SHE: New magazine offers what women want

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

SHE's here!

From the first planning meeting to the afternoon the first page proofs came out, SHE has been foremost on the minds of a team of Southeast Missourian staff members from several different departments.

The new quarterly magazine, aimed at women from 25 to 54, made its debut at the Women's Show 2005 earlier this week and is available at various locations around the area.

SHE is filled with information women want -- health, fitness, family, food, fashion and hobbies.

And let's not forget finances, because women spend money. Statistics show that women control more than 50 percent of America's personal wealth and make 85 percent of consumer-buying decisions.

Women like to read and learn as much as we can about the issues we're interested in. Each edition of "SHE" will also feature a local woman who makes her own statement in the community, such as Kendra Harris, who is featured in the first edition.

Since this issue of "SHE" is a first-time endeavor, some of our planning meetings were supplemented with impromptu sessions, either by e-mail or at each other's desks. They'd often begin with, "What do you think about ...." or "I just ran into (whomever) and why don't we...." and another idea took off. Or there would be a breathless, excited "So-and-so is really excited about what we're doing and wants to be involved. Why don't we...."

Seeing "SHE" come into being was almost like watching a rose reach full bloom.

All who are involved with "SHE" believe it gelled into an exciting, attractive, professional publication. It's the product of a lot of brainstorming, research and artistic flair. It involved minor dust-ups, diplomacy and the growth of additional gray hair.

It was also a lot of fun, some getting to know and appreciate each other better, and the determination that the next issue is going to be easier because now we know what we're doing. And it's going to be bigger and better because we put together such a good first issue.

"SHE" is on her way!

We kept it local for the most part and plan to involve even more local sources. During the process of making this first issue, professional women -- and men -- in the community offered their support and expertise in future issues. We intend to make use of those offers.

It's important for women of Southeast Missouri to have a magazine all their own. When we read about Diane Meyr of Cape Girardeau and her scrapbooks, taking up scrapbooking as a hobby becomes more of a possibility because one of our neighbors is creating something beautiful from her memories. If she can do it, then maybe....

Articles about finances, consumer information and home improvement are more relevant when they're locally centered. We're more interested knowing that we can get into shape and work toward our own better health because Debra Rau has done that through her weight-lifting regimen.

And while we get inspiration from reading about the faith of others, no matter where they're located, it's always a little more special coming from someone like Rose Brothers -- someone we can worship with in one of our own churches.

We can read about the emotional connection among breast cancer survivors anywhere in the country, but we are even more inspired when we read about our own cancer survivors in our own community.

"SHE" connects local women with each other.

We hope you pick up a copy and read it. And we hope you'll let us know how you like it. Tell us what you'd like to see in future issues, and what improvements you'd like to see made.

The process of developing the magazine became a challenge for someone who had English grammar drummed into her head during her school years. Every time I asked for something pertaining to the magazine, I cringed whenever I heard myself say, "I need it for 'SHE.'"

The magazine is still a work in progress, but we all hope you like her -- I mean, SHE.

Linda Redeffer is editor of "SHE" and a regular contributor to Business Today.

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