— By SALLY SEXTON
Anita Garrett-Roe is a warrior when it comes to selling products and her sales numbers speak for themselves.
For her efforts, Garrett-Roe, a graduate of Weatherford High School, was named the top Mary Kay seller in the world.
“I’ve been in the top 10 [in sales] for a number of years, but this is the first year that I was put in the spotlight. I’m number one and it’s such a great honor,” she said.
Garrett-Roe was one of 18 of the world’s top sellers, dubbed the “inner circle.”
“It’s the cream of the crop,” she said. “And to be among those employees and be number one is a great and wonderful honor.”
Garrett-Roe began her career with Mary Kay as a consultant at the age of 23, following a brief career in teaching.
“I think I did well in sales because I had graduated from college with a teaching degree,” she said. “To me, selling is more like teaching than anything. In addition, I was able to be an effective trainer for the sales force. My team did the best because they were well trained.
“I love teaching but did not want to stay in the classroom, so when Mary Kay came along, I knew I wanted to be a top director.”
Garrett-Roe’s mother was working as a registered nurse at Fort Wolters when she had her first opportunity with the skin care and cosmetic line.
“There was a young lady there who had just had a baby, and a woman was selling Mary Kay and showing [the mother] how to put on different makeup products,” she said. “My mother mentioned to her that I was interested in going into cosmetics and the rest was history.”
“When I started, I set a goal to make enough money to get new furniture,” Garrett-Roe said.
“When I achieved that, I set a goal to raise money to go clothes shopping.
“[Mary Kay] is a business that you can do on the side to make extra money, but it also gives you the opportunity to put more into it and get more out of it.”
Garrett-Roe took to sales quickly, becoming a top seller and rising to top positions, including a promotion to the highest positions at the youngest age in the history of the company.
“It’s all about customer service, and that’s what I taught my people that I brought in,” she said. “When I look back at what I did, it’s easy — put the customer first and treat them by the Golden
Rule. Give them more than they thought they would get.
“Sometimes it’s not about giving extra things but giving extra time.”
Garrett-Roe said the relationship between consultant and client is extremely important, and can often lead to more serious opportunities than just a sale.
“We have some programs that support battered women or children, and there are cases where the abuser will let a woman talk to her Mary Kay consultant,” she said. “If there is something serious, we have a 1-800 number that we can give them, so that’s pretty huge.”
Trust is the biggest key to a successful business relationship, as well as taking an interest in a customer as more than just that, Garrett-Roe said.
“Amazingly, some of the most successful consultants in the country are from small towns,” she said. “You would think that there would be more from larger cities because there are more people, but women in smaller towns can build good business relationships by showing excellent customer service and reliability.”
Through her success, Garrett-Roe has also earned prizes, including the traditional pink Cadillac, as well as trips world wide.
But the journey wasn’t always easy for the Mary Kay’s Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director.
“When I came to Mary Kay  years ago, there were not very many opportunities for women. Men did not take my career seriously, and they laughed when I earned my first pink Cadillac back in 1973, but I was on my way,” Garrett-Roe said. “I was on the phone booking Mary Kay home parties. Now, I get invited to speak to business groups about the principles I have learned over the years from Mary Kay.”
Her most recent speaking engagement came in China, with Garrett-Roe getting the opportunity to speak at an annual seminar for sales groups.
Though she has visited and lived in all parts of the world, the Portland, Texas, resident looks back on her time in Parker County as the stepping stone to her career.
“Growing up in Weatherford, I’m very proud to be a Kangaroo, and I’ve learned so much from so many people,” she said. “In Weatherford, I was a Rainbow Girl and involved in scouting, earning the Gold Award, which is the highest rank that Girl Scouts offers.
This past week Garrett-Roe, WHS Class of 1964, was named as a recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus and Service Award by the Weatherford ISD Ex-Student Association.
“I am grateful to all of my teachers and the people who inspired and helped me, including my piano teacher, Mrs. Lamkin, who taught me to strive to do my best all the time.”