People dressed in business suits with stacks of papers and a purpose are bustling down the hall with eager students lined up hoping to make lasting impressions. Wishes, desires and ambitions fill the air and networking opportunities are practically limitless. And out of all the smiling faces in the crowd, there is one woman especially eager to meet the enthusiastic, career driven students at UWG.
She is Angela Dailey, the owner and publisher of the West Georgia Woman magazine. Dailey is a 2011 UWG alumnus and is one of the numerous networking professionals that will be at UWG’s 39th annual Media Day on March 4. This is Dailey’s second year participating in the event, and she hopes to keep attending the event for years to come.
“My main goal this year at Media Day is to be able to talk to the young people that are in college right now who have any questions about what we do,” said Dailey. “It’s so much fun to talk to all these people who have all these wonderful dreams and aspirations. It just makes you feel alive. And it’s so fun to see the enthusiasm and excitement that they have.”
Dailey’s journey to journalism was an unconventional one. Although she is now highly involved in the journalism world, Dailey started as a banker. She stayed in that career at the same company for 15 years, and then the unthinkable happened.
“I lost my job in 2012 and really didn’t have much of a direction or idea of what I wanted to do,” said Dailey. “I was also going through a really tough divorce, which took eight years to get finalized.”
With her entire world
crumbling around her and two kids she had to support on her own, Dailey had to
make a quick and tough decision about what to do. So she decided to become a
Civil and Domestic Relations mediator and arbitrator registered with the
Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. But to no avail, this still did not give
her enough income to support her family.
“That’s what I thought my next career was going to be,” said Dailey. “But as I was doing the mediation I was also seeking other job opportunities for myself. So when I started doing the mediation, what I realized really quickly was most attorneys are mediators and they hire their attorney friends to mediate.”
Because of this truth in the field, Dailey wasn’t getting hired to do much work, and she relied on her retirement funds to get her through for nine months. She had to find another way.
“I had a friend who just said ‘have you ever thought about getting into advertising?’’ said Dailey. “And I was like, ‘No, I don’t know anything about advertising.’ But I knew I needed a job, so I applied and I got the job for a local publication.”
During her time as an advertising sales representative, Dailey gained connections with clientele that would eventually help her when she decided to make her own magazine.
“I began to realize that no one was really talking about women that much in the community,” said Dailey. “I had a magazine that I didn’t particularly care for, and in my opinion, the articles weren’t interesting to me as a woman. And most of the local publications in the area at the time were published or edited by men, so I felt that women weren’t being represented.”
When Dailey first had the idea of starting a women’s magazine she was scared and afraid to be without a weekly paycheck. Her family came first, and as the only income for the household, taking a giant chance on a new endeavor proved to be frightening. So Dailey decided to think on it for a little while longer, but one day she just had enough.
“I picked up a local publication and as I was looking at the magazine, I realized the only article in there for women was ‘how to choose the right perfume,’’ said Dailey. “I was just very angry about that. I just decided right then and there ‘I’m gonna do this.’”
And that she did. Dailey put in her two week notice in July 2015 and started making the necessary moves to get her first magazine issue published by November 2015. She talked to many of her former clients and asked them for advice.
“Everyone loved it because they knew, what I had the slightest idea of knowing at the time, that women are the decision makers in the home,” said Dailey. “I realized that the power of the female consumer is astounding.”
This tidbit of information made Dailey’s idea worth it. She was creating a product geared toward women, and the advertisers were on board with her because they knew their advertisements would reach women, who, according to numerous studies, decide the bulk of purchases in the home today.
“I didn’t even have a prototype of the magazine,” said Dailey. “It did not exist. I just went and told them [the advertisers] and made a little flier and said ‘this is what I want to do.’ What they really did for me was they believed in me. They bought me—not the actual magazine.”
The West Georgia Woman magazine was seemingly in full swing. Everything was set, but then Dailey lost her 22-year-old nephew, Tristan, to suicide just two months before the first issue was set to publish.
“Everything just kind of stopped for me,” said Dailey. “It was very devastating for our entire family. The only thing that kept me going was to try to get that first issue published knowing thousands of people would read about my nephew because he was a very special person in my life. He lived with me a couple of years while he was in high school, and he was just like a son to me.”
Dailey said that if it wasn’t for her best friend Shala Spruell Hainer, the copy editor of West Georgia Woman, she would not have made it through with the first publication. Now the magazine does an issue every August dedicated to suicide awareness and prevention.
As far as success goes for the business, West Georgia Woman will be coming up on its fifth year in November. Dailey made her dream a reality by taking an enormous leap of faith and investing in her goal. Dailey says that for anyone hoping to achieve their goals, it is important to keep an open mind and get to know the people around you.
“Make yourself available to influencers in the community,” said Dailey. “Try to connect with those people. Always go to networking events. Meet people. Put yourself out there, and always be open to receiving advice from others because no one knows everything.”