Jo Packham has been one of the most notable figures in the creative industry for more than 25 years. A successful entrepreneur with a publishing company, three decorating and gift boutiques, and more than 20 arts-and-crafts titles, Jo brings her business sense, creative flair, and excellent sense of taste to WomenCreate. Her unequalled combination of experience, knowledge, and love for the creative world make her ideally qualified to head an event of this magnitude.
Jo is owner of the publishing company Chapelle, Ltd., a 28-year-old Utah corporation that authors, packages, and copublishes successful coffee table, instructional, and gift publications ranging from home decorating and gardening to master woodworking and antique needlework. The numerous titles written by Jo include the three best-selling publications Decorate Rich, Where Women Create, and Extraordinary Touches for an Ordinary Day.
With more than 300 published titles, Chapelle is the premier publisher of arts-and-crafts books. Chapelle’s work with literally hundreds of leading arts-and-crafts authors ensures that the artisans and craftspeople involved in WomenCreate will be some of the most highly skilled, knowledgeable, and talented in their fields.
Jo is also the co-owner with her daughter, Sara Toliver, of Ogden-based retail stores Ruby & Begonia, The White Fig, and Olive & Dahlia located on Historic 25th Street. By introducing these upscale boutiques to the heart of Ogden’s commercial district, Jo has been instrumental in revitalizing downtown Ogden.
A highly respected Ogden resident, Jo serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce and is actively involved in many other aspects of her community. Her untiring dedication and the high quality and class she brings to every endeavor indicate her uncompromising drive for the highest caliber of taste and excellence.
Jo’s creative vision and event experience is evident in the annual Christmas Village she spearheads each year in downtown Ogden. This event—an Ogden tradition—had virtually disappeared until Jo brought it back to life, creating a magnificent “Santa’s Village” on an entire city block, with dozens of cottages decorated and brightly festooned in 400,000 Christmas lights. Thanks to Jo’s industrious efforts, the event is bigger and better than ever. The number of cottages rose from 12 in 2002 to an amazing 45 in 2004. The event’s annual budget is now $250,000 (which does not include the $300,000 that has been donated since Jo became Chairperson). Each year, hundreds of volunteers give a combined 10,000 hours of their time. With attendance numbers over 100,000 per year, the event continues to be the highlight of the Christmas season in Ogden.