Ten years ago we set out to make a magazine. We’d like to say that there have been lessons or at least one lesson learned over the years that we could pass on to you, our loyal readers. Or, perhaps, as editors are given to do – we could trundle out some time-worn advice and platitudes. “Follow your passion,” being one of them, and then, through a series of examples we could demonstrate how to make it happen for you too “through hard work and determination.”
But, to reduce these ten years into a few sentences, however well-crafted and well-meaning is unrealistic. Work life, entrepreneurship, business, call it what you may, is more nuanced than a few sentences. Of course, we are grateful to the extraordinary individuals who have given their time, effort and energy to making City Style and Living magazine a success. The calibre of our contributors and their commitment to our message of “earth is a beautiful heaven,” is humbling.
Ten years is a time for reflection. This means reflecting on the good and the bad. The arc of City Style and Living (CSL) has been excruciating, punctuated by the sort of pinch-me moments that make life (and work) bearable.
In the early years, building a reputation and brand was a challenge. From the inception, we had a digital magazine. This was at a time when no one knew what that meant. We would go to meetings met with blank stares when we mentioned digital. Clients were accustomed to print magazines and that was it. This was well before Twitter, before Instagram, before Snapchat. We pre-dated social media and that too came with its surprises. The industry now speaks of a shift in the market.
All those years ago though, City Style and Living magazine was just a dream. So, with the inevitable birthday looming, we returned to our first editor’s letter. There was such hope and honesty in those words. There was a sense of boundless excitement that belied trepidation. For all its vicissitudes, CSL has been a structuring force in our lives.
The inevitable question remains: would we do it all over again, knowing what we know now?
The answer came via a recent conversation in the South Pacific. We were speaking with someone who has been pursuing a copyright infringement lawsuit for eleven years. “It’s a journey, and like every journey, it is a process. I’ve enjoyed watching my children grow up,” she said without the slightest note of bitterness or disappointment. Although it had been frustrating, the thing that she treasured was the process itself. Now, with this decade-long journey behind us, it is time to enjoy. – K&S
This original editors letter article first appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.