Jo Packham, currently the creator/Editor-in-Chief of best-selling magazines: WHERE WOMEN CREATE — Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women; WHERE WOMEN COOK , The Heart & Soul of Cooking; WHERE WOMEN WORK, A Passion for Success; and her newest publication: WHAT WOMEN CREATE, Inspiration for Your Imagination, has been a leading innovator in the handmade publishing market for more than 35 years.
A successful entrepreneur, Jo began her career with THE VANESSA-ANN COLLECTION which published paper-back how-to publications selling millions of copies. This led to her publishing companies, CHAPELLE Ltd. and later WWC PRESS, which packaged more than 1,000 titles for most major publishers in the industry including: Sterling, Time Warner, Oxmoor House, Meredith Corp. (Better Homes & Gardens), Rodale Press, Random House, Chronicle, Barnes & Noble, and others.
In 2010, with Nancy Soriano, the editor-in-Chief of Country Living for 10 years, Jo co-founded THE CREATIVE CONNECTION – Women, Passion, Business. TCC was a national conference and market celebrating creative women and entrepreneurs. Bringing together the creative process of handmade goods and food with the marketing savvy of business and social media TCC included over 150 industry experts, 800 attendees, and 50 best selling authors. Hands-on workshops joined with social networking and business panels which addressed the practical details of setting up, running, and marketing a business, as well as leveraging its impact through blogging and other social media. But most important were the Pitch Slams presented by preselected attendees to top industry experts culminating in new opportunities and contracts for over 50 designers, authors, and artisan entrepreneurs.
In its second year Jo and TCC joined forces with BlogHer as its official media partner. BlogHer, at the time the largest women’s social media network, received over 25 million unique views per month. “BlogHer recognized the handmade community THE CREATIVE CONNECTION brought together. “We were honored to have the largest women’s social media community as our media partner,” said Jo Packham. Also partnering with TCC were its Presenting Sponsor, Sterling Publishing (Barnes & Noble, the number one how-to publisher in the world); Vogue Knitting; MaryJanesFarm; McDonald’s; and Starbucks.
Between 2000 and 2005, Jo and her daughter Sara Toliver embarked on a venture that helped spark the revitalization and renaissance of Historic 25th Street in their hometown, Ogden, Utah. Working together, they opened and co-owned three upscale boutiques, Ruby & Begonia, The White Fig, and Olive & Dahlia, in the heart of the old commercial district. Their vision and creative entrepreneurship was rewarded with two Gifts & Decorative Accessories Retailer of the Year awards, one for visual marketing in 2002 and another for community service in 2003. Jo was also Chair and supervised for 11 years the growth of Ogden’s Christmas Village to become the largest holiday celebration in the state of Utah.
Currently, Jo has created the URBAN STUDIO, on Historic 25th Street. The URBAN STUDIO is uncommon and extraordinary. US is the perfect stage with 2,500 square feet of urban aesthetics including a professional kitchen designed for make-it & cooking classes; business meetings, gatherings & retreats; parties, celebrations & holidays .. almost everything! The expertise of US is the ability to incorporate the finer touches to enable clients and patrons to be outstanding and still enjoy their time as host, teacher, student, or guest. From the moment you step inside, your imagination and expectations meet.
Her life has been a journey that seems as if it were taken straight from the pages of a storybook … the “Once upon a time” beginning”, the tragedies lived through the middle chapters, and hopefully the “ Happy Ever After” ending. She looks forward to the promises of tomorrow and is proud to say that every single day she is blessed to be able to do what she loves, that she is surrounded by family and friends whom she adores and respects, and that she is trusted enough to represent those whose passion is to create with their hands … whether it be food, art, or business. She resides in Ogden, Utah.