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.
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,