Back Where I Belong

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Sometimes life comes full circle. At least it has for me. In 1989 I visited my daughter Rachel in Los Angeles and fell in love with it. Later that year I quit my job at The Pittsburgh Press, sold my house, packed up my belongings and moved to Redondo Beach. I had no job there, not even a prospect, but I believed that I belonged in California, and I believed in myself. I took 100 resumes with me and sent one out the day I arrived. When American Salon hired me to be the West Coast editor, I threw the other 99 resumes away. I couldn't believe my good luck. Someone was actually going to pay me to hang out in salons, with hairdressers, some of my favorite people. I would have done that for free.

Marianne Dougherty
Marianne Dougherty

I lived in California for five years during which time I helped launch another magazine called American Stylist. Then I was asked to become publisher of American Salon. The only hitch: I had to relocate to New York. I loved California and had no desire to go back east. I confided in my longtime friend, Arnold Zegarelli, who'd been doing my hair in Pittsburgh for years. His advice: Get out of your comfort zone. Fortunately, I took it. As it turned out, I loved living in New York as much as I did living in California, though for different reasons. I also launched two more magazines: American Spa and Shades of Beauty. Then my mother got sick, and I decided to go back home so I could be with her.

Our publisher, Brett Vinovich, and me in Italy 10 years ago
Our publisher, Brett Vinovich, and me in Italy 10 years ago

That was six years ago. I lost my mother in 2003, my father the following year, but I was able to spend a lot of quality time with them, which is a gift. I also discovered the joys of being a grandma—my grandson Evan turned six in March. Now I'm back in New York, back at American Salon, back where I belong. We have big things in store for this magazine next year. For one thing, we'll be 130 years old, so watch for something special in every issue starting in January. In the meantime, I'm just happy to be back.

Marianne Dougherty, editor in chief

E-mail Marianne at mdougherty@questex.com