I am Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, CEO of Hoffman Media, publisher of women’s magazines.
I am the mother of adult twin sons, who are presidents of our company. Along with their spouses, I have two grandchildren, and two gift children who came with my wonderful husband, Neal. So my life is full of many blessings for which I am grateful. I love to laugh, and have fun. I am passionate about beautiful things in life and I admire writers and authors who bring joy to us through the pages of books and magazines. I collect antiques and pretty vintage things. Monograms…just say the word and I am ready to put my initials on something. Needlework and sewing are hobbies of mine that lead years ago to a new path professionally.
My career began as my church’s pianist/organist when I was in high school and college. When I finished college, I worked for a national CPA firm where I received my CPA certificate and practiced accounting until my twins were born. While I loved the professional world of accounting, I wanted to stay home with my babies. When my sons were very young, I got an idea for a magazine about counted-cross stitch. I talked it over with friends and family and we decided that it was worth a try. I had no experience in publishing, but after sharing this idea, four of us started the magazine Just CrossStitch. Janice (my sister), Barbara (my friend and experienced journalist), and Juanita (a friend) pioneered our way through a hobby industry of women who loved to stitch—creative women, if you will. Our company was launched and running with the premiere of the magazine. And we could work from our homes or while our children were in school.
We sold our business 10 years later and if you can imagine, I bought it back 5 years later! This time, it was not just about stitching, but we added lifestyle publications one-by-one. Today we have many magazines that I hope you will recognize: Southern Lady, TeaTime, Cooking with Paula Deen, Victoria, Taste of the South, Louisiana Cookin‘, Celebrate, and Cottage Journal. We also publish a number of our very own, beautiful books on a number of different lifestyle topics. Our company has some of the most talented people who bring happiness to millions of readers through the pages they create every day. I thank God for the successes that He has bestowed on our company. We inspire our readers to try new things, celebrate each day to the fullest, and put their personal touch on everything in their lives.
One of the aspects of my job that I love is meeting hundreds of people, mainly women, at events yearly. When I am asked to speak for groups, I am always reminded that women need to hear that they are special and have great worth. I believe that women set the tone for the homes, offices, schools and organizations. We sometimes become weary in well-doing and need to be reminded that we are important.
As we start our journey together on this blog, it is my desire that every time you receive a post from me, there will be words that will encourage you to the understanding that you matter and that you make days special by your personal touches. I hope you will find courage to start the business you have dreamt of, and the push to start that project you have postponed. You may find that the stories of women who have interesting careers will challenge you in some small way. For it is out of hobbies that many great businesses have been born.
Today we begin and when we are finished, I will put a ribbon in my journal to mark the place where we will begin the next time. Thank you for taking this journey with me.