I love to read. When I have a few spare moments at home, you’ll find me relaxed in my recliner, Amazon Kindle in hand. Often, I’ll make a deal with myself before starting: “OK, Marian, you can read to the end of this chapter, but then you need to do laundry.” However, my favorite novelists trip me up more often than not by ending chapters with a compelling teaser drawing me into the next chapter. Do I continue to read, or do I reluctantly put my Kindle aside and tackle that chore? Reality is it’s about 50/50.

Last weekend was one of those times that the book won out. Normally I would chastise myself later, but in this instance, I was relieved. Why? Because it finally gave me the focus I had been seeking to write this column, which Cathy Christensen asked me to do several weeks ago. I’d started and stopped multiple times, never feeling quite right about my message. As a seasoned writer, I was more than frustrated, and now the piece was overdue—a strict no-no in the media business.

Last weekend, I realized that my life has been like a series of book chapters, with each one pushing me toward a new future. My life has been fairly typical—happy childhood, tumultuous high school years, independent college years, happy marriage, fulfilling motherhood and challenging career with Allured Business Media, the owner of Skin Inc. Five years ago, my career chapter overlapped with another as I became a grandmother. My husband of 39 years and I are now blessed with four beautiful grandchildren, with No. 5 due to arrive in January.

And with this continued growth of my beautiful family, I am closing one chapter of my life and concentrating on yet another. As of July 31, my time with Skin Inc. has ended. I am moving on to the next chapter of my life, in which I will spend more time with my husband and those energetic grandchildren of ours, as well as return to my first professional love: writing and editing. Although my Skin Inc. chapter has ended, I will always be an advocate for professional skin care.

This is a bittersweet time for me. I have dearly loved producing products for the professional skin care industry for more than 25 years. I’d fill all the pages of this issue if I named every amazing person who I’ve been honored to work with along the way. However, there are a few who I must recognize, because they have been there from the beginning and have made an indelible impact on the pages of Skin Inc. and on me personally. For that, I will always be grateful.

  • Colleen Cunningham
  • Rebecca James Gadberry
  • Christine Heathman
  • Sylvie and Philippe Hennessy
  • Joel Lachman
  • Mark Lees, PhD
  • Clarice Loiacano
  • Erica Miller
  • Peter Pugliese, MD
  • Barbara and Ross Salomone
  • Lydia and David Sarfati
  • Marion Simms
  • Jane and Raymond Wurwand

I’ve also had the immense privilege of working with the best team of professionals here at Allured. Many have gone on to new pursuits throughout the years, and our current team is stellar—I know they will propel Skin Inc. and its products, including the two Face & Body trade shows, to greater heights in the years to come. I also hope they’ll be willing to meet their former group publisher for lunch every once in awhile!

And one final thank you to the owners, both past and present, of Allured Business Media. Janet Ludwig, company president, has been a loyal employer and friend for many years. Her acumen for digital media is propelling the company’s new product development in exciting ways. I learned so much from the late Stanley Allured during his tenure as company president, with his dear wife, Betty Lou, at his side. Nancy Allured introduced me to the cosmetic science part of our business, providing valuable knowledge that only Skin Inc. can bring to the esthetic industry. Jean Allured was the founding publisher/editor of Skin Inc. and hired me way back in 1988. She was my mentor, even after leaving the company in the mid-90s, and remains a dear friend today.

What will you do when your current life chapter nears its end? Although I will always cherish the memories of previous chapters, I now welcome new challenges with joy, enthusiasm and gratitude. Plus, maybe now I’ll have more guilt-free time with my Kindle!

Blessings to you all,

Marian Raney
Group Publisher

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