cosmetics.
Why do you sell Mary Kay?
This is a business I really enjoy. I enjoy sitting down and getting to know people. I have found some of my best friends through Mary Kay. You get to know people. They say the reason you sell Mary Kay changes; I started to get mine at a discount, then I used it to pay for weddings and one of my daughters’ living expenses while she is in medical school.
Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.