The Home Life & Design Journey
How We Got to Today.
It is hard for me to believe it will soon be six years ago that the first print issue of VHL&D (predecessor to current HLD) was printed and in the hands of readers. Whoa! If at the time I had a crystal ball and knew what was in store for me I would quite honestly, in hindsight, emphatically and without hesitation say – I would Never do it again!
It is still difficult for me six years later to wrap my head around the turmoil, heartache, illness, lost relationships, grief, and disappointments that came with what I believed in my heart to be a labor of love and vehicle for common good.
But, there are no do-overs and before I expand on The Lessons I Learned from the experience I am posting all of the Editors Letters I wrote for each Issue of the magazine. In the very near future, I will add comments and more but let me jump this first hurdle…and then go from there.
Without further aduieu…here are my Letters from Jill – 100% heartfelt.
1. Note from Jill – November 2012
Welcome to the premiere issue of Vero Home Life and Design magazine! This project has been a labor of love for me and I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed creating it. With that said I would like to take just a moment to thank all of the wonderful and talented people on my team that supported me in pulling this together. I could not have done it without their love and support and I am eternally grateful for each and every one of them. Our fabulous and gracious participants blew me away one after the next with their willingness not only to share part of their lives but in the extraordinary effort they put into answering all our crazy questions. I again thank everyone. My hope has been that through this venture we can create a better sense of community by simply getting to know one another. Please enjoy.
2. Note from Jill – January-February 2013
Happy 2013! We are delighted to kick off the New Year with the first 2013 edition of Vero Home, Life & Design magazine. In each issue, we strive to bring you a fresh and current view of the amazingly talented residents and unique businesses that make Vero Beach the exceptional community it is. For this issue, two things, Valentine’s Day and the great American classic The Great Gatsby, primarily inspired us. Look for a vintage-inspired fashion spread, along with a selection of gift ideas we gathered from around town. We will take you on a tour of two beautiful new island homes, as well.
I truly hope you enjoy this issue. VHL&D is a magazine with you in mind. If you have an interesting idea or something you would like to share, please send me an email and I will be sure to reply. Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful and joyous New Year, with a reminder to please shop locally when you can.
3. Note from Jill – March-April 2013
Hi all! I cannot thank you enough for participating in, reading, advertising and most of all supporting our magazine, Vero Home, Life & Design. What started as a crazy little idea has morphed into this beautiful publication I am so very proud to be a part of. Since the launch of VHL&D, I have been asked one simple questions repeatedly, why? “Why did you want to start a magazine?” “Why would you start a magazine when there are already so many out there?” “Why would you want to take on all that work?” And the simple answer is for our community. I felt so strongly that Vero Beach desperately needed a stylish, fresh, energetic, community-minded magazine, a publication that truly supports small businesses, their owners, charities and the diverse mix of people that make our small town the quaint, laid-back little piece of heaven that it is. So, I jumped in without a net and I am not looking back!
I have also been asked a number of times how much it costs to be featured in our magazine, and the simple answer to that is zero. If you have a business, an idea, a group, a design, a project, a charity you feel needs more attention, a healthy living alternative or anything you think I may be interested in, email me. I will be sure to get back with you. This magazine is about and for the residents of our community. My goal is for all of us to become a little more connected, one issue at a time. Hope you enjoy this latest issue.
4. Note from Jill – May-June 2013
Can you believe it? Here we are with our fourth issue and this one is dedicated to Citrus. Getting here has been an amazing ride to say the very least, one mixed with emotions of every kind from overwhelming joy to tears of gratitude and uncontrollable laughter. The one word that has repeatedly come to mind during the production of this issue is Serendipity, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it. Each and every day while working to put this issue together there was a serendipitous moment or event. One exciting mini miracle happened right after the next in an astounding set of coincidences. Take it as a sign…you know I have a sign of good things to come. I hope as you read through this our issue dedicated to The History of Citrus in Indian River County you will see and appreciate the marvelous, miraculous, miracles we encountered. It truly has been a long strange trip and worth every moment. Enjoy!
5. Note from Jill – October-November 2013
As we were wrapping up our final day of shooting for this issue Aric Attas our Director of Photography reminded me that months prior when he pitched the idea for a food issue he promised it would be amazing. All I could say was, “That is going to be a lot of work!” It turns out I was right, but so was he. And herein lies the fruits of our labor, The First Annual VHL&D Food Issue.
I would like to thank all of our amazing participants without whose artistry, professionalism, generosity, and collaboration this would not have been possible. I most genuinely and sincerely appreciate each of them allowing us to take up residence in their homes and businesses as well as the time and efforts involved in helping us produce this issue.
My mission and sincere goal for Vero Home, Life & Design is and has been since the inception to create a community-minded and collaborative publication that promotes and supports local business and business owners. As our readers, I hope you will communicate that message to all our advertisers and participants by paying it forward by telling them you saw them here!
6. Note From Jill – December 2013-January 2014
Let me ask you a question. What would our world be like if we had no options, no choices? Imagine if there was only one golf course you could play, one Italian restaurant to eat at, only one dress to wear, one magazine to read? What would life be like?
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Variety and choices are exactly what keeps life interesting. It gives us a reason to jump out of bed and attack each and every new day. That need for diversity is what led to the birth of VHL&D. I wanted to create a magazine that celebrates Vero Beach and all the wonderful people that live here in a way I didn’t see in any other publication.
My profession as an interior designer naturally led me to feature the beautiful homes and celebrate the talented design community we have in Vero Beach. As a business owner for more than 13 years in Vero, I wanted to support and celebrate the businessmen and women in the area.
Together with my amazing team of photographers, writers, artists, and my assistant (whom I couldn’t get a thing done without) we have created a publication that is unique and unlike anything else Vero Beach has to offer. We are proud to be The Premiere Lifestyle Magazine for Vero Beach!
7. Note from Jill – February-March 2014
Welcome to my world!
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of the beautiful photographs in our magazine? Well, let me tell you, there is a lot of fussing, moving, straightening, and tweaking until every last detail is perfect for the shot—or, at least, as perfect as we can make it at that given moment. Our goal from the inception of VHL&D has been to create a gorgeous, visually stimulating, interesting, and unique publication filled with amazing photography. We work extraordinarily hard to capture the most significant moments and stories in every issue. I am fortunate to have a talented staff of professionals dedicated to actualizing the best possible product.
To reach that end, often times it takes someone (often me!) to crawl under tables in order to straighten wrinkles in a rug, or to remove a displeasing garden hose that simply won’t convey well in a photo. Mine is not always a glamorous job, but it is one I relish for the satisfaction it brings.
People often ask me how I am able to do it all: publish a popular magazine, run my design business, and still have ample time left over for a life of my own. I have yet to develop a decent reply, but the most honest one I can offer is, “It’s all in a day’s work”. I am madly and wildly passionate about everything I do, and it rarely feels like work. Most of the time, everything just seems to fall into perfect place. Of course, I do have challenging moments and minor setbacks. This is where my abundance of faith, determination, and gratitude continue to serve me well and help to propel me onward.
I feel so incredibly blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to do what I love and to share my passion with others. As always, I hope you enjoy this issue.
With Love & Gratitude,
8. Note from Jill – April-May 2014
Sometimes you just know when something is right. The right look, the right fit or the right combination of ingredients that make the perfect amalgamation of parts and pieces. It may be kismet and happen instantaneously or more likely it is a slow and steady progression toward the ultimate incarnation of the perfect merger. When you finally arrive at this glorious destination you cannot help but exhale, deeply, with an enormous sigh of relief. Suddenly everything flows, fits and falls into perfect place as if it were meant to be from the inception.
We here at VHL&D have certainly gone through some considerable “growing pains” over the last year and a half and I can honestly say we have come out on the other side wiser, stronger and better for it. We have settled into a supportive and cohesive group and found our voice and definitive sense of direction. We have been nothing less than astounded by the community’s overwhelming embrace of our publication and overall support.
With that, I am as proud as ever to share our April-May 2014 edition, our 8th issue inspired by the Artist. We are pleased to feature some old along with some new business ventures and Vero Beach residents that create art in their own unique way.
As always I hope you enjoy.
9. Note from Jill – Summer 2014
For those of us that live year-round in Vero Beach, we have a secret we rarely share with our seasonal residents. There is without question no better time to enjoy what Vero has to offer than the summer, glorious summer! The Atlantic Ocean becomes a lake barely lapping at the shore, there is utterly no traffic to speak of and getting from one end of the island (CR 510) to the other (Route 60) takes less than fifteen minutes. There are always ample amounts of available parking at Publix and Fresh Market and you can walk right into any restaurant for dinner, without a reservation. Sure, we have to endure a little heat, but we remedy that by dressing for the situation, shorts and sandals are definitely the uniform for summer. Days are long and the mood is easy. Everything – slows – to a nice – easy – Southernly pace. I share this information with you as we head into the 2014 summer with our 9th issue of Vero Home, Life & Design. For this our summer issue we had the pleasure of visiting two amazing home renovations and celebrate those who make it all possible, our full-time residents and those working every day to keep Vero Beach the amazing, seaside town that attracts so many during our winter months. As always, I hope you enjoy!
10. Note from Jill – Fall 2014
Fall is closing in on us and unlike our neighbors to the north, the only telltale sign we have is the ever so slightest drop in the temperature. The summer heat is gradually diminishing to a mildly uncomfortable warm, and the afternoon showers are no longer a guaranteed event. The evening light is beginning to fade as we say goodbye to the long, hot summer nights. We have had a busy summer here in Vero Beach and are ready to welcome back our seasonal residents.
I think more than the beautiful surroundings in Vero, there is an underlying current that attracts the most unique and versatile people to our small town. That rhythm is the amazing sense of community that draws more and more likeminded people to our streets. It is certainly an immense component of what keeps so many of us here, including myself. My staff and I have often commented that there is not a single place in town that we can go together where we will not run into someone at least one of us knows. Community is what makes a destination on a map a place you call home, where family and friends can be found and seen–even during the quickest trip to the market.
We have been reminded of how much the community and the residents mean to us. One of our own has recently faced some overwhelmingly difficult circumstances and without fail or hesitation, members of our community have reached out to help with support to which we are overwhelmingly grateful. Since the inception of VHL&D, there has been nothing but encouragement and well wishes for continued success, and those wishes have been solidified and supported by our community family. To each of them and everyone else, we wholeheartedly thank you!
So here’s to another remarkable season in Vero Beach! Please enjoy!
11. Note from Jill – Winter 2015
I have some good news, some bad news, and some things that have need to air for some time…
Have you ever looked at a work of art and thought, “I can do that”? Oddly, I actually hear that all the time in my job as an interior designer. I admit to being guilty of at least thinking from time to time, if not voicing it. When I sit down and reflect back, I realize that “I can do that!” attitude is exactly how Vero Home, Life & Design came into existence.
I have always enjoyed local publications, especially those that support and endorse the businesses of our special city. As someone who loves to both live and work in Vero Beach, I want nothing more than for all of our citizens and businesses to thrive. With an eye for beautiful design and a deep desire to continuously create new inspiration to enhance the lives of others, I began to seek additional outlets to elevate local business and showcase the amazing people and talent we have in our own backyard. Of the many lovely local publications I read, I wanted to create a niche of my very own. While I experienced the sentiment “I can do that!” I have always been committed to the idea of doing it in my very own way, as opposed to simply replicating the work of someone else.
Vero Home, Life & Design was born out of the inspiration of life imitating art; the more art I immersed myself in within the stories of life happening around me, the more I wanted to create a unique canvas to share the stories. Of course, nothing ever happens at lightning speed – the pace at which I would like things to move – and months passed, then a year, and finally after talking about it, working on it, and pulling all the working pieces together, the first issue came to life in November 2012. It was, without question, more work than I ever anticipated, but I loved the new creative canvas I had to work on and the amazing people and placed I encountered while developing it. Was it perfect? No way – but this first issue was completed, out there, and well received.
Our magazine was well received by so many in our community, but certainly not by all. Sadly, I was flabbergasted on a fairly regular basis by the stories I heard and by the emails that were shared with me from participants in VHL&D; many of our subjects and friends had been approached and, for lack of a better word, bullied for appearing in our publication. I was dismayed and, quite frankly, in disbelief that anyone considered a professional and held in relatively high regard in this arena would boldly conduct themselves in the manner – in writing, no less! I decided from the beginning it would be in mine and the magazine’s best interest to take the high road and not acknowledge the Mafioso-like tactics or become entangled in a petty feud. Still, these tactics continued and now I feel strongly that it needs to be brought to light.
Against endless odds and every obstacle imaginable, my team and I at Vero Home, Life & Design have continued to endure the bullying and strong-arm tactics. In spite of the adversity, we have delivered 11 amazing issues of VHL&D. As acting editor and publisher, I have simultaneously grown my full-time career as an interior designer.
The good news is my interior design business is busier than ever! In recent years, I have managed to both carry a magazine and deliver to my interior design clients without one role hindering the other. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to, I can no longer devote the time and attention necessary to produce VHL&D while dedicating adequate energy and quality time to my ever-increasing design work. Regrettably, I came to accept that something had to be sacrificed, so presently I am putting the magazine on hold to focus on what I do best – design.
Please do not despair, kind fans and loyal supporters, as I am looking forward to new possibilities and avenues to pick up the print version of VHL&D again in the future. Until that time, I will still flex my creative magazine muscles in a different format on the VHL&D website. VeroHLD.com will continue to be a source for showcasing our local design work, talent, and inspiration for the home, as well as a source, to indulge the design enthusiasts of Vero Beach and well beyond.
I want to thank all of the participants, readers, and contributors of VHL&D for all they have done to support our publication. As a novice editor and publisher, I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished, and I am looking forward to our new chapter and the colorful adventures as we move forward.
“I can do that!” has become a resounding, “We DID it!”
As always with love and much gratitude,
Leave a Reply