I can't think when I've been more excited about writing a story than having the opportunity to write Carole Walderman's story... A true Legend in Aesthetics!... and a true legend in humanity! I still clearly remember the first day I met Carole over ten years ago. Carole is one of those special people you remember even after meeting for a brief time. Carole and I were sitting together at a convention in New York waiting for the lecture to begin and we started talking. I was immediately taken with this soft spoken, elegant, and classy individual who so obviously epitomized what an Aesthetician should look and act like. I was soon to discover that this elegance and professionalism went for deeper. Our friendship began that day and now ten years later, I write this story with the greatest respect for this remarkable lady, extra ordinary Aesthetician, and one of the finest educators of our industry has ever produced!
Carole was destined to be in the beauty business. At the age of three, Carole was playing in her mother's make-up, and by the age of thirteen she was cutting pieces of hair off her head and gluing it to her eye lashes with Elmer's glue. She spent much of her high school days doing makeovers on friends, reading movie magazines and duplicating the make-up of the stars on herself.
By this time, there was no hope for anything else and after a time, she graduated from Marinello School of Beauty Culture in 1960 at the top of her class. She won a scholarship to the Adolf Eliah School of Advanced Hair Design in New Jersey.
While at Marinello, Carole developed a beauty program for out-patient of a tuberculin hospital in Maryland called Mt. Wilson. Carole formed a group of graduating seniors and established Cosmetologists to perform makeovers on these patients once a month. While the other Cosmetologists were busy doing hair cuts and sets, Carole did skin care treatment and taught the patients how to apply on their make-up properly. The personal gratification and rewards from this service to patients inspired Carole to open a wig business in 1964.
She specialized in wigs and hair pieces for people, who, through chemotherapy or a quirk of nature had lost their hair.
During her early years in beauty, Carole met the love of her life and married.
Bud Walderman. They started a family that grew into three lovely children Todd, Alesa, and Jeniffer. While the children were still small, Carole's interest in the skin care and make-up aspect of the business grew and exceeded her interest in hairstyling, so she began doing make-up for local television, theater, photography, and fashion shows. In 1973, she began free lance work with The Merchandising Group Inc., and DuPont. While maintaining her wig business, she was responsible for organizing in-store sales promotions for local food store chains for The Merchandising Group, Inc. she did local television appearances for DuPont demonstrating and promoting the DuPont product lines as well as handling the sales promotions in department stores.
She experience with The Merchandising Group and DuPont led her to a new stage in her career. In 1974, Carole established a specialized agency for in-store cosmetic promotions. This agency, "Golden Girls Inc." (Not to be confused with the current TV show of this name... because old ladies they were NOT) grew from only six make-up artists to over 83 model and artist. As President of Golden Girls, Inc., Carole would secure cosmetic accounts and set up promotions, organize, hire and train models and make-up artist in skin care, make-up, product knowledge and sales techniques. During the four years she owned this business, some of her accounts included Estee Lauder, Clinque, Aramis, Revlon, Charles of the Ritz, Helena Rubenstein, Max Factor, Frances Denney, Flori Roberts, Barbra Walden, and many fragrance lines.
Throughout this time, the laws of the State of Maryland required that all makeup artists be licenses, so Carole was training her girls at no charge and then getting them licensed through the State Board.
A new direction for Carole was coming, but without Carole's knowledge . . . . The State Board was investigating the idea of separate licensing for skin care. One day in 1976, Carole received a call from Eunice Alper, then Director of the Maryland State Board of Cosmetology. Ms. Alper informed Carole that the state was about to pass a bill for separate licensing, and she went on to tell Carole that there were no licensed skin care schools anywhere in the United States, and . . . She thought Maryland should be the first to have a skin care school since it was the first state to pass a separate licensing bill. She asked Carole to open the first school since she had already been teaching skin care and makeup. Although hesitant at first since she had never owned a school, the encouragement of the Board and her family and friends kicked off a massive research project... a search that took her all over the country gathering information on skin care from every source and county she could. A year and a half later, she presented the State Board with a 1200 hour European Skin Care Curriculum. Unfortunately, the State Board felt the course was too long. She rewrote the curriculum and cut the course in half, and the Board voted for 300 hours. (A great deal more condensing had to be done.)
She had obviously been bitten by the bug... EDUCATION! The first licensed school of Aesthetics was about to become a reality, but Carole took her time. She decided that if she was going to open a school, it had to be the best, with the greatest education possible in the short 300 hours; so she worked, traveled abroad, obtained the finest educational sources, and after completing a course so packed with knowledge that the student could stand on and equal footing with Aestheticians that had studied in Europe with far longer courses, Von Lee International School of aesthetics celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony in August of 1978. . . The very FIRST school to open in the United States for in-depth skin care training, where upon graduation, the student could obtain a license to practice skin care solely as a profession.
And what a school Von Lee is. A training program that truly teaches students about the anatomy and physiology of the skin. Students are taught on a variety of product groups (which is unheard of in the school of business, due to the cost), all equipment modalities, a variety of techniques accumulated from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, London, Japan, and the USA> her school is not a product or machinery school and the students are taught in such a way as to be able to use any brand or product or machinery.
The course is updated and rewritten yearly to incorporate the latest technology in the industry. To date, Von Lee International Schools has graduated over eight hundred students from all over the country and from all age brackets. . . From young girls to middle age and senior citizens wanting to begin careers after raising families, or women wanting financial independence. In addition, another eight hundred graduated from advanced post graduate courses. As Von Lee celebrates its 10th anniversary year, I asked Carole how she felt about the past ten year, and this is what she told me:
"As I look back over the years, I realize what this career has meant to me. Each and every job I have ever had has been a growing experience that has brought me to where I am today. This is wonderful positive atmosphere in which my work has to be the most rewarding experience for me. If I didn't have to do this for a living, I would do it for free. It gives me such pleasure to see others grow and blossom into productive individuals, with a trade to build a profitable future on."
I wanted to insert this quote because this is Carole Walderman. Her sincerity and dedication to the education of American Aesthetician transcends her school and her program. She has been actively involved in all the skin care associations for many years. She has been one of our finest lecturers and educators, and has worked very hard to develop specialized courses for Aestheticians all over the country. She is, perhaps, the best known for her special relaxation massage, "Stress Therapy", and Beard Treatment. . . A course highly acclaimed in the industry. She is a liaison between the Aesthetician, Dermatologists, and Plastic Surgeon, and frequently serves on panels and educational meeting for all three groups. She is currently working with the medical group on the aesthetic role of salons and moisturizing treatments for Retin-A patients. . . A service that is so essential in protecting and facilitating the effects of drug treatment.
Carole is also a celebrated writer and writes a monthly column solving some problems aestheticians run into in their practice.
Last, but certainly not least, Carole is currently Chairman of EstheticsAmerica, the educational committee of the National Cosmetology Association. During the past two years, as if this remarkable lady has not been busy enough with her school and lecture tours, she has worked hours and hours for the American Aesthetician and our industry to accomplish separate licensing for every state in the country. When she began her term as Chairman, there were approximately 11 states with separate licensing. There are now over 25. As Chairman of EstheticsAmerica, she has represented us at CIDESCO International Congress in Vienna in 1986 and Glasgow in 1987, organized the first CIDESCO exam under the National Cosmetology Association (being held in Atlanta, GA in July 1988), worked with the Board and other members to secure a reliable insurance policy for members of the associations, and coordinated all activities of the 134 members of the association with the finest quality education in Aesthetics at the National Beauty Show and Convention held twice annually.
A I reach the end of this story for Dermascope, we have by no means reached the end of the Carole Walderman story. . . She is a LEGEND that truly lives on, touching our lives by contributing so much to the profession and the field of Aesthetics. Carole is a warm, loving, spirited inspiration to us all. Any one who crosses paths will know she has always maintained her honesty, integrity, and undying dedication to this wonderful profession of ours. .... Erica Miller