In 1999, Jorrie Johnson (Hansen) was working as the director of marketing for a computer hardware, software and services company. There were many changes happening in that industry and challenges she faced working as an employee for a company she didn’t own. She had two young children at home and wanted to be more connected with her family. She started looking for a business opportunity of her own. After researching the success of a women’s magazine in Duluth, Minnesota, the Women Today magazine (thewomantoday.com). She took the leap in January 2000 and left her regular full-time position to start Rochester Women magazine.
In the beginning Rochester Women was produced by a lean crew. The publisher herself handled accounting, sales and distribution of 15,000 copies of Rochester Women magazine. There was one editor who took most of the photos needed for editorial and ads, one graphic artist and a handful of freelance writers.
After a couple of years in business and success printing at Midwest Litho, Johnson (Hansen) partnered with Doug Solinger. Together they also started Coulee Region Women magazine in La Crosse, Wis.
In 2006, to have a more competitive advantage, Rochester Women magazine increased its circulation from 15,000 to 25,000 copies. In 2018, we recognized an increased number of online viewers (over 2,000 per issue) and reduced the printed distribution to 20,000.The magazine is distributed in a 45-mile radius of Rochester. See Distribution.
In 2018, Jorrie Johnson regained sole ownership of Rochester Women magazine. The magazine is produced by a team of independent contractors who work remotely from their own homes as a virtual business. Read about Our Team.
Rochester Women magazine publishes six bi-monthly issues per year. The annual Women’s Business & Resource Directory is now combined with our March/April issue and released in the spring.
Rochester Women Magazine has participated in The Passion Test for Business strategic planning sessions for five years. Rochester Women magazine sponsors the annual Renew Women’s Retreat and other Passion Test workshops led by LuAnn Buechler to encourage women and businesses to pursue their passions.
As we look into the future, Rochester Women is considering how to best accomplish and serve it’s mission by utilizing various means of communication to help women connect with each other and the community. Our website is one of the ways Rochester Women magazine helps women connect with each other and the community. We hope to hear about what you like to read in Rochester Women and how we can help you connect with Rochester area women and the community. Connect with us via email, facebook, or community events