Society / Featured Parties

Mary Kay Takes Over Tootsies With a Kiss Reader, an Army of Pink Dresses and a Noble Cause

An Early Domestic Violence Pioneer Continues to Help Women

BY // 07.17.19

Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation kicked off their 11th annual Suits for Shelters campaign at Tootsies recently. The fundraiser collects and provides used professional clothing for domestic abuse survivors.

Ryan Rogers, grandson of founder Mary Kash Ash, was in attendance with wife Maleiah.

“My grandmother discovered how many of our independent salesforce were affected by domestic violence,” Rogers says. “And around 2001, it was still seen as a secret and not a lot of companies funded the efforts.”

Rogers notes that professional clothing was decided on because most of the Mary Kay independent salesforce have to dress professionally.

“We learned from shelters that a lot of women fleeing from domestic abuse situations come in just with the clothing on their back or a duffle bag of casual clothes,” he says. “They have to re-establish their lives, but don’t have the money.”

This is where Suits for Shelters comes in. Clothing donations are accepted at Tootsies in University Park or through cash donations on the website. You can also donate at the annual Mary Kay seminar at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center from Thursday, July 18 through August 2. The campaign has collected more than 23,000 suits to date.

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Lots of pink dresses, lipsticks and mystery bags filled this Mary Kay evening at Tootsies. A lipsologist, was even featured. Like a palm reader, but instead of your hand, she read your kiss print.

“Empowering women is ingrained in the DNA of Mary Kay,” Rogers says. “To the women receiving these clothes, it’s so much more than a blouse or pants suit. It’s the ability to interview for a job and gain financial freedom.

“It’s the outfit that gives her the look of confidence to break free from abuse. It’s the first step in a pair of shoes that will build a new life.”

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