March 8, 2011: Jefferson Patch
By Susan Toth
It took discontent with a job that focused on women’s beauty for Jefferson Township resident Susan Vernicek to launch “Identity” magazine.
“I worked as a graphic designer for a company where they put a lot of effort into plastic surgery, and changing women’s faces and bodies to be something they’re not,” Vernicek said. “I got to the point where I was obsessed. I was very critical of my own face. It got to be crazy after a while.”
And so was born “Identity,” an online magazine dedicated to making women feel safe and comfortable with themselves. Vernicek coined the tag line “accept, appreciate, achieve” as the magazine’s mission, because that’s just what she wants women to do.
“I want ‘Identity’ to be a site that embraces women,” Vernicek said. “I’ve found everyday women that I’ve tapped as mentors. It’s just women helping other women through every day.”
The online magazine was born in 2006, after years of work on Vernicek’s part. She started working on it on a part-time basis in 2005.
“I had no business background when I started, and no contacts at first either,” she said. “I took classes, went to networking events, and learned what I needed to know one step at a time. I’m still learning, every single day,” she said.
“Identity” thrives using sponsors, and one of Vernicek’s main supporters is BIG, Believe, Inspire, Grow. The support, education and networking group supports the efforts of female entrepreneurs. Vernicek leads a local group of BIG women in Sparta.
“I get to help women get their businesses going. I help them find their passion and take it to the next level,” Vernicek said. “The people at BIG and I have grown to know, like and trust each other. I hope that we can continue to grow with each other.”
Growth is another of Vernicek’s goals and to that end, she wanted to be working on the magazine full-time. She was able to do that in 2009.
Another goal was to write a book, and she was able to accomplish that as well. The first edition of the “Identity” magbook is a collection of articles from the magazine, as well as a short autobiography of Vernicek.
The book is available at “Identity’s” web site, www.identitymagazine.com, as well as through Amazon, Bares & Noble, and booksamillion.com. The first edition has been released, with the next coming out in about two weeks.