Josephine magazine had just printed its first issue when I joined the St. Joseph News-Press as a reporter in 2003.

Nichi Yeager, one of the creators, was the Editor at the time. My only interaction with her and the team of seasoned journalists was passing by their desks on my way to the bathroom. It was kinda like wishing you could sit with the cool kids as you passed them in the cafeteria. I was young, barely out of college, and all the hustle and bustle that went with being a part of Josephine magazine fascinated me.

The group were all genuinely friends yet respected each other as colleagues, too. They could laugh, tell stories and get down to business without a hiccup each month to ensure a quality magazine came out.

Sometime later an event was put on to honor the first year of the publication. That small get together in partnership with the advertising department has grown into one of the largest ladies’ events in the area – The Josephine Expo.

Two members of that original team are still a part of the magazine and the Expo. Carole Dunn spearheads the massive undertaking of pulling off the Expo and Jackie Dix designs the magazine.

When I was named Editor four years ago, I was shocked. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could oversee such an amazing thing. I hardly thought I was a blip on a map. Josephine has her own personality, her own charm and you can’t throw a rock in any direction and not hit someone who hasn’t heard of her.

Taking over the magazine meant I had big shoes to fill. Besides Nichi, I had to replace Jess DeHaven, who became Editor when Nichi left. Both women were respected, strong and damn good at their jobs. I’d hoped I was up to the task. But I was also asked to revamp the magazine. Scary! How do make something already great … better.

With a little gumption, creativity and enthusiasm, we did it. Josephine took on a new face, a new life, yet didn’t go so far away from her roots that she was unrecognizable. We kept staples like featuring local women and telling their stories, and what was new in fashion, yet we added more recipes, home décor and day tripping.

Today, we are a much smaller team. Carole, Jackie and I take great pride in Josephine magazine. And, once again, we are genuinely friends and respect each other as colleagues. Funny how things come full circle!

Jenn Hall can be reached at jenn.hall@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPHall.