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June 11, 1993 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-11

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arketing self-
esteem could
only happen in
the '90s.
Some shop for it at
local bookstores, where
shelves are stocked every
day with new self-help
books. Others work with
therapists once or twice a
week. Still others listen
to hour-long relaxation
tapes. It is all just to feel
Whether a person's
problem is smoking,
weight control or manag-
ing stress, poor time-
management skills or just
low self-esteem, countless
numbers of tapes and
books are available at a
small cost to help.
Deanne Ginns-
Gruenberg and her hus-
band, Harry Gruenberg,
are making a busi-

out of feeling good
at their Self-Esteem
Shop in Royal Oak.
The store is part of
a relatively new
industry — espe-
cially in Michigan
— and one experts
suggest already is a
$1 billion business
in the United
About a year ago, the
duo purchased the small
Dearborn-based Self-
Esteem Shop. Last
February, they opened a
second, expanded store on
Woodward Avenue, near
14 Mile Road.
Stocked on their
shelves are 10,000 differ-
ent books. The subjects
range from a toddler

Promoting self-esteem
may be the venture of
the decade.


entering the first day of
school to adults coping
with feelings of anger.
There also are books
about the 12-step recov-
ery process for alcoholics,
those afflicted with eating
disorders and children of
dysfunctional families.
Southfield psychologist
Dr. Don Powell, president
and founder of the
American Insti-








Photos by Glenn Iciest



tute for Preventive
Medicine, is famil-
iar with the new
venture. He agrees
that residents of
Oakland County are
not immune from
needing outlets to
improve self-esteem.
Dr. Powell never
doubted the demand
for the self-help move-
ment. Across the country,
the self-esteem movement
is gaining momentum,
and Dr. Powell believes
interest will continue to
Dr. Powell attributes
the industry's increasing
popularity to demand for
self-esteem enhancement,
the buzzword for the
1990s. The 1960s were
characterized by
encounter groups; the
1970s, assertiveness
training; and the 1980s,
stress management.
"Self-esteem is the root
of most problems," Mr.
Gruenberg said. "If you
have a good image of
yourself, all of your
other problems may be
kept in focus."
Mr. Gruenberg said
he and his wife invest-
ed $100,000 in the
business, which has
transformed their
lives. Though he
declined to reveal
sales figures, he
said they have sold
50,000 books since
the store opened,
and he is certain
his newest busi-
ness venture "will
be profitable."
"This is proba-
bly the best busi-
ness ever because every-
thing we have in this
store is to promote feeling

good," Mr. Gruenberg
said. "We get nothing but
positive feedback, which
doesn't happen in too
many businesses."
When customers enter
the store, they may be
greeted by a woman hold-
ing a puppet, geared to
help young children
express emotions. More
likely, though, patrons
will hear the soothing
voice of noted psycholo-
gist and self-help author
Dr. Jack Canfield.
Dr. Canfield talks
about positive reinforce-
ment. Don't talk negative;
don't beat yourselves

The need for
self-help material
translates into
big industry.

down. Build up. Cost for
a series of tapes is $49.95.
Also for sale are $15 T-
shirts and $10 coffee
mugs. They ask, "How are
you feeling today?"
"This is well worth it,"
said Mr. Gruenberg, who
ventured into the busi-
ness at his wife's urging.
She is a nurse and a
licensed psychologist and
was a regular customer of
the Dearborn shop. When
it was put up for sale, she
jumped at the opportuni-
ty. "Most people who sell
things sound like sales-
people. Someone like Jack
Canfield teaches you
Mr. Gruenberg has
tackled several business
ventures, among them a
few real estate deals. In
real estate, he said, no

HONOR page 33


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