BY WILMA A. HURWITZ
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Wharton resident and her partner say
philosophy is ‘Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™’
Wharton resident Susan Vernicek and Joann DiFabio of Hillsborough weren’t satisfied with what they saw in women’s magazines so they have started their own — on the Internet.
“Identity magazine is designed to educate our readers about both traditional and alternative ways to live,” said the women, who have produced three issues. “Let them decide which methods are best for them.
“We’ve all been roped into the cover stories of other magazines that boast flat abs in five minutes or the diet that lets you eat whatever you want and still lose 10 pounds. For most of us, these methods just don’t work. “Women need to embrace their lives, their bodies and their individuality by achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”
Vernicek and DiFabio met three years ago while working as graphic designers at a medical imaging firm. They often discussed their feelings about career success, self-actualization, and sustaining their mental and physical wellness as they grow older. They agreed on the need for women to accept, appreciate, achieve — the guiding philosophy behind Identity magazine.
“Accept, appreciate, achieve is just that,” DiFabio said. “We want women everywhere to accept who they are, appreciate all they have and achieve
more than their potential.” DiFabio’s mother, Jane, said, “My daughter questions the commercial magazine image of beautiful young women. These women need to see that their real beauty has to be inside.” Laura Breiten, one of Vernicek’s sisters, said, “Susan and Joann realize that more women are looking for a resource that is not superficial and can address their personal issues around self-acceptance.”
Vernicek and DiFabio describe the Identity reader as “a strong, intelligent, funny, curious and ambitious woman. She is open to new ideas and always looking for little ways to make her life worthwhile. She is concerned about her health and the health of those she loves. While active, she never turns down the opportunity to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. She is not always happy with her reflection. “She can be a student, mother, wife, teacher, artist, executive, banker and a CEO — a unique woman with visions of a healthier and more self-fulfilling life.
To satisfy this reader, Vernicek and DiFabio have engaged a number of freelance writers, including Kimberly Elmore, Andy Lapides and William Smith. Their articles cover such topics as the benefits of Bikram Yoga, emotional messages about masculinity/femininity and 10 lifestyle tips to get your day off to a better start. “We all espouse the intent of this magazine as well as Joann and Susan’s description of the Identity reader.” Elmore said. “Each article must convey an overall positive, realistic outlook on life intended to motivate and inspire women everywhere.”
Along with editing the articles, Vernicek
and DiFabio are responsible for managing
Vernicek’s mother, Doris, a regulatory affairs coordinator at Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNeil-PPC in Morris Plains, said, “I am impressed with how well Susan and Joann get along and balance each other. Their leadership image is powerful.
“Much of their business wisdom has come from resources and programs at the Morris County Library on business administration and small-business management. “
“Up to now, they have funded Identity magazine on their own,” she added. “Both realize the ‘next-step’ importance of a solid business plan, attracting investors, marketing to their ‘Identity woman’ audience and sustaining a business organization that can support
the publication’s growth.”
Heidi Diaz, a business project coordinator and new subscriber to the magazine, said, “I was attracted to this magazine because it speaks to the average woman — not the supermodels. The stories are about people to whom I can relate. Identity magazine has opened my eyes to what is really going on in many women’s minds today. The writing style is clear and straight to