“They had an ad man and an art director and I really learned a lot,” she said.
She eventually became the art director at Carson Pirie Scott in downtown Danville, where Pat Poulos worked as a merchandiser from 1955 to 1973.
“I bought accessories, ready-to-wear, sportswear, handbags and jewelry,” Poulos said. “That was back in the good old days.
“We bought what we thought our customers would like,” she said. “We were all about customer service, too. If someone was going to a party, we would find them their dress, their shoes and their jewelry.”
Poulos remembers “downtown was a busy place.” Besides Carson Pirie Scott and Meis, downtown Danville boasted Jules Strauss, Montgomery Ward, Sears, JCPenney’s, Parisian, The Fashion, Betty Gay’s and several men’s stores.
Poulos said Starbody was “talented.”
“I told her what I wanted and she drew up the ad,” she said.
Starbody recalled, “I would get the clothes and bring them home to draw the ads. Most of the time I drew at home at 2 a.m.”
Of all the apparel and accessories Starbody drew, she said bridal wear was the most difficult because it was always on a hanger and “it took a lot of time because of all the detail.”
After decades of drawing women’s dresses in the ’50s and ’60s, you would think Starbody would have something to say about the advent of women’s pants suits in the late ’60s.
“No, I just went with the flow,” she said. “Actually, I like slacks.”
Starbody culminated her 40-year career by illustrating ads for Joan Levy at Deutsch Uptown at 310-312 N. Vermilion St., where the Browse Around is located today. Levy’s husband, Paul, had been the manager at Meis and was familiar with Starbody’s work.
“It was high fashion and people loved her hats,” she said of Levy.