Beauty industry pioneer Burton Scheff, CEO of the Burmax Company, passed away on Friday, November 1, 2013 at the age of 77. Scheff started working in the family business, The Burmax Brush Company, when he was in high school. He continued working while going to NYU as a business major. Shortly after graduation his dad passed away and he took over running the company at the young age of 22.

Scheff’s vision for Burmax was to be the hardware store for beauty supplies. Just like a hardware store carries every possible size screw or nail, his company would carry a full selection of beauty supplies from small items like bobby pins to large furniture items. In 1958, he ran the business out of a small, two-room office in New York City. Now Burmax resides in a 110,000-sq.-ft. warehouse on Long Island. Scheff solely ran and grew the company for over 40 years, creating a one-stop shopping experience for customers with thousands of beauty supply items to choose from.

Not only did he set into motion the term “master distributor,” but he has helped countless numbers of people to build up their businesses as well. The business was his first love, his continued passion, and he came to work every day. He shared his wealth of knowledge with employees, vendors, and customers alike. Both of his children, Steven and Deborah, have had the privilege of working with him for many years now. Steven Scheff, president of Burmax, has worked with his father for 25 years. Deborah Goldschmid, vice president, has worked at Burmax for the past 11 years.

He will be remembered as one of the most knowledgeable, well-respected people in the industry, with an unequaled reputation for honesty and integrity, both in business and his personal life.

Scheff is survived by his wife Frances, his two children, and three grandchildren. The family is requesting any donations made in his honor to go to one of the following charities: City Meals on Wheels ( or to Long Island Cares (


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