Behind The Scenes: It’s More Than A Village

Posted on: January 6th, 2020

By Christi Ashby

The No. 1 question asked of Kate and me is: How do you do it all? The answer is not so simple. We know we are climbing uphill every day in the declining publishing industry, but we believe if we bring you, our readers, something real and genuine that they cannot get anywhere else, we can maintain and grow our audience. So, here is how it really works.

Community involvement: We know we have to be very immersed to share the stories and discover new subjects to write about. On my most difficult streak, I was at an event every night for eight days. Other days have included a breakfast, lunch and dinner event. It looks like a lot of fun to the casual observer but trust me if we have the camera out, we are working! We have taken hundreds of thousands of photos that last 12 years and I have replaced my camera at least four times. (We won’t even mention the number of laptops we’ve been through!)

Creative collaborators: We get to work with an absolute dream teamfrom friends and family who help us with articles, proofreading, events and more to professionals who provide photography, design, production, writing and hair and makeup services. We realize we can’t do everything and virtually no one would want us to. Sometimes you can find their names in article credits, but many times you won’t see them mentioned. Thank you to our magical magazine fairies!

Nonstop on the job: It’s not uncommon during a deadline week for us to each work 70 hours with weekends included. I often start at 5:30am – but don’t ask me a tough question after about 4pm. For this issue, I set a new record starting at 3:30am. And even when we are out taking care of personal errands and activities, there will always be a business component somewhere – and usually when I have no makeup on.

Drive to do it right: We always want to present our stories in the best light, so we take care to discover new subjects, ask the right questions and double-check the facts. That doesn’t mean a comma or apostrophe might not get misappropriated on occasion. We use high-quality (read: expensive) paper and have kept the size, even though most magazines are shrinking. Rita Tyrell makes sure every page is well-designed and her attention to detail is unerring. We strive to make every issue a little better than the one before and think you deserve all this.

Always grateful: We are so thankful for all those who helped us start and keep going from our investors to our advertisers. They make everything possible.

More than print: It’s hard to believe, but we are already planning the 10th annual Orlando Women’s Conference scheduled for April 9. Our sponsors and speakers make this thought-provoking day such a success. The two of us do all the planning and most of the execution but have an incredible on-site crew of volunteers and our AV pros to pull it off without much of a hitch. We also have our monthly luncheons, our Women of the Year reception (January 29), e-newsletters and social media channels to share and celebrate.

2020 vision: We hope to bring you more of everything you want while continuing our commitment to our local nonprofit community.

Happy New Year!

It was business and pleasure at AdventHealth’s Golden Gala XXXIX where we met Minnie and Mickey and heard Lady Antebellum while mingling with 2,000+ guests and supporting the Vascular Center of Excellence.