How do I love Tobi Schwartz-Cassell, Girlfriendz Magazine articles, and the southern New Jersey events hosted by Girlfriendz? Let me count the ways. Nah, too many things for me to write about, and not enough of a word count in which to do it.
Let’s just say that Tobi and her marvelous staff have their publishing curves in all the right places. Tobi’s most provocative answer is at the end of the interview…
By All Writes: Why did you decide to start Girlfriendz Magazine? When did you found/start it?
Tobi Schwartz-Cassell: I founded Girlfriendz in 2006, and the first issue came out at the end of 2007. There were (and still are) many regional magazines in South Jersey, but none spoke to me personally. I was curious about my own demographic (Baby Boomer Women) and did research that blew me away.
Apparently, boomer ladies own and control about 2/3 of the nation’s wealth, and we make 80% of all decisions (healthcare, home improvements, car purchases, etc.) in the home. Even more striking, we are the demographic most ignored by the media. (At least we were back in 2006!)
BAW: What news features and local events do you offer your readers and subscribers?
TSC: We’re based in South Jersey, but our content is anything but local. Women everywhere can relate to our topics: office romance, thyroid disorders, how women network differently from men, surviving spousal infidelity, and fun topics like roots (as in hair!) and how to creatively hog a seat on a train. We localize our articles by quoting subject matter experts in the South Jersey community.
We also host free and fee-based events that are well attended and a ton of fun. Some of our upcoming happenings include: yet another Mystic Dinner with psychic Carole Tollen (#8, but who’s counting?), the Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, a Brooklyn Pizza Tour Bus Trip, and many more of our beloved Girls’ Night Out gatherings.
BAW: Who makes a good reader/subscriber for Girlfriendz (‘The Thinking Woman’s Magazine’)?
TSC: Our mission is to educate, empower, and entertain our female Baby Boomer sweet spot. But honestly, many younger and older women enjoy the magazine and turn out for our events. Even some men admit to reading Girlfriendz, and we applaud them for that! Personally, I think these enlightened fellows read it because they (desperately?) want to find out what makes us ladies tick…
BAW: What is your ultimate “happy moment” when communicating with your readership?
TSC: One of our staff writers, Theresa Wright, Ph.D., is a psychologist in Mount Laurel (NJ) who writes about the tough stuff. According to Theresa, we’ve made life significantly better for – and in some cases, saved the lives of – seven different people to date. Her articles seem to resonate with our readers; some of them pursue counseling with Theresa because they’ve read her articles in Girlfriendz. My ultimate happy moment was finding out just how much our content can impact human lives.
I’ve had other happy moments as editor of Girlfriendz! I’ve loved interviewing our ‘cover girls’ for each month’s featured interview (Marlo Thomas, Cokie Roberts, Mayim Bialik and Wanda Sykes, to name a few). I also get a great deal of happiness from seeing so many women make new friends at our events.
BAW: If you could relocate Girlfriendz Magazine to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
TSC: We’d like to be in Princeton, Center City Philadelphia, the Main Line, and eventually nationwide. Why? Because I’d like to spread the mission of Girlfriendz and also, because I’d like to make more money. (Yep, I did just say that – hey, I’m no fool!)
BAW: What is your favorite book (or who is your favorite author) to read and why? Please share generously!
TSC: I am unusual in that I despise reading fiction. I think it’s a waste of time. How’s that for honesty? I adore biographies and business books, especially business biographies. My favorite author is Malcolm Gladwell because I’ve learned so much from him. My very favorite book is Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.
So you’re not yet a Girlfriendz Magazine subscriber? Inconceivable – it’s time for you to enjoy this bimonthly gem of a publication from cover to cover. Take care of your subscription needs online, or send an email to Girlfriendz with any questions. To contact the fabulous Tobi Schwartz-Cassell directly, call her at 856-751-2997 or email her at email@example.com.
Thanks for this great glimpse into the mind of one of my favorite magazine editors! I love writing for Girlfriendz and look forward to reading each issue — it’s a great mix of good fun and useful information.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this month’s SJ Spotlight – glad you enjoyed my interview with Tobi! I agree with your assessment of Girlfriendz Magazine. It is indeed nicely balanced between fun reading and serious, informational articles.