In this post, I’m going to discuss a beautiful segment of franchising; the beauty business.
In addition, I’m going to point you to a terrific resource you can use to learn more about the franchise opportunities that exist in this fun, growing business area today.
But before I get into that, I wanted to share a few things about the guy who got me into the area of franchising I’m in now. A guy who knew a few things about beauty.
My Dad And The Beauty Business
My dad, Jerry Libava, who in 2000,
convinced me hammered on me to join his franchise consulting firm, got his start in the beauty business. His first gig?
After learning the art of hair-cutting, he became a professional hairdresser. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t last long.
That’s because he quickly became sick from the nasty chemicals used in 1960’s hair salons (The EPA didn’t exist yet).
Unfortunately, his sickness turned into a rare form of pneumonia, which doctors feel contributed to his untimely death in 2007.
Needless to say, once his health improved (which took a couple of months), he exited the salon business.
His next career stop involved a different area of the beauty business. One with less sprayable chemicals. He decided to become a make-up artist-and he wanted to do it right. How?
By flying to the New York City headquarters of Revlon® to be trained in the art of professional make-up application by their top make-up artist.
After learning the craft, he started applying make-up at Halle’s, which was a large, well-known, downtown Cleveland Department store.
My dad became so good at the art of applying makeup (and making women beautiful), and was so well-liked, he was approached by a Cleveland newspaper to write a weely, women-focused column about makeup and beauty. He gladly accepted. Heck, the newspaper even gave him a stage name.
And just like that, Jerry Libava became Jerry Brandt.
The year was 1961.
John F. Kennedy was sworn in as our nation’s 35th President.
Our participation in The Vietnam War began.
The Mike Douglas Show premiered in Cleveland, Ohio.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of the show but know this; The Mike Douglas Show was so successful-so fast, it became syndicated in 27+ markets. Eventually, the show moved its studios to Philadelphia-then Burbank, California. It had a 21-year run.
So what does The Mike Douglas Show have to do with the business of beauty? Let me explain.
The Beautiful Betty White
My dad was the show’s make-up artist (in Cleveland).
By 1964, he had done the make-up for dozens of guests. Like:
(Image of Betty White and my dad courtesy of the Libava family collection)
My dad really liked her. He said that she was “very nice.”
Zsa Zsa Gabor
(Image of Zsa Zsa and my dad courtesy of the Libava family collection)
I remember exactly what my dad thought of Zsa Zsa Gabor. But I promised my mom that I wouldn’t state it here.
Wait. I have an idea.
I’ll let Zsa Zsa do the talking with one of her direct quotes:.
“I admit I have a Hungarian temper. Why not? I am from Hungary. We are descendants of Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun.”
Jayne was the show’s co-host for an entire week, so she stayed at a hotel in downtown Cleveland.
That’s where my dad applied her makeup every day.
(Image of Jayne Mansfield and my dad courtesy of the Libava family collection)
He told my mom that she was nice and that he liked her a lot.
Mike Douglas was one of the first people to give Barbra Streisand a break in show business. And she needed it!
From what I read, she needed rent money bad.
The story goes that once Mike Douglas had heard her demo tape, he booked her for a week as a co-host-and even got her a paid gig ($7 a night) at a club or two downtown.
I’m sure (hopefully) that she was grateful, as her success has led to have an extremely comfortable net worth of around $400 million.
P.S. My dad said that she was “difficult.”
A Part of History
Finally, my dad was able to be involved in a bit of history. Rock N’ Roll history.
The Rolling Stones, in what’s been called a “game-changer” for the band, appeared on The Mike Douglas Show in 1964. And as you’ll see, he was with them.
Two Short Videos
The 1st video I found by accident.
Two or three years ago, I was looking on YouTube for the 1964 appearance of The Rolling Stones on The Mike Douglas Show. Why?
Because I remember my dad telling me that he did their makeup for their appearance on the show.
As I was clicking away, I ran across a one-minute, rather grainy video of The Rolling Stones milling around backstage before they went on Mike’s show. Kind of interesting. Then it happened.
I still get shivers just talking about it.
Out of nowhere, my father (the 28-year-old version of him) appeared on the video!
Turns out that someone filmed him applying stage makeup to members of The Rolling Stones! I never knew a video of him doing it even existed.
Moments later, I excitedly called my brother, my sister, and my mom to tell them what I had found. Within minutes they viewed it. It was so cool. A little weird too. But wow!
Here it is.
The Rolling Stones Epic Live Performance On The Mike Douglas Show
Here’s their performance-including a short, extremely awkward interview, complete with screaming girls, and…will you look at these guys!
Did you watch it?
Those guys were barely 20 years old.
I wonder if they knew how big they’d get?
Anyway, my dad worked with Mike Douglas for a couple more years, and when the show moved to Philadelphia, my dad didn’t.
One more thing: My brother just found an image of a few of my dad’s paychecks-including names of other’s he worked with.
In the years that followed, he stayed in the beauty business, continuing to work for people like Charles Revson, a cosmetics industry pioneer, who, with an investment of $300, built Revlon®.
My dad ended up spending 20+ years in the cosmetic area of the beauty business. In the end as a “Territory Manager,” managing sales (and salespeople) for up to 15 states at one time. Needless to say, he traveled a lot. Until he was…
Downsized Into Franchising
I don’t remember what company my dad was working for when it happened…when he was let go.
So he, like many other middle management types who lost their jobs in the 80’s, embarked on an aggressive job search, eventually landing a job in franchising.
I’m not sure how Chuck Sekeres, the CEO of the Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers® franchise, found my dad-but he did.
After hiring him, Chuck quickly promoted my dad to the position of Franchise Development Director for the fast-growing brand. Turns out my dad was a great fit for franchising, and he helped open 300+ franchises.
Until he was downsized in 1991. Read why.
Not long after that , with his new-found knowledge of franchising, he started doing franchise development for a couple of franchisors. The work was choppy at first, but he managed to make a living.
Finally, (while continuing his franchise development work) he joined a young franchise brokerage company-the same one he convinced me to join when like him, I was let go from a management job.
I’m going to wrap this section up in a minute, but before I do, I told you I was going to point you in the direction of a terrific resource for anyone interested in the growing health and beauty segment of franchising. It’s a free industry report from Franchise Direct. And it’s a good one.
There Were Other Family Members In The Beauty Business
My dad wasn’t the only one in our family to become part of the beauty industry.
To start with, my dad helped my Uncle Al get in the beauty industry. They even traveled together* for a while, and they had some great road warrior stories.
*I’m not sure how my dad managed to stay focused when he worked with Uncle Al. Why?
Because Uncle Al is hilarious.
Next on the hit parade; my mom.
She trained to be a make-up artist; she even white-labeled her own brand of cosmetics which she sold and applied at a local high-end beauty salon.
In addition, my brother, Jon, worked for a large beauty supply company and was quite successful in his role.
The Business Of Beauty And Franchising
The forecast for the beauty industry is
Men and women continue to invest in products and services that make look good, smell good, and feel good.
That’s why the health and beauty segment of franchising continues to grow.
Niche hair salons, health spas, tanning salons, waxing businesses, and salons focused on eyelash extensions are just a few of the areas experiencing growth. More are coming. And let’s not forget fitness, which is a huge segment in franchising.
All in all, businesses that offer health and beauty products and services will continue to grow.
And because of the pandemic going on (as of this writing), mergers and acquisitions will become frequent franchise news items. Brands will combine. And franchisees of these brands may benefit.
Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about health and beauty franchise opportunities, make sure you use this resource to get the facts you need.