For my January Made to Create interview, I’m pleased to introduce Rae Schrock, chief editor of Daughters of Promise, that lovely magazine for Anabaptist young women. If you haven’t seen it yet, find them on Facebook or at daughters-of-promise.org.
I don’t know a lot about this magazine, and so I’m excited to ask Rae all about it.
Sheri: Hi Rae, thanks for joining us!
Rae: This is exciting, Sheri – thanks for having me!
S: I’ll get started with the basics. How long has DOP been in circulation? Approximately how many subscribers do you have now?
R: Daughters of Promise started in 2010 as a short email newsletter that I sent around to friends. It grew pretty quickly from there and in 2013 I switched to a more magazine-type format (using Microsoft Word – can you believe it?!). Around that time, my sister and two cousins joined the team and we worked together to publish a new issue online each month. In 2014 we took the plunge and start printing. Talk about a learning curve! Our first printing we had around 50 subscribers. Today we ship DOP to around 750!
S: Wow, that’s incredible growth in just a few years! And to think you started with Microsoft Word. 🙂 What was the spark that got you thinking about starting a magazine?
R: In early 2010 I went through a painful experience that caused me to rethink the direction of my life. God took me on a journey of breaking and then healing, and it was during that time that the idea for DOP came. I have always loved to write, and I felt that God was prompting me to take my hobby and turn it into a ministry that could encourage other women in their difficult times. Starting a monthly newsletter was a way to not only find the community I needed for healing, but to also help create it. DOP had the humblest of beginnings; I certainly never dreamed it would become a print magazine. But that’s what I love about the way God works! He had this in mind from the beginning and we are just along for the ride.
S: I couldn’t agree more about how God works. How beautiful that He used your need for healing to help others. How has your vision for DOP changed since the beginning?
R: In the beginning, the vision was very simple: to encourage women through writing. Over the years, I would say that the vision hasn’t changed, but expanded. My passion is to provide excellent, beautiful, and Biblical material for women of conservative faith. The goal of Daughters of Promise is to acquaint women with the liberating truth of Scripture, and equip them to lead wholly healthy lives. I am excited to see my generation rising up and returning to a more pure, radical faith, and it’s my goal for DOP to support and enhance that movement.
S: Putting together a magazine requires a unique form of creativity. You have to work with other people’s writing and art. What’s your biggest challenge?
R: There are lots of small challenges along the way but I would say that the biggest is scheduling. Even though DOP is released quarterly (giving us 3 months to work on each issue), we are planning several issues ahead and often working on several simultaneously. It takes dozens of hours of work and hundreds of emails to bring an issue together – quite the juggling act! Keeping everything on a strict schedule is vital…but flexibility is also needed, especially when working with so many contributors’ needs and schedules!
S: What’s the best thing about creating DOP?
R: Oh my… I have so many! The very best thing for me is the satisfaction of finally releasing a new issue, and hearing feedback from readers. They are our “score card” and when we get emails of thanks or shout-outs on social media about the way DOP was a blessing, it is a special affirmation that all the hard work was worth it. And I have to say that a close second “best thing” is the design portion of my job. I thrive on it! Ask anyone who knows me – not much thrills my soul more than pulling together content into something unique and beautiful.
S: Here’s my chance to say thank you. The Winter 2016 issue was the first I read from cover to cover, and I was inspired. I don’t usually enjoy reading magazines, but I savored that one. If you dream big, how would DOP look in five years? Ten?
R: I love thinking about where we could be in five or ten years. In five years I hope to be distributing to several thousand subscribers and capable of employing Anabaptist women creatives (right now the majority of content is provided by volunteers). I dream of having a complete staff operating multiple departments. In ten years, I hope to be taking more of a backseat role in the administration and passing on the torch to younger women visionaries. I also have a dream to start an annual Daughters of Promise Retreat.
S: That’s my favorite thing about DOP, that it gives a platform to creative Anabaptist women. Wonderful.
Thank you, Rae, for telling your story. I loved hearing about your vision. May God continue to guide you into His grand plan.
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