Cindy Hudson has experienced great success over the years. What started as a side gig in makeup sales for the mom of three led her to opportunities she never expected, including earning a brand new car.
Last week, Hudson was presented with a 2020 silver Chevy Malibu with the Mary Kay emblem on the side.
Looking back, Hudson can’t believe how far she has come.
“My friend and I were tiddling around and we saw a sign for a Mary Kay open house,” Hudson said. “She needed lip liner so we decided to go. I met a woman named Dianne who asked if we had a consultant and if she could show us some products. I ended up signing on.”
Hudson, who lived in Dallas at the time, was about to move to Kentucky for her husband’s job. At this point, she had a decision to make- get out there and meet new people or send her product back.
“We knew nobody in this state when we first moved here. I had three young boys ages 7,4, and 2. I was looking for me time, and I wanted my own money,” Hudson said.
What started as a desire to help take care of Christmas led to so much more for Hudson, who will celebrate 25 years with Mary Kay in December.
“We always got into debt every year at Christmas and my husband would be stressed, so I started to take care of that which I have been able to do for all these years. Through amazing products and amazing friends, here I am,” Hudson said.
Hudson’s favorite part of her business venture has extended beyond accomplishments or sales; she says she feels most blessed by the people she’s met along the way.
“We come into Mary Kay thinking one thing; most of us want to make some money or get our makeup at cost instead of paying retail,” Hudson said. “As a stay-at-home mom, it’s the people that you meet and you get to pour into their lives.”
Hudson said she has been in the business for so long, she is now literally able to watch generations grow up. The first Mary Kay card she handed out at Big Lots over two decades ago led her to about 75 percent of her customers today.
“The fourth generation of my customers from one family has been born,” Hudson said. “I remember when the mother came to my first Mary Kay party when she was six weeks old with her mother and grandmother, and now her daughter was the one in the walker when I did their skincare over the weekend.”
Her recent successes, however, she attributes to her team, who has experienced a strong year despite COVID-19 and the shutdowns.
“During the pandemic, we went to Zoom and Facebook parties. I can give the customer a packet and hop online,” Hudson said. “We were shell-shocked for a few weeks trying to learn it, but now we do parties together every Wednesday and Thursday on Zoom.”
Hudson used this time to help other people with their goals as an outlet to earn extra money. One woman signed up under Hudson in February, just before everything got shut down in the middle of March.
“She was able to pay her house payment and utilities with this when her waitress job was shut down during COVID,” Hudson said. “I can remember when I literally needed this extra income just to pay for my children’s school picture day.”
While helping others get started, Hudson’s team continued to grow and achieve. The team became eligible to earn a vehicle, reaching Grand Achiever status this year.
“Once you earn it, the company pays tax, title, and license. You can take cash if you don’t need the car,” she said. “I took cash a few times earlier in my career because I really needed a minivan with my kids. This time, I decided I am taking that car.”
This meant a lot to Hudson considering that this year was a challenge for so many.
“This year picked up for us because people needed something to bring their spirits up. It’s a fix; you can get a tube of lipstick and feel like a new person,” Hudson said.
As far as future plans, she would love to earn the highest level for her company.
“I am 59, but I want to keep going. I would love our unit to be a Pink Cadillac unit,” she said. “My team deserves the recognition of people saying, ‘Oh my goodness, look what they have accomplished,’ because that’s what people know. It shows a prestige point of what we have worked for in our life and our unit.”
Nearly 25 years ago when Hudson started, she never dreamed she would make it to where she is today.
“What keeps me here after all these years is that I feel like it’s a mission for me,” she said. “It’s more than just a job; it’s about relationships.”