A line of three cars, all decorated with Mary Kay stickers on the rear windshield, drove through Frankfort with pink heart-shaped balloons fluttering from the passenger side windows.
It looked like a small parade as the cars followed each other to Capitol Chevrolet on Versailles Road.
The balloons didn’t last long, but the excitement did, as the ladies arrived at the dealership and crowded around a 2012 shiny white Chevy Malibu.
“Mary Kay” was written in silver letters on each side of the car and the front plate was black with “Mary Kay” written in pink.
Nancy Butler, a Mary Kay independent sales director, was getting her 11th free car from the company for being a team builder and high sales.
She calls it her “trophy on wheels.”
Butler, 60, is one of more than 120,000 independent sales force members with Mary Kay to qualify or re-qualify for the Mary Kay Career Car Program since it started in 1969.
Mary Kay sets certain levels of production a consultant or sales director must reach in order to receive a vehicle for a two-year span. The type of vehicle they’re eligible for varies depending on what goal they reach.
If an employee reaches the next goal before those two years are up, they’re still eligible for the next type of vehicle.
“It’s a simple formula, but it does take hard work,” Butler said. “It’s a combination of team building and selling the product.”
During her 25 years with Mary Kay, Butler has been awarded 10 cars for her work. On Thursday, she picked up number 11, the Malibu.
But it was the first time she could pick a car up in Frankfort. Before Capitol Chevrolet opened in June, there weren’t any Chevrolet dealers in town that would make courtesy deliveries.
“They were just kind enough to do this,” Butler said.
She’s traveled to Louisville, Lexington, Shelbyville and Eminence to pick up the other cars.
The cars are leased to team members for two years, with Mary Kay covering the lease, taxes, license plate fees and most of the insurance costs.
Butler has driven several Pontiac Grand Prixs, Pontiac Grand Ams and a Saturn Vue.
When Butler started selling Mary Kay products in 1987, she only did it part-time as a side job to her full-time position as a teacher.
But it wasn’t long before she quit teaching and joined Mary Kay full-time.
“I loved what I did, but you don’t often get pats on the back. It’s usually not until years later when you’ll have students tell you how wonderful you were,” Butler said. “The rewards are a little more delayed.”
In 1992, after five years with Mary Kay, she earned her first car and became a sales director.
She hasn’t had to make a car payment since.
Next, she’s aiming to get the Chevy Equinox, but she’s not rushing her team or her sales.
“When our numbers will grow, it will happen naturally,” Butler said. “You set your own goals. You go at your own pace.”
A couple years ago, she opened a studio and training center on C. Michael Davenport Boulevard for her team of consultants. They do weekly makeovers and facials for their clients there.
“It’s been great for the Frankfort area,” she said. “We’re improving the image of Frankfort one free facial at a time.”
Butler said she doesn’t see herself ever doing anything else because of the rewards with Mary Kay, the flexible hours and the positive effect she can have on women.
“I like being rewarded for all my hard work. I enjoy being appreciated for what I do,” Butler said. “Every hour I put in, I’m building my business, and I like that.”
She said she also likes that everyone receives the prizes once they qualify.
“I love that the only competition in Mary Kay is myself,” Butler said. “I never thought of myself as being very competitive, but I am persistent and I am a hard worker.”