By Anna Gelbman Edmonds
What a month it’s been. I spent the majority of my time putting together our second issue and making plans for our launch party, which took place at Spotted Salamander.
The second issue of The F-Suite is a vast improvement over our premier issue (in my critical opinion, anyway) in both content and style. This I attribute to my writers taking good direction and remaining coachable, my graphic designer’s ability to steer me in the right direction style-wise, and the willingness of professionals within the community to contribute articles with pertinent information for the small business community. I offer a huge thank you to those of you referred to in that last sentence.
The launch party was a huge success thanks to the sponsorship of three vastly different businesses that are committed to the mission* of The F-Suite: Spotted Salamander, Professional Printers and Minnie’s Auto Repair. What initially started out as purely business arrangements quickly turned into long-term relationships that are based on our desire to help one another grow our businesses. Professional Printers is not a woman-owned business, which delights me to no end. They get what we’re doing at The F-Suite and support us wholeheartedly.
What was most interesting to me about the party was the number of people attending whom I had never met. I was expecting mostly advertisers, colleagues, family and friends. But the majority of attendees were readers. Most of them made a point to introduce themselves to me and let me know they came tell me how much they appreciate what I’m trying to accomplish through the magazine and how badly it’s needed in Columbia. They actually thanked me for publishing the magazine.
To be honest, their comments and enthusiasm overwhelmed me. I’d heard similar comments over the last few months from people I know. I figured most of their compliments were obligatory in nature. But it’s different when you hear it from the very women you’re trying to reach. It’s exhilarating! As is the noticeable uptick in social media followers and subscribers to our digital newsletter since the party. I am finally beginning to see that women entrepreneurs and business owners in Columbia really do want a magazine of their own.
Some of you are old enough to remember actress Sally Field’s famous Oscar acceptance speech in 1984. Despite a long career in the film and TV industry, this particular award gave her the validation she needed. It was an epiphany of sorts for her that left her overcome with joy. That’s how I felt at the party hearing so many wonderful comments about the magazine: You like what I’m doing. You really like it!
So, we’ll try hard to put out an even better one for you in a few months. I realize the magazine wouldn’t exist without my intrepid team, our advertisers and vendors and, of course, our readers. As a small business owner, I know I didn’t get where I am by myself. Are you making sure the people who helped you along the way know you appreciate what they do for you?