I am thrilled, beyond thrilled, to tell you my news! HOLLY magazine will print 4x this year. We got the budget to continue our project into 2020 and this FEELS SO GOOD. It’s everything I had hoped it would be – to work with a staff of journalists and experts to create a magazine that brings you THE BEST of the best in the interiors world with me as your guide. Think of HOLLY magazine as your spot to find everything you need to see and know right now, with homes, DIY ideas, flower and plant tips, a special (and huge) travel guide to PARIS (in this issue!) recipes, etc.
I love writing on decor8, this month marks 15 YEARS since I launched decor8. I remember the feeling I had in January 2006. I was sitting in the corner of my bedroom at my little desk with my brand new computer, had just quit my day job, still in design school, knowing absolutely nothing about what my future would hold except that I had a really big passion for interiors and wanted to soak up everything I could and turn my love for the home into a career. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know how to do it. I just knew that I wanted to design homes for a living and write for magazines. But back then, with zero experience as a writer, magazines were turning me down left and right. No one would hire me. I felt like I couldn’t win – I couldn’t get a job as a journalist without experience, but I couldn’t get experience without getting a job as a journalist.
How the heck do you win in that scenario?
That’s when I decided to try something new – something REALLY NEW called a BLOG. No one was blogging back then, just a handful of interiors blogs in the USA at that time, I didn’t know of any outside of the states honestly, and I was just reading sites like Apartment Therapy for about a year. Then I found Oh Joy! a few months before I started decor8. But there wasn’t much out there. We also didn’t have “social media”. It was just you and your blog and nothing else. So you can imagine how strange it was to start a blog with any “strategy” in mind. But I did think, OK with a blog I can at least WRITE and then I can send my blog to editors and MAYBE then they’ll take me seriously when they can see that I can actually write on the topic. I’ll never forget when I started writing for magazines, and newspapers, and websites.
My first “real” magazine job was with Domino magazine. Editor Catherine Halley (a million thanks to her) gave me my first big break. I wrote for Cookie, The Boston Globe where I had my own column, and Real Simple along with many, many others like HGTV – mostly digital but still, they paid exceptionally well and my newspaper job at The Boston Globe was in print which blew my family AWAY. I mean, that’s a New York Times company, it isn’t a little newspaper job, it’s important, it mattered. I have been writing to many magazines over the last 15 years, but decor8 also became it’s own “thing” in the process of all of this, and decor8 at one time back in the heydey of blogging, had 1.5 million readers and was one of the most popular blogs IN THE WORLD. Nowadays, the blog scene (and readership) has changed, but if you ask anyone over 30 in the United States who were the pioneers of design blogging, they’ll almost always list decor8 and it’s still true today – decor8 is still a site that people recognize and value but just enjoy in different ways – on the blog, on Instagram, on Pinterest, on Facebook, etc.
I guess my point is this. When I called a magazine once in January 2006 and pitched them a story idea, the editor laughed at me. She said, “Are you kidding, you just started a blog and you think you’re a journalist already? Forget it, no one will ever hire you. What is a blogger anyway, what a stupid word.” I remember being SO YOUNG and so, well, hurt by this editor that I used to love and respect. Her words were like a knife.
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