A Look Back at the First Seminar

07-13-2015 9:22 AM

Five Surprising Facts About 1964's Seminar

  1. The date: September 13, 1964, the Company's first anniversary.

  2. The location: the Company's warehouse on Majesty Drive in Dallas.

  3. The decorations: crêpe paper and balloons.

  4. The menu: chicken, jalapeno dressing and Jell-O salad, all cooked by Mary Kay Ash herself.

  5. The Mary Kay business family included 200 people.

In Mary Kay Ash's own words:

          We called it “Seminar,” because it was to be an educational event, along with recognition. We couldn’t afford to rent space in a hotel, so we held that first Seminar in the warehouse of our new location. I still remember how enthusiastic we all were.

          It wasn’t a high budget, but it was a start on things to come. On the day of our Seminar, I unfroze all this stuff and I changed clothes three times. I worked in the kitchen all day, and changed into my first Seminar gown. Then, when everybody left, I changed clothes again to clean it all up.

          We decorated the warehouse with crepe paper and balloons so it would look really festive. We had a cake that said “Happy First Anniversary” and a really big band. And the menu was simple – chicken with jalapeño dressing and Jell-O salad. Those little paper plates we used were flimsy and you couldn’t put a thing on them, so I had to bone all the chicken for two hundred people. (I haven’t liked chicken since.)

          The huge orange Jell-O salad had lots of good stuff in it, but I didn’t stop to consider that Texas wasn’t all that cool in September, and that Jell-O melted all over the place.

          After dinner, I acted as master of ceremonies, and we held our first annual awards meeting. It was really very modest compared to what we do today, but we were all thrilled.