Celebration in the time of COVID-19

Happy first birthday to The F-Suite!

I am beyond grateful to Columbia’s small business community for getting us to that milestone. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed us down, but it hasn’t stopped us.

This stress-relief issue is a mash-up of some articles from our spring issue (only published digitally) and new articles that also The F-Suite Spring 2020address stress. I’m often asked why I started The F-Suite, and my answer always takes me back to times I’d rather forget. But navigating severe stress and hardship developed confidence and strength. I’ve hurdled huge obstacles in my lifetime (dragging a few people along with me). Those experiences served as training for anything I’ll face in the future.

I sat down for an interview for this issue to encourage those of you who see COVID-19 and the current economic crisis as obstacles threatening your livelihood. They are not. They are bends in the road or detours to where you’re supposed to be going. My detours are marked with many tears, hits to my pride and going without. However, along the way I’ve met the most amazing people and had glorious adventures.

One of those people is on our cover…

Tzima Brown is the owner of Sunrise Artisan Bath & Body. What’s not in the story, which was written several months ago, is how her business changed in the weeks since we interviewed her. Stop in and ask her how the pandemic affected her and her business. And then consider buying a bath bomb or a bar of soap from her.

And then there’s our graphic designer, Kristina Parella. Kristina was the first person I approached with my idea for this magazine and she jumped in with both feet, no questions asked. She devotes many unbilled hours to the planning and marketing of The F-Suite, but never gets to hear firsthand the praise her work receives or meet the people who give it. She’s a self-employed single mom living in Myrtle Beach currently homeschooling two extremely rambunctious daughters. Our phone calls frequently end with a stress-relieving glass of red wine.

The F-Suite is all about strong women doing good stuff. You get to meet a few in these pages who have made their own detours, and hear from others who offer advice as you navigate your own.

Enjoy!

Anna Gelbman Edmonds, Publisher & Managing Editor