Beauty Store Business

JUL 2018

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50 July 2018 | beautystorebusiness.com STARTING FROM SCRATCH It's difficult to believe that Carver, a long- familiar figure at trade shows and industry events, wasn't born into beauty. In fact, it wasn't even her first area of focus when she started CAP. Born to a labor leader father and a seamstress mother in Phila- delphia, Carver proved herself a go-getter with big-city dreams even as a teen. After graduating high school, she fled to New York City with modeling aspirations, then hit Las Vegas with her sights set on the showgirl life. But the reality was decidedly less glamorous than expected. "This was in 1960, and they trained me at the Flamingo Hotel. Back then, there were only a few hotels on the Strip," she recalls. "It was completely Mafia-driven and I found out the real job of a 'showgirl' wasn't just walking on the stage in a skimpy outfit and a huge headdress. I escaped Vegas– literally!–and came to California, even living in my car for a few weeks until I found a job and got my first paycheck." A few forgettable jobs followed, and Carver–no longer a showgirl, but always seeking a leg up in life–combed the classifieds for better positions, eventually spotting a gig at Brentwood Publishing. Its single magazine, Space Age News, promised an intriguing subject, and Carver landed the job as a receptionist alongside its two partners. From three people, the company grew fast, and Carver grew along with it–moving up to circulation director and production manager, running editorial and working on art and sales. Her strong work ethic, focus and tenacious drive propelled her advancement in the company. By 1970, Brentwood Publishing had expanded to more than 15 publications with Carver as associate publisher. "I did everything, so I thought, 'If I can do this for them, I can do it for myself,'" Carver says. "I started a small newsletter service on the side, with a modicum of success, and decided to quit the publishing firm and start my own magazine publishing business." Then earning a mere $10,800 per year, Carver borrowed $12,000 from a friend–a small fortune for the aspiring entrepreneur, and an especially daring move as the sole source of support for her mother and her young son. "If I were a man, my salary would have been triple!" Carver says, laughing. With the money she borrowed, she cofounded Creative Age Publications with her editorial partner Carol Summer. Carver quickly established herself as a visionary with an eye always on the next big thing. In January 1971, she started her first magazine, Undergrounding, which covered a relatively new industry: putting wires and cables underground for telephones and television. It was around this time that Carver met her third husband, Jim Brodie, at a convention for utility managers. Brodie was general manager of the Department of Water and Power in Pasadena, California. "Long before I got involved with City of Hope, and before we even met, Jim volun- teered his time there working for free to put in their cogenerator systems, so we had that connection as well. I was married to Jim for 44 years until he passed away in 2014," she says. Two months after starting Under- grounding, Carver launched Dialysis & Transplantation, which became an internationally acclaimed medical magazine long before a dialysis machine even existed, and ultimately spread the word about a life-saving service. Later that year, Carver introduced Emergency Medical Services, which helped coin the acronym EMS in the U.S. and was the first outlet to publish Henry Heimlich's paper on the Heimlich maneuver. Several niche medical industry publications followed, including Nutritional Support Services and Audiology & Hearing Education. "We had a magazine called Diving World as well as Electronic Retailing; I should have held on to that one!" Carver exclaims. "What an idea, selling every- thing 'online'–it was way before its time. Then I started Avenews in 1980, a precursor to the city magazines in the Valley. Creative Age was highly successful from the start. It was an astonishing rise." Of course, success didn't come easy. Carver wore multiple hats–receptionist, art director, production manager, circulation director, accountant and ad salesperson. As her own paste-up artist in a precomputer era, she recalls, everything was done with a T-square, rubber cement and hot type from the typesetter. Sixteen-hour days were the norm for the first decade or so (nowadays, she's taking it "easy," working 12-hour days, six to seven days a week). "Hard work is just in my makeup," she says. "I thought anything was possible. I wasn't afraid. 'No' did not exist in my vocabulary. I never thought it was a man's world or I couldn't do it. That really never occurred to me." Courtesy of Deborah Carver As the 2018 Spirit of Life honoree, Deborah Carver toured City of Hope with industry colleagues, friends and Creative Age staff members earlier this year. Deborah Carver with her father, Jack Weiss.

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