Mar 24, 2022 - Business

North Texas women who reshaped the business landscape

Mary Kay Ash, wearing her own brand of makeup probably
Mary Kay Ash, the originator and guiding hand behind Mary Kay Cosmetics. Photo: Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

North Texas businesswomen have changed many of the region’s most prominent industries.

Why it matters: Whether it’s retail, real estate, restaurants or cosmetics, women have reshaped the way we do business in North Texas and beyond.

  • Here are four North Texas businesswomen you should know about:

Maria Luna: One year after emigrating from Mexico in 1923, Maria Luna opened a tortilla shop in Little Mexico — and it’s become a Dallas institution. Five generations later, Luna's has gone from producing 500 tortillas daily to 1,500 per hour.

  • While the family closed the restaurant amid pandemic struggles last year — 97 years after Maria opened shop — they continue to sell tortillas. "There’s no way I’m going to let this die out," Fernando Luna told the Dallas Morning News.

Carrie Marcus Neiman: With her husband, Abraham "Al" Neiman, and her brother Herbert, Carrie Marcus Neiman helped build Neiman Marcus into one of the most beloved retailers in the world — forever changing the fashion industry and the image of Dallas.

  • When her brother died, she became the chair of the board of directors and was instrumental in keeping the store in Dallas, where she thought it would help bring in tourists.
  • Last year, her niece, Jerrie Marcus Smith, published the book, "A Girl Named Carrie," about the family’s retail rise.

Mary Kay Ash: When the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics died in 2001, at 83, her personal fortune was close to $100 million, and the company was doing more than $1.2 billion in sales, with over 800,000 representatives in at least three dozen countries.

Ebby Halliday: Known as "The First Lady of Real Estate," Ebby Halliday built one of the largest independent real estate brokerages in the world. Though Halliday died in 2015, at age 104, her empire is still expanding.

  • She also developed a reputation for being a tireless volunteer, serving on multiple community boards and working 19-hour days well into her 90s.
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