WINTERSVILLE - When Gloria Popp first started selling Mary Kay Cosmetics, she never dreamed one of the company's famous "pink cars" was in her future.
But 31 years and 16 cars later, Popp is a believer in the Mary Kay way.
"It's been a journey, a learning journey," Popp said, laughing. "In the beginning, I'd never have thought I'd ever get a car."
HIGH ACHIEVERS — Stellar sales numbers for Mary Kay Cosmetics earned new vehicles for Gloria Popp and Louise Donofe, both of Steubenville. Popp received a Chevy Equinox and Donofe, a Chevy Malibu. Pictured with the cars, are from left, Popp, Donofe and Scott Medley of TEAM Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac in Wintersville, who gave the women the keys to their new vehicles. - Linda Harris
Now a senior director, Popp, a Steubenville resident, currently oversees 71 consultants, including her first recruit, neighbor Louise Donofe. Donofe herself oversees 57 consultants at the moment, "though there've been times when I had 80 and (Popp's) had over 100," she said.
The women have a combined 57 years as independent sales associates and directors between them.
Mary Kay awards cars to its associates based on sales performance, goals Popp and Donofe are used to exceeding: Donofe is now on her 13th car, just three behind her friend and mentor.
"I'm glad she recruited me," Donofe said. "I've had a lot of fun with her."
The women picked up their new rides this week at TEAM Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac in Wintersville: This year, Popp gets a black Equinox; Donofe is driving a white malibu.
Popp admits she never expected to make a career of cosmetics. She said she was recruited by her sister when her job with a local phone company was eliminated. Initially skeptical, she said it was her husband who convinced her to give the cosmetics business a try.
"If it wasn't for him I couldn't have done it," she said.
It wasn't long before she recruited Donofe, a friend and neighbor who'd been managing a hair salon with 36 operators. Though she, too, remembers being skeptical in the early going, Donofe said it's been a good marriage.
"We've just had a lot of fun," said Donofe, "and we've been many places because of Mary Kay."
TEAM GMC salesman Scott Medley facilitated the courtesy delivery.