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Enterprising student finds success with selling make-up

University senior Melina Papantoniou goes to classes, works on campus and, oh yeah, has her own business.

Two years ago, Papantoniou became an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and now she’s in the qualifications stage to become director.

“Being a college student … is one of the best jobs you can have,” Papantoniou said. “With our busy schedules and everything we have going on in our lives this opportunity is extremely flexible.”

Papantoniou isn’t the only one who appreciates the flexible schedule Mary Kay offers. Lisa Kmiec, sophomore, who became an Independent Beauty Consultant this past fall, said she was able to take three months off from Mary Kay.

“I started in October, but I’ve been doing it on and off because of school,” Kmiec said. “The best part of Mary Kay is really being able to do it when you want to do it or have time.”

Aside from flexibility, Mary Kay offers consultants the ability to move-up through the company with a little bit of hard work.

“I really love how you can move up as fast as you want to,” Papantoniou said.

Meredith Richards, senior, is currently an Independent Beauty Consultant but hasn’t ruled out the eventual possibility of becoming a director. It’s an opportunity she knows would take time and effort but is achievable through Mary Kay.

“You have to have dedication because it’s your own business,” Richards said. “If you don’t have the dedication to make it go somewhere, its not going to.”

For Papantoniou, dedication to the company has taken her a long way. Through Mary Kay, Papantoniou has earned herself the use of a Mary Kay car.

“Honestly, when I started I did very, very little, maybe 10 hours a month,” Papantoniou said. “But now I work six hours a week, and we’re earning our free car.”

Being a director will mean even more dedication from Papantoniou. As a director, she’ll have a team of about 30 Mary Kay consultants under her leadership. She’ll be in charge of helping them work to achieve their own goals as well as continuing to sell products herself. Papantoniou’s team of consultants currently includes seven girls at the University, as well as girls at a number of Ohio universities and an art school in Pennsylvania.

But she didn’t just join Mary Kay and get handed a car and a leadership position.

It all started when Papantoniou became involved with Mary Kay after one of her mom’s friends suggested it.

“She just came over and presented the marketing plan to me and I kind of jumped on it,” Papantoniou said.

Since then, Papantoniou has been working hard hosting Mary Kay parties and selling products as an independent beauty consultant. And her hard work has paid off.

“Last month, working six hours a week, I brought in over $1,600,” Papantoniou said. In comparison, Papantoniou said she didn’t even make a third of that amount at her on-campus job last month.

So how is she managing to bring in that kind of revenue?

“It’s awesome because we’re a consumable product,” Papantoniou said. “People are putting us on in the morning and washing us down the drain at night. They’re always reordering.”

Consultants like Papantoniou sell their products at Mary Kay parties. They also encourage other people to join the company. According to Papantoniou, a party will include product demos, party attendees and telling people about Mary Kay as a job opportunity, all for free.

“We do the skin care, cleanse your face a do a special treatment. Then full glamour, you’ll feel so snappy you’ll want to go out afterwards,” Papantoniou said.

But Papantoniou said that even though Mary Kay is a cosmetics company, they’re about a lot more than make-up.

“A lot of people think we’re all about make-up but we’re not all about lipstick and pink Cadillacs. We’re a lot more than that,” Papantoniou said.

According to Papantoniou, what most people don’t realize is that Mary Kay also has an extensive skin care line, something that is especially appealing to the younger generations.

“A lot of people think we’re for old ladies with big bushy hair, but a lot of young ladies are taking the company by storm,” Papantoniou said.

And as a young lady and Mary Kay customer herself, Papantoniou said she has her own favorite product.

“I absolutely love our lip glosses,” Papantoniou said. “We just came out with new lip glosses, and they have moisturizers and conditioners that just make your lips feel really smooth.”

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