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“Tweezerman” Inspires Other Plucky Entrepreneurs
by Patricia Gale


Like the start of most small businesses, Tweezerman, the global beauty tools company, was a one-man show. Founder Dal LaMagna did all the selling, inventory management, bookkeeping, shipping, and deliveries himself. He operated out of a 400-square-foot bungalow that was his office, warehouse, and home. His initial investment was $500. Years later, he sold the company and walked away with millions.

LaMagna’s new business memoir, Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right (John Wiley & Sons,, written with his two lifelong friends, Wally Carbone and Carla S. Reuben, is unlike any other. For those who are tired of entrepreneurship stories that gloss over hardships or sugarcoat risks, LaMagna pulls no punches in depicting the long and difficult work of realizing one’s dreams. But he makes us laugh out loud along the way.

A self-described “compulsive capitalist,” LaMagna recounts a string of ingenious entrepreneurial endeavors, starting with his first one, at age eight, when he was the top raffle ticket seller at his Catholic school. His trick? Hitting up the barflies at the local hole-in-the-wall each evening during happy hour, unbeknownst to the nuns. From creating the first computer dating service during his college years and inventing drive-in discotheques, to building a psychedelic light box and selling waterbeds, LaMagna’s many failed money-making schemes tell the story of a sixties-era seeker who had inexhaustible ambitions, creativity, and resilience. According to Tom Hayden, “Karl Marx could learn from Dal LaMagna why capitalism is irrepressible.”

This rollicking read has valuable lessons for other budding entrepreneurs. Each time one of LaMagna’s businesses flopped, he got wiser. By the time he flashed on the idea for Tweezerman — after an erotic interlude on a splintery rooftop deck in California — LaMagna had, by process of elimination, made every mistake one can possibly make in business. He then went on to build the legendary, socially responsible American business, Tweezerman, which has inspired a new generation of visionary capitalists.

In Raising Eyebrows, readers learn:

  • Some nitty-gritty ways to finance your business dream
  • How to engage with partners and coworkers — and pick the right ones
  • How to risk it all, fail, and bounce back stronger
  • Top tips on managing debt and revenue
  • Why you need to consider how running a business will affect your lifestyle
  • How to balance your time and resources between sales, production, and control
  • Why focus, patience, and organization are essential for the self-employed
  • How to be a responsible capitalist — and why you should be one

In the end, Raising Eyebrows is a great American business story that offers insight into what it takes to build a strong and ethical company — whether it’s a one-person operation or a global company. One walks away with the certainty that a profitable beach parking lot is every bit as worthy as a multinational manufacturing business, as long as you are happy, making money, treating your coworkers and clients well, and being socially responsible. It’s a good message for today’s unemployed and underemployed workers who have a modest entrepreneurial dream and the strong desire to make working for themselves a reality.


The Author

Raising Eyebrows

Dal LaMagna is the founder of Tweezerman, the socially responsible global beauty tools company, and a major funder and active trustee of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, which awards MBAs in sustainable business. A onetime presidential candidate who ran on the platform of ending the Iraqi war, he has produced award-winning political documentaries and blogs for His new book is Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right (John Wiley & Sons,

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Copyright 2010 by Patricia Gale. All rights reserved.

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