Publisher - June 2021
Photography by Jacie Millen
Every June, in honor of Father’s Day, we run a feature called Men and Their Chairs, and every year I am inspired. We pick a handful of local men, ask them somewhat touchy-feely questions and always get back answers that fill our hearts and remind us that men rock!
We are living in an era of male-bashing. There are many disgruntled women out there who think all men are alike. Most sitcoms portray the male of the family as clueless or absent. And, many women insist on controlling everything and everyone these days almost to the point of emasculation epidemic proportions. Women have proven that we can do almost everything men can—have equal intelligence, excel in sports, fly to the moon, hold rank in the military and lead huge corporations with the best of them. However, it is in our best interest for the men in our lives—husband, father, sons, brothers, uncles, guy friends— to be strong, engaged and smart, and it really helps when the women in their lives are positive supportive forces. I have always been candid that Pink loves men! Yes, we are a women’s magazine—positive and loving, but we don’t have to put men down to raise women up. We all can rise! So, give the men in your life—husband, father, sons, brothers, uncles, guy friends—a big hug and thank them for being “such a man!”
As I edited each questionnaire turned in by our picks for the Men and Their Chairs article this year, I realized the questions are hard. I was impressed with their answers and enjoyed reading every one of them. I started wondering how I would answer those questions. So, I took a turn at it and thought I would share my answers with you. It was fun and thought provoking. You should give it a try, too.
Elizabeth Skenes Millen
Hometown: Columbia, SC Career: Publisher, Business Owner
In a Relationship with: Holcombe Smith
Family: Mom to Conner (27) and Jacie (22)
Favorite Sports Team: Carolina Gamecocks! And I’m going to start pulling for the Jacksonville Jaguars since Tim Tebow is there!
My favorite words to live by: Change your attitude, change your world!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Chad Buffkin, the founder and publisher of Golden Life in Florence, SC, told me I should start my own publication. (That ended up working out!) My father told me “There’s nothing out there but devilment after midnight.” (He was right.) And, Girl, you better believe I took Maya Angelou’s words to heart: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time!”
Life is good because…I am loved.
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen? 1. A pirate ghost in a cabin at Myrtle Beach State Park—my cousin saw it, too, so it was real! 2. While out sailing, a huge Loggerhead sea turtle surfaced beside the boat right off the shore of Hilton Head. It was unbelievable—so big! 3. Also, I walk the beach a lot and the sunrises each morning never cease to amaze me.
Other than family, what is your proudest accomplishment? I am really proud of Pink and Paisley Magazines. I never thought we would still be going strong after 17 (Pink) and 13 (Paisley) years. I am most proud that we stick to our mission—empower, inform, encourage and evoke thought, and through our editorial, which focuses on sharing positive stories about women from all walks of life, our hope is to inspire and motivate women to be their best selves. This is of utmost importance to me and my team. We strive to make each issue the absolute best it can be. Pink and Paisley are not just magazines, we consider them a mission.
What did you “Want to Be” when you grew up? Even though I played school all the time, I never actually wanted to be a teacher. I always loved my doll babies and knew from a wee tot I wanted to be a mommy. However, I think the best answer to this question comes from John Lennon: “When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
What is your claim to fame? Well, it’s probably being the “Pink Lady,” but I love to speak to groups, and I’m pretty well known for being quite comical. I also wrote and compiled The Pictorial History of Florence, SC, a book published while I was working for the Florence Morning News.
What is something about you people would find surprising? I had a pretty cool career in marketing prior to starting Pink in 2004. One of my most coveted jobs was working for NASCAR. I was the Marketing Director at Darlington Raceway during NASCAR’s heyday—I’m talking Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Dale Jarrett, Richard Petty, Mark Martin, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace—so many of the legends! Jeff Gordon was just starting out. I had a creative boss, a lot of responsibility and the freedom to rock it!
What has been your greatest adventure? I swam with the dolphins at Marineland in Florida. It made me incredibly happy; I couldn’t stop smiling. I think if I could hug every cute animal on the planet, I would.
One thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list: Taking my daughter to New York City and seeing lots of Broadway shows.
And, the No. 1 thing on your Bucket List right now: I HAVE to go to Paris! And, Scotland is a must, too. My father’s family came from Aberdeen, Scotland, and ironically, my (ex) sister-in-law travelled there. She said my maiden name—Skenes—is everywhere. Apparently the Skenes are powerful and famous in Aberdeen. I must go to my mothership.
Tell us about your chair: My favorite chair is an old-timey lawn chair with webbing. I love it because it reminds me of years gone by at Lake Murray and Edisto Beach. I remember my father and his best friend would sometimes spend an afternoon at the beach house drinking cold beer and re-webbing lawn chairs. I relish the nostalgia of my childhood, probably because it just represents a time that was simpler and filled with promise.
If my chair could say something about me, it would say: You need to improve your time management so you can sit in me more!
If you could tell the world anything, what would you say… Just, be kind…to yourself and to others. That’s all I ask.