Meet the Media – Jane Dagmi

jane dagmiJane Dagmi is the editor-in-chief of Designers Today. She is based in Florida.

What’s your top priority at work for today?

The priority that continues to land at the top of my to-do list (until it is completed) is creating an editorial calendar for 2019. With Designers Today growing from a quarterly pub to an 8-times-a- year magazine, this roadmap is essential. It’s like doing a puzzle. No lack of inspiration and topics to cover, this is where my editor skills are put to the test.

Tell us about your dream assignment.

My dream assignment is to report from the road. I’ve had this desire for a very long time and it was validated by an NPR program about the Georgia Rambler, a journalist who would venture without an exact agenda and discover something or someone new. My dream assignment does require a bit more planning than that. In Version A, I visit 12 towns in 12 months, and become a local for one month, getting to know the local art, design, food and retail scene, touring through homes, and documenting it all in photos, video and words. Version B is a road trip where I stay at a different designer’s house every night or almost every night and document our time together. And naturally, I have a photographer and videographer that are super stealth. They capture it all and no one really knows they are there.

Describe one of the wackiest proposals/ideas you’ve been sent.

Oh crap…sadly nothing comes to mind.

What is your PR/marketing pet peeve?

First, publicists are pitching stories that are safe and vanilla. I’d love to be invited to tag along with your client for the day or get into their closet. I like pursuing stories where the script isn’t already written.

Next, something irksome is when publicists (or anybody for that matter) do not acknowledge the support staff. Let me explain. When I first started at Country Living Magazine in the 90s, I was an editorial assistant, and my mentor/direct boss, who was the Decorating Editor, encouraged me to go to all of the press events with her. For the better part of a year and probably longer, every time I went to an event organized by this one particular PR agent, she would shake my hand and say, “Hi, I’m so-and-so. I don’t believe we’ve met.” There I was 5’10” with short platinum hair, a little bit of a Papa-Don’t-Preach Madonna vibe going on, and her inability to remember meeting me totally screwed with my head. Unfortunately, ego-demoralizing moments are more indelible than ego-boosting ones, and so this stays with me till today.

What’s a top industry trend you’re currently following or are interested in?

Attitudinally, I am addicted to the whole sharing economy, co-working spaces, designers hooking up and collaborating, support structures, designer retreats and community boards…

Aesthetically, I am easily seduced by furnishings that feel like they belong in sunken living rooms of the 60s and 70s or perhaps a vintage smoking club somewhere in Europe. I’m relishing the warmer shades these days like burnt orange, olive, teal, and chocolate, along with black or brown veined marble, brass, and vintage rugs.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I currently live in Florida, have two amazing daughters, and a fab partner with whom I just bought a house in High Point. I have a black thumb with high hopes of starting an herb and vegetable garden. I am a Libra and believe that real life is more interesting than fiction. When times were tough, I cobbled together many different jobs to support my family. I worked as an editor at a spelling and vocabulary homeschool resource, tried ghostwriting and did a lot of substitute teaching. To this day, I have a stash of notes and drawings that the kids made for me declaring me “the best sub ever.” Tapas-style entertaining is more my style than serving a fancy sit-down, but I am happy to be a guest at your fancy sit down. I love shopping for vintage clothing and meandering around thrift shops and consignment stores because what’s there usually has a story and it’s all so random. Lastly, while I love the convenience of email, a conversation is still king in my book.

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Questions or comments for Jane? Respond below. And be sure to check out her stylish Instagram feed at jdagmi.

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5 Comments

  1. David Landis Reply

    Jane, how lovely that you contributed to our humble blog today. I still remember how we bonded over Karastan rugs at a get-together organized by the indomitable Esther Perman in Atlanta. You are one of the journalists whom I always highlight as what the industry can and should be. And, by the way, I think we both also share a love of the road. Thanks again! Cheers, David (Landis)

  2. Sean Dowdall Reply

    Jane,
    Thank you for your post – it was fun to read. And, I totally agree, I like the warmer shades of color – grey and white are so overdone and have become boring.
    Sean

  3. Brianne Miller Reply

    Thanks, Jane for the Libra shout out – we do look at life differently!

  4. Polly Ikonen Reply

    You sound like a really interesting human, Jane! I admire your persistence and capacity for reinvention. I’m signing up for the free one-year subscription and look forward to the magic I know you’ll work with your editorial calendar. Thanks for this great blog piece.

  5. Robin Reply

    I love all of your little stories, Jane! Can totally relate. Especially the “ego-demoralizing moment” at the industry event. There’s nothing worse than people looking past your shoulder with “and you are…..”??? tailing off. Priceless.