Mary Kay’s Pink Cadillacs Were Nearly Lincolns

In 1967, Mary Kay Ash walked into a Lincoln dealership in Dallas, Texas. She and her husband Mel had just launched Mary Kay Cosmetics just four years ago, and now she was looking for a car that could suit her newfound success. She wanted it customized, something in a powdery pink, a light shade that matched the shade of blush in the cosmetics compact she carried. A salesman approached. Before she could even open up the compact, he stopped her: “Little lady,” he said, “go home and get your husband. And when you come back, we’ll get you into that Lincoln.”

So the story goes, as oft-repeated by corporate spokespeople as necessary. (To be fair, Mary Kay never mentioned Lincoln by name.) The year she founded her own business, Mary Kay had quit her job of 25 years when she found herself passed up for a

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