A twenty-something native New Jersey girl, Susan Vernicek put her Fine Arts degree with a dual focus in Graphic Design and Photography to use working in the graphics department of a medical company. While she enjoyed her job she still had a percolating entrepreneurial spirit within her that needed to be released. The two driving forces in her life from a young age have been to run her own business and to have a positive influence on others. The end result of sticking with that focus and owning her passion was the creation of S&J Identity, Inc. – a unique and empowering, online magazine created to help women accept, appreciate and achieve.
“Being a woman with many interests, and all the same concerns as my female counterparts, I relied on the media for information that could help improve and inspire my life. Through my own discontentment with all the in-your-face ads and useless information about diet fads, fashion trends, and celebrity gossip found in other magazines – Identity was born. I believe our role models should be in our everyday lives; not photo-touched fashion plates on a page. Identity is my gift to every woman, for being who she is, and the best that she can be.”
Day by Day and Breath by Breath
Susan is indeed an enlightened young woman, ahead of her time in many ways, who already understands the female mind is often full of doubts, questions, and insecurities. Her magazine is a positive resource and a safe place to turn for information, sharing, and permission to just be who we are. Identity is not a fad site with quick fix diet tips and fashion fads or beauty cream miracles. It celebrates real women with everyday issues by providing practical resources. Susan’s mission is to encourage readers to embrace their inner confidence and to achieve our potential without comparing ourselves, our ideas, and our bodies to others. Targeted at the 21 and older demographic, Identity features articles by guest writers who share their expertise on a variety of timely topics.
Working “day-by-day and breath-by-breath” (Susan’s mantra) she says her goal is to make Identity her full time occupation so she can leave her day job altogether. In this tough economy she finds is scary to leave the financial security of her graphics position but also understands the struggle and the need to move forward so Identity can have her full time and attention.
Susan recognizes the freedom of being her own boss at Identity and can play to her strengths and her passions by helping women with her online publication. She believes we have a responsibility to pay-it-forward to younger woman and help them understand their gifts and the ability to embrace their self confidence early on. Her ultimate goal is to reverse the pervasive negativity trend and help women think more positively about themselves.
With an artistic background it’s easy to see how Susan uses her graphic design skills for Identity but she admits that without a business background she looked to mentors and established resources to help her launch the magazine. Her Dad & brother own businesses and proved to be terrific resources for her new venture. An avid researcher, Susan also did her homework and asked a million questions to learn the best practices for online magazines. As a NJ resident she also tapped into a Garden State resource designed to help young entrepreneurs – New Jersey Young Entrepreneurs www.njye.webnode.com
The challenge continues to be balancing the day job with the growing demands of the magazine. Her financial strategy is to pay for new things as she can and increase incrementally. The goal is to continue to reach all 50 states and grow her sponsors and advertisers.
Just Do it Already!
The main framework of Identity was designed by ImpressM, LLC but with Susan’s expertise and knowledge of HTML she can manage most of the site herself and provide graphics for clients who need it. She reports that although she seeks out some contributors, many actually come to her. A future goal is for Susan to work with universities to develop workshops for women featuring the expert contributors from Identity. She is planning a Friday morning radio show to go along with her Identity FACT Friday!™ on the site and eventually, a book!
Susan has a go-for-it attitude that has helped her achieve success with Identity. Starting with no expectations and an open mind she was determined not to hold back and to stay true to herself during the entire process. Always eager to learn new things and to set new goals, Susan has learned to trust her instincts and push the envelope to grow her business.
“I am strong, positive and extremely ambitious and these qualities have gotten me where I am today. My advice is to JUST DO IT ALREADY! Pick a starting point and go. Then give yourself homework each day. Ask yourself a question then find the answer and move on to the next. There isn’t always positive feedback, support, or an answer, but you have to work around that. Get rid of the negative in your life. You can’t move forward if you associate yourself with negative vibes. I know it’s easier said than done, but you CAN do anything you put your mind to. Take it day-by-day, breath-by-breath. Accept. Appreciate. Achieve™ “
Words of wisdom from an insightful young woman on a mission to help us celebrate our unique identities.
* Set goals so you have benchmarks for achievement; give yourself homework every day.
* Embrace the strengths you have and use them.
* You have to be willing to take the plunge if you are unhappy in your current career. If you never try something new, you won’t ignite your passion.
* Find your circle of trust (family, friends, mentors) and bounce ideas off of them to flesh out your mental plans.