Local Mary Kay entrepreneur is first black woman to be top Independent Sales Director


What started as a small goal to make $200 extra dollars a month turned into a record-setting accomplishment and extraordinary success story for Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director Gloria Mayfield Banks. The Detroit, Michigan, native is the first African American woman to hold the number one position within Mary Kay’s independent sales force in the United States based on year-to-date earnings.

Banks started her Mary Kay business in 1988 to earn extra money to pay for her children’s daycare costs. For nearly two decades, the entrepreneur has blazed a trail within the global cosmetics company by breaking numerous company records including achieving the status of Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director, a position held by only three women in the United States. A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, Banks also holds an Honorary Doctorate from University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

“What it means to me to be the first African American to achieve the number one position within Mary Kay’s independent sales force is hope and possibilities,” said Banks. “Whenever someone you know or someone that looks like you achieves something that no one else has done, it just opens up a possibility. I tell people that I joined Mary Kay for the money but I fell in love with the recognition. Being around ambitious women who kept God first, family second and career third was intoxicating because I didn’t have that anywhere else.”

As leaders within their industry, Independent National Sales Directors often mentor other Mary Kay business owners by sharing best practices, knowledge and guidance on running a successful business. Throughout her Mary Kay journey, Banks traveled the world to inspire and train future leaders within the company’s independent sales force, which exceeds 3.5 million people in more than 35 markets around the world.

“Gloria has been instrumental in helping our company grow by enriching women’s lives in the United States and throughout the world,” said Darrell Overcash, President of Mary Kay U.S. “Her leadership, dedication and passion for Mary Kay has influenced and encouraged countless number of women.”

Banks will be recognized for her accomplishments at Mary Kay’s annual Seminar in Dallas. The event, running July 24 through Aug. 6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, is comprised of four back-to-back conferences and is one of the largest events in North Texas. The convention is focused on recognizing Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants for their achievements while also providing education, inspiration and motivation for the year ahead.

Banks resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, Ken Banks, and they share four adult children.