Chase Backer: From Humble Beginnings to Building Dreams
Chase Backer is the publisher and CEO of 25A Magazine. This Long Island’s Gold Coast Luxury Magazine is the ultimate guide to the sweet life, with articles ranging from interest stories about celebrities and prominent business people to the latest in high-fashion, travel destinations and the treasures of Gold Coast area. Backer is also anticipating the premiere of his television talk show, “The Chase Backer Show" (www.thechasebackershow.com). Improvisation News sat down to speak with him about how he came to build his success.
"There is nothing that I ever wanted
that I haven't received."
Improvisation News: How did you come up with the name for your magazine, 25A?
Chase Backer: I was brainstorming with a good friend of mine and we were looking to develop a magazine for the gold coast area, so we were playing with the name of Northern Boulevard, which is 25A.
IN: Can I ask you who your role models were?
CB: I was raised by two beautiful parents. My mother is an unbelievable woman, so giving, and she is amazing. She's never in a bad mood. My dad is a businessman. Together they created me, and I think I have the best of both worlds. My parents gave me what normal parents would do and I do the same for my children.
IN: You like to network and bring people together. Is it true that in your magazine, you interview regular people on Long Island? Business people, not just celebrities?
CB: Exactly. We go and we speak to the people. The man who owns a chocolate store, the woman who owns a grocery store.
IN: Seems like you really want to get to know everyone. Were you raised on Long Island?
CB: No. I was raised in Queens, but I was born in Switzerland. I’m Swiss and Turkish. I lived in Paris and came here when I was nine years old. I lived in New York City, then moved to Queens. I grew up in Forest Hills, Queens.
"New York is probably the most beautiful
place in the world to live. "
IN: We have the Tonight Show now here in New York. You also represent someone who's bringing a talk show here, bringing New York to life. Do you feel like being in New York gives you a lot to pull from?
CB: Absolutely. New York is probably the most beautiful place in the world to live. We have such wide culture here. New York City has wonderful different spices. You could go to from one block to another and just be in a different world. You have Little Italy, Little Odessa, there is so much diversity here. And I do showcase the Hamptons, the Gold Coast and the first settlers who came in here: the Vanderbilts, the Woolworths, the Phipps family and the Woodwards. We talk about who they are and where they are today and the mansions that they built. New York has seduced lots of great actors, comedians, sports figures. A lot of them do come from Long Island for some reason. Long Island produces lots of celebrities. Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Billy Joel, Rosie O'Donnell, Andy Kaufman…. The list is endless.
IN: What are you looking for on your show?
CB: We're looking for people who are from New York. That's how I started. We first look for people who are from New York and contributed here. They are either born here, work here, or have passed through and love it. We look for those people. We see where they are today and if they’re popular. I will bring actors, comedians and anyone who's talented. I will showcase established talents and new talents. So if you're up-and-coming , or your learning a new talent, you'll come on my show and we'll talk about it. We’ll give you that exposure, just like Johnny Carson did.
IN: Were you always a success?
CB: When I first started 25A, I did not know anything about magazines. So when I started it, I collected and organized the right set of people and I knew what I wanted. I wanted a luxurious magazine and I knew what I wanted to put in it. But someone came up to me—one of the writers—and said, “Are you crazy? What you doing? You’re wasting your money! Why don't you just give me the money and I'll spend it for you.” That really hurt me, because it was somebody in the business who felt the need to be negative rather than saying “Hey, I'll help you with whatever you need. I know this is crazy, but I'll still help because it's your dream.” I think I succeeded because she said that to me. I said, you know what? I'm going to show her. Maybe everyone needs someone like that…
" If you collect the right people and
they believe in what you're doing,
then they will want to be part of it.
They’ll help you."
IN: The lesson here?
CB: If I can start up a magazine and have it be the number one luxury magazine in Long Island for three years, then anyone can do anything! And I have to say this; there is nothing that I ever wanted that I haven't received. If you want something you'll get it just by keeping at it. It's only difficult when you say “I want that, but I don't think I can have it. “
IN: What if some people don’t have the money for that?
CB: I didn't have the money for any of this stuff. None. You know what I had? I had time and I had friends and I had resources. And I collected them and they all came in. If you collect the right people and they believe in what you're doing, then they will want to be part of it. They’ll help you.
Edited by Catherine Santino