Here we are, one week away from the launch of Eleanora Magazine. The secret new platform that we have been creating for months will go live on September 1st, an intense labor of love born from original creative endeavors of intentional pursuit over the past year, and also from the defining passions, experiences and curiosities that were a lifetime in the making — not only for me, but for each core collaborator involved in its production.
For the sake of keeping a very long story reasonably digestible, I am sharing our tale in three parts. The Making of S.H.E Media is a story I’m choosing to tell, as it closes my chapter as an editorial blogger and opens a new one in my creative career as the Founder of a digital media company, and the Editor in Chief and Creative Director of its platforms. I never would have gotten here if it weren’t for my Co-Founder Melissa Delgadillo. That’s where our story begins…
Melissa and I first met five years ago, in a very different life. I was working at a nonprofit arts organization here in San Antonio and we became acquainted there, through its people and its programming. I left for another job, life took me one way and it took her another. Two years ago (almost to the day), that job disappeared on me and I jumped into any sort of consulting work I could get my hands on, just to remain relevant and somewhat productive. I was working at an event the week after it all happened…of course I invited Melissa, and of course she came to support. I bore my soul to her while she encouraged me (this is her greatest gift in life- to nurture people to their highest potential)…and we went about our merry ways as usual.
I hibernated, went through my first iteration of a creative metamorphosis, and a few months later Oh, Eleanora was born. It was my first attempt at putting together some important pieces of my personal journalistic mission that remained authentic to who I was. I learned about digital publishing, content creation, continued to whittle my writing skills into a style, and managed not only my own digital marketing but also the social media accounts and email campaigns of a few other platforms and groups. I was publishing articles 2-3 times a week on my site, cramming as many digital creations into my days and nights as I possibly could – making up for lost time in the traditional working world that I realized didn’t fit me at all for the six years I had been in it.
I used my site to publish typical copycat content, but I also wrote more in-depth thought pieces about career, marriage, and the learning lessons of daily life. I took risks and stepped out on many a limb just to test the waters with what types of content I could create that my readers would relate to most. (It turns out that you all prefer the thought pieces to the lighter content.) Melissa was one of my loyal readers, and she had a strong reaction to my post one year ago about selling our house and moving back into an apartment. Shortly thereafter I had an email from her asking me to coffee, because my personal rebrand really resonated with her, as she had just started a consulting company for branding and experiential marketing and wanted to catch up while she was passing through the area.
Fast forward to our coffee date at Hotel Emma, and the one hour we had scheduled spontaneously turned into four. Something about our creative energies, our places in life, our shared hopes and dreams…it all lined up. The two of us were in alignment with each other and we felt it. We knew we had to work together to help each other achieve our highest potentials. We didn’t know what that was going to look like, we didn’t know how we were going to make money, we didn’t know our parameters or our projects…all we knew was that something just clicked and all of a sudden every misplaced puzzle piece in our lives found its spot. That was October of 2017. From then until February 2018, we helped each other with basic needs of our own businesses on a day to day. I needed someone to act as my brand manager and Melissa enjoyed having someone to come up with crazy ideas for her to manage into reality.
For those five months, we ideated and conceptualized this theme on bringing back women from history. We didn’t know any layers, but we knew we wanted to create an editorial project of substance. What we put together in February is the beginning of our Part Two. I’ll give one clue:
I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, look closer…you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.”
To be continued…