Shanna Nowling-Brannon stands in front of her Mary Kay pink Cadillac with a license plate that reads, “THINKPINK.” (Contributed)

Archived Story

Brannon is pretty in pink Cadillac

Published 1:39pm Monday, October 1, 2012

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

When Shanna Nowling-Brannon exhausted herself from working two jobs, she started another one part-time and within eight months found the perfect one for her. It was one with more pay and less stress, which allowed her more time for her family. Six different career cars, a $400,000 Sales Club, several pieces of diamond jewelry and 11 years later, she is a senior sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics.

She drives a Pink Cadillac for which the company is known and even Aretha Franklin would be proud to call her own.

A 32-year-old resident of Alabaster, Brannon and her colleagues, or Shanna’s Sweet Elite (which they are referred to within the company) have opened a training facility in Hoover. They refer to it as “Studio Pink.” There are 122 women in Shanna’s unit. The training facility is in the old Food World Shopping Center on Valleydale Road next to Alan’s Party Plus.

The group offers skin care classes, facials and parties by appointment at the facility. They also train others who wish to become consultants and earn the 50 percent commission that Mary Kay representatives make. Brannon is known for her “facials-on-the-fly” and her energy that lights up any room.

Brannon said having an unlimited income potential, being in control of her time and paycheck and working in an industry that is “recession proof” are among the best things about her job. “Women are not going to go without their cosmetics,” she adds. The year of the Recession was her best year in her 11-year history.

Being her own boss, freedom, flexibility and working for a company that prioritizes God, family and business blesses Brannon with time to spend with husband, Michael, and 2-year-old daughter, Zoe. Brannon says the best part of her 20-hour work week is when she “picks up Zoe at 2 each afternoon and takes her home for some quality one-on-one time and undivided attention.”

For more information about the training facility, call 281-0101 or visit


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at

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