Diving Back In


It’s been a while. I could list out a ton of reasons why I haven’t been posting, but honestly it’s because this hasn’t been a priority. With madness in my office—from a ‘reinvention’ that landed me with a second job title that should really go to another full-time employee, to planning a beer release party at the last minute—I was treading water. The picture above is from one of the few times I was able to go to an event; a fashion show at a mall where I was able to bring one of my really great friends.


When I last posted, the September issue was about to come out. Immediately after it was on to my October issue, the beer issue, and promoting the beer collaboration and release party. That included my first radio show appearance (above), where I talked for 30 minutes about beer. The lovely ladies interviewing me managed to make me sound intelligent, for which I was thankful. I can hardly call this work—I love beer and I love teaching others about it. That early morning though, that I could live without.

If you want to learn about the beer scene around Lake Norman, you can listen here.

Also during this time period, our advertising department went through a lovely reinvention. This meant some people got laid off, and some people quit. With one exit, the person who used to write advertorials and native content, I was given a second title and a new job. Now as the Lead Content Editor, I work with clients to develop advertorials, native, and sponsored content across all of the Observer’s products. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this position really needs a full-time person. Not that I can’t handle it, but it could definitely grow to be a major source of revenue and deserves a dedicated department—not someone also juggling a growing magazine.


A couple of scant weeks before the final beer release party, I was gifted with this lovely beer label the brewery owner had designed. We were never able to locate the original files for their labels, but we were able to build a label we liked the hard way. I had no idea the owner was redesigning them, but I’m so very glad he did. I love what they came up with, and I’m proud to have my magazine’s name on it.


Now I usually hate these text posts that I see everywhere, but this one has a story. Once the October issue hit stands and those who don’t follow us on social media found out we had partnered with Ass Clown Brewing Company to release a beer were suddenly well aware of what we were doing. Everyone on our team here loved the issue—including myself. I was proud to see something I had worked on for months actually happen. Out of all the praise we got for this issue, we had one individual—seriously, only one person—send me a pretty awful message about it. Not because we partnered with an alcohol company for our beer and wine issue (which I can somewhat understand, but even that’s a stretch), this person took offense because the company’s name is Ass Clown Brewing Company. This person even sent me the Urban Dictionary definition of Ass Clown, even though it has nothing to do with a name. It was the most ridiculous criticism I’ve ever received. If you can saw the word on primetime TV on basic cable, I think it’s a fine name for a brewery. After one of my advertorial clients (and a good friend of mine) found out about the message, she sent me the photo above.

Not to mention Ass Clown Brewing is the oldest brewery at the lake, making a perfect match for the oldest magazine at the lake, but it started the brewery boom in that area and is a great economic and social contributor to the community. To shame someone for working with a local business just because you don’t like the name is just unnecessary. You don’t like it? Don’t attend the event and drink the beer. I constantly wonder what drives certain people to actually email an editor about something trivial. I’ve seen blatant mistakes in magazines, but I still never feel the need to send a hateful email. I’d actually like an answer to this one.


But much to the disappointment of Mr. Hate Mail, the release party happened and was a huge success. There were people of all ages in attendance (something I love about the lake area—everyone is interested in the community, no matter how different your tastes may be), including some very adorable fur babies. We had a food truck, a band, and, my personal favorite, a N64. The owner of the brewery, Matt Glidden, told me that he had so many people come up to him and say they came out because of the article, and that they would keep coming after having such a good time. That was the best news for me. A partnership that I pursued worked out the way partnerships should; the magazine was able to expand its brand and meet a whole new audience, while Ass Clown Brewing gained even more loyal followers than they already had. Things like this benefit the community as a whole.


Sadly I didn’t get to relax much after the party finally happened. The November issue was coming up quick and I had to plan a massive photoshoot. After a location fell through, and with the tremendous help of my intern, we had a day set. Fall color was the theme, with a makeup palate to match. Though it was a long day, it was a reminder of why I love my job.






When a photo like the one on the left (taken by me) can end up looking like the photo on the right (taken by Zaire Kacz), there’s an immense sense of pride in what you do. You imagine how these shoots will turn out, you look at other references in magazines that you like, and then you style it (a pretty big first for me, but with the help of a Pottery Barn stylist)—your biggest wish is for it to turn out like you wanted it. I was lucky enough to get my wish. This is why I do what I do.


Of course, I had to watch the LoL Worlds group stage while editing my November issue at work. I swear I don’t only have a second screen exclusively to watch stuff at work. I swear it.


I’ll close out my super long post with Buzz, being the coolest dog at the Dog Bar (yes, that’s the bar’s actual name). Stick with me; I’m sure there will be more stories to tell.


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