LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Welcome to the debut issue of Loveliest. The idea behind this magazine began in a coffee shop between two dear friends over the spiked smells of caffeine drifting throughout the conversations of the establishment. It was just beginning to feel cold outside, which never lasts long where we are from in South Carolina, but we felt warmed by the spark of creativity, of believing in stories, of feeling as though we mattered and therefore wanted others to know they mattered, too.
After more meetings, discussions, a crowdfunding campaign, and the generous support of strangers, friends, and family alike, Loveliest began to take shape. We had a mission of storytelling and togetherness, and we diligently took steps toward making this little dream into reality. Though the design process of building a website and digital platform took longer than we originally expected, we were taught patience and faith in the waiting. There is a lot of heart and effort and tirelessness that is involved in the creative process. And when you love something, all of that dedication and work and soul is worth it because you are evolving an idea into being, you are establishing a footprint meant to connect beyond ourselves.
When we first started talking about Loveliest, I wrote that our goal for this magazine was that we wanted a compilation of the most insightful, reflective, and vulnerable journal entries. We desired intimacy and warmth. We wanted to invent a space that felt like home and invited you to take a seat within its pages, to hug the print to your chest, to settle into the cushions of words and art and photography. From the start, we hoped that you would breathe in the fresh scent of well-loved pages, would write in our margins and highlight poignant passages while folding down the corners of your favorite pages. These are the feelings we hope to invoke as you read the lovely stories within this issue, browse the art and photography, and settle within the lifestyle entries – see yourself among us, around us, with us.
We believe we have succeeded in providing all of this in our first online issue, which we hope to eventually also translate into a print format. Here, you will find storytelling and togetherness, empathy and connectivity, experience and truth. Loveliest is a cross-genre magazine in that we want to talk about food and wine and travel and fashion and books – all on a level that affects you personally. Your experience matters, and we wish to convey that by giving you a platform and space to speak to one another, to hear each other’s stories, to learn, to understand, and to undeniably know that you deserve to be heard. There is meaning in even the seemingly mundane, the word by word of it. There is magic that flickers between your heart and ours as we relate within the art of storytelling.
I want to take a second to applaud Wren for this idea and to give her my thanks for inviting me along on this journey. Without her brain, none of this would be. But it’s here, now, and we are so happy to share our first issue with you.
Welcome, friends. We hope you enjoy, prop up your feet, and stay with us a while.
LETTER FROM THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
I like to joke that I have this fancy for creating a lot of work for myself that I don’t get paid for. Between this magazine, writing, and my photography habit, I think I spend more time working on things for the aforementioned than I actually spend at my real job. When I decided to start this magazine, I had the idea for a print journal, but needed somewhere smaller, more affordable, and more accessible to initiate my idea.
The thought came to me in October after my uncle was remarried and I spent an entire day taking wedding pictures for his soon-to-be wife, that I would like to do more than what currently occupied my time. I had been working at a bank as a teller, feeling very unfulfilled and needed something to take off the burden of uselessness I often felt about my own dreams and goals. In November, I called on my friend, Ashley, to be the editor for a lifestyle/literary magazine idea that I had, and in December we began a crowdfunding campaign to make it happen. It took six months between submissions, web design, and brainstorming to pull this issue together, and finally, finally, finally it is here.
I don’t know that I would’ve thought a few years ago, when I merely fantasized about the idea of starting my own journal, that I would’ve been capable of actually pulling it off. I owe so much to Ashley for helping me hone this idea and turn it into something real. We have some lovely stories for you, amazing photography, and a few intriguing art pieces that I’m incredibly proud to feature in our first issue. I hope that you will enjoy our debut issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We started this journal believing there was an audience out there who would love to see these two categories of content blended together, and now that we’ve actually made it happen I believe a lot of people will come to appreciate the work our contributors have done in helping us reach this point. So, please, grab yourself some coffee finally and browse around. This one’s for you.