Tag Archives: NPR

[Virginia on the Radio] NPR’s Marketplace with Tess Vigeland

Virginia Sole-Smith Tess Vigeland NPR Marketplace Mary Kay

 

And one last radio update for you before the weekend! This interview with Tess Vigeland aired on NPR’s Marketplace yesterday evening. It’s just five minutes — much shorter than my other segments and tightly edited (we taped in the afternoon) but if you want a great, fast digest of my Harper’s story and everything we uncovered about Mary Kay, you’ll get it here (transcript and podcast both available).

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Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Customer Cult, Happenings, Makeup, Mary Kay, Press

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[Virginia on the Radio] KERA’s Think with Krys Boyd on The Beauty Business

NPR KERA Think with Krys Boyd: The Beauty Business with Virginia Sole-Smith and Crayton Webb

I spent a fun hour on NPR’s KERA this afternoon, as a guest of THINK with Krys Boyd. The show airs live in Texas, where 30,000 Mary Kay consultants are currently gathered for the annual Seminar in Dallas.

Plus, Mary Kay’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Crayton Webb, comes on for the second half of the show and things get… spicy.

You can listen to the podcast here (click “The Beauty Business” link), and also head over to the show page to add your comments.

Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Customer Cult, Happenings, Makeup, Mary Kay, Press

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[Inside the Pink Pyramid] But Of Course, Our Products End Up With the Retail Consumer

When I spoke with Laura Beitler, Mary Kay’s Vice President of Compliance, on NPR’s On Point on Monday, she was quick to emphasize that “absolutely, the majority of our products end up with the end consumer.” But when we pressed her, she also had to admit: “We can’t and don’t track retail sales.” 

How can both those things be true? 

To avoid falling into the Federal Trade Commission’s official definition of a pyramid scheme, it’s very important for Mary Kay — and all multi-level marketing companies — to insist that their primary goal is getting their products out to retail consumers. But to avoid being exposed as a business where the vast majority of the sales force is losing money, all of these companies have to claim that they have no idea what those end retail consumers are spending.

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[Virginia on the Radio] NPR’s On Point Investigates Mary Kay

NPR On Point Virginia Sole-Smith Investigating Mary Kay

In case you missed it live yesterday, here’s the podcast of NPR’s On Point, which devoted its second hour yesterday to Investigating Mary Kay, inspired by my Harper’s article.

The show was guest-hosted by Wade Goodwyn and in addition to me featured Lynne (one of the women profiled in my story) and Douglas Brooks, a practicing attorney who has litigated numerous class action suits on behalf of victims of multi-level marketing schemes over the past 20 years.

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Beauty Schooled and No More Dirty Looks on Lemondrop!

Oh, hey, check it out. It’s a fun Q&A that I did with Alexandra and Siobhan, live now over on Lemondrop. You should read it. And then hurry, go turn on your TV because it’s almost time for the 8 AM hour of the Today Show, when Alexandra and Siobhan will be on with phthalates researcher Shanna Swann, PhD. That’s my girls!

PS. While I’m pimping out my friends’ media appearances, you should totally also listen to one Amy Palanjian, ReadyMade‘s deputy editor and Things We Make blogger, tell you what to do with all those leaves in your yard on NPR’s Marketplace. OK, it’s not beauty, but we can have layers, right? Like, ahem, this lovely story I wrote for their latest issue?

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What’s Going On With Nail Salons. (And Why They Aren’t the New Massage Parlors.)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUps3BTv1Lo]

So, tonight, a Beauty U student brings in the newspaper because the front page story is “Local Madam Arrested for Terrorizing Sex Slaves.”

“I can’t believe I went into that place!” she says. “I didn’t know what it was!”

She thought it was a nail salon. Because that’s what it said on the sign.

Our teacher has already seen the newspaper and is more world-weary. “You have to know the signs,” she tells us. Front windows painted up? A back room for “massage?” And — this is the part nobody quite says but we all know it anyway — Asian-owned and operated? Check, check, and check.

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Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Schooled, Career Opportunities, Government Watch

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The Matter of Lightening Up

No, it’s not a skin condition or his attempt to woo Twi-hard fans.

Sammy Sosa is stepping up to fill the Michael Jackson void as the latest celeb-of-color to become um, less colorful thanks to skin lightening creams. The Root has a great essay on the cultural ramifications of his progression to pale. And Sammy’s not the only one: NPR is reporting that the skin whitening industry is working hard to expand their male customer base. In fact, trade publication GCI Magazine estimates that sales of male skin-whitening products in India could match the sales of female skin whiteners within five to ten years.

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