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TAKE A LOOK INSIDE MARY KAY'S NEW $100M DFW FACILITY

Two years after breaking ground, Mary Kay Inc. opened its new manufacturing and R&D facility in Lewisville last week.

The Addison-based giant of the cosmetics industry invested more than $100 million into the new facility, called the Richard R. Rogers Manufacturing Facility, or R3 for short. Mary Kay's former manufacturing facility on Regal Row in Dallas opened in 1969. The new plant features a larger space, will use state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and is much more integrated, said Dr. Lucy Gildea, Mary Kay chief scientific officer.

"We have a seamless connection across the supply chain so we can create together," she said. "That unity and that power of all the minds together, along with a more seamless and efficient manufacturing process in one facility, is what's absolutely fantastic. That's huge for us."

The company will employ 500 people at the facility by the end of the year and up to 700 by the end of the first quarter of 2019. The number of employees at R3 will be slightly higher than at Regal Road because the company will move some of its employees from its Addison headquarters to Lewisville.

About 75 percent of Mary Kay's business is global. The company has a manufacturing facility in China, but products made there typically stay in the country, as China is one of Mary Kay's largest markets.

That means that a good chunk of the products made in the new Lewisville facility are for international sales. Mary Kay President and CEO David Holl said that more than 50 percent of products the company makes in DFW will be shipped globally.

Talks between the U.S. and its largest trade partners have big ramifications on Mary Kay. When asked if the recently proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would mean any differences for the company compared to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Holl said he hasn't seen the complete layout of the agreement and how it's going to impact his business.

But by being so internationally dependent, Holl said any time there is an alteration in a trade agreement or retaliatory tariffs between the U.S. and other countries, Mary Kay is sensitive to those changes.

"Our industry generally is a net exporter from the U.S. — the industry being the beauty industry," Holl said. "So, it's usually — and has been — one of the first hit back in the retaliatory measure from whatever country it is, whether it's the (European Union) or Mexico."

Holl added that sometimes the company will have to use a third party until the tariff war can be straightened out, but Mary Kay hasn't had to move production in response to this latest round of tariffs.