WILMA magazine celebrates 20 years

WILMA is a lifestyle magazine in the Cape Fear area that has hit a milestone this year.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 7:56 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The only women’s lifestyle magazine produced in the Cape Fear area has hit a milestone this year, celebrating 20 years of success.

WILMA celebrates the diversity of women in our community and additionally features articles about dining, local events and health and beauty.

The magazine is also a networking tool to connect women with other leaders around town and help open new career avenues for them.

WILMA also has leadership programs to provide women with hands-on knowledge and experience on a variety of topics, from negotiating techniques to resiliency and strategic thinking.

After 20 years, the magazine has gone through plenty of changes, but the mission has never wavered.

“The spirit has always been the same over the past two decades, that it covers and celebrates women in the Cape Fear region. It’s gone through a lot of different iterations, changes and updates while keeping up with the times. So, to be able to take a step back and really celebrate 20 years of what WILMA has been doing was a real fun project,” said Vicky Janowski, editor for WILMA and co-director of the magazine’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative.

The first issue of WILMA came out in February of 2003 after the founder, Joy Allen, saw a copy of a women’s magazine that was published in Charleston. She then wanted to bring that to the Cape Fear area.

It began as a tabloid newspaper-style publication. She sold it in 2007, where it then transformed into a glossy magazine format.

Despite not owning the publication anymore, she has always stayed involved and is proud to see that the publication is still true to its roots.

“From the beginning, it was always about celebrating the achievement of women and also about celebrating the diversity of the women’s community here. Diversity was always a very strong theme for me,” said Allen.

The magazine underwent another change this past year, with its slogan “Wilmington Successful Woman” becoming “Leadership and Lifestyle Since 2003.” Janowski says they wanted to highlight how long WILMA has been around while broadening its scope of content for readers.

You might see these magazines around town, as they’re at over 350 locations around the area. You can find a copy anywhere from grocery stores to beauty salons in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties.