Something wicked this way comes.
It was Saturday, May 12th. I was in Las Vegas, NV for the weekend with Dan. It had been an intense March and April, as we had just officially formed our company with the state of Texas. The girls encouraged me to unplug and enjoy the weekend, so I honored their wishes and I really did. That night, though, just before leaving for dinner and a show, an ominous feeling came over me…something told me to check my email inbox. What I found when I opened it was a message waiting for me with the words “Family Emergency” in the subject line. It was from Melissa, telling us that her brother had just been killed in a mountain biking accident in Idaho that morning.
I was shocked, and I felt the pangs of grief for her pulse throughout my whole body. You know…the ones that disorient you as their reverberations shake your core. After six months of working so closely together all day everyday, she had become my sister, and the empathy I felt for her was deep. All I could assure her was that I would take care of anything and everything while she went home to be with her family while they made it through this tragedy, however long that took.
Thus began the final part of our story, a time that we refer to infamously as, “the tumultuous summer.” The days and weeks that followed were a beastly test of survival — the three of us were forced to face the eye of our S.H.E Media hurricane, as the Universe unleashed the force that was our personal (and therefore professional) inertia to overcome. Those three months could have easily broken us, and swallowed both our product and spirits whole. But we leaned heavily on each other, and I did my best to keep the balls in the air and carry us forward…no matter how much weight it piled on my back.
Nevertheless, S.H.E persisted.
Even though we were caught in the eye of our storm, it was apparent each and every day that the product we were building and the mission we were working toward was being safeguarded by something so much bigger than us, and the temporary entropy that complicated our day-to-day ultimately couldn’t break us.
Because everything on the home front felt mucky, Dan and I left to spend some time traveling together. Gratefully, my home life remained stable and strong throughout these months and allowed me to think clearly throughout our company’s critical time of gestation, despite the fact that collectively we were clouded with the collateral damage of life’s surprises. I took one month to get out of dodge and experience places, people and culture that would fill my creative cup. I knew that without that, I wouldn’t have the clarity of vision to lead us through the home stretch.
The best thing we could have ever done during this brief hiatus? Melissa and Satchie came to my grandparent’s house in Connecticut to meet me for a few nights, to re-calibrate and rest before we took the train into New York City for a week that will forever go down in the history of S.H.E as one of the best of our lives. On Sunday July 15th, we boarded the train into Manhattan for a whirlwind week of meetings that were a resuscitating pump of fresh air for our weaning strength. We met with old friends and new friends, connecting with the power-players in our personal networks that would provide even more momentum to get our magazine off the ground.
Lights, camera, action.
We arrived back in San Antonio on a high from all that had just happened, but we had no time to rest. Melissa now in San Antonio permanently and within walking distance from me, we started our mornings power-walking the river and brainstorming every last thing we could think of, as we faced our first major “cover” photoshoot for our launch issue that weekend. In a flash, it was Saturday July 28th and we were all arriving at Twirl Salon for our September Issue shoot day.
Of all of the days in my life, this sun-up to sun-down smörgåsbord of creative collaboration will forever be one of the most special and rewarding. With nearly thirty bodies on set in our location (an empty, historic King William home awaiting its renovations), the essence of our true work revealed itself.
The month that followed this day was a march into the battle of editorial and digital production, and one of the toughest mental and physical exercises of endurance I hope to ever face. During this time we realized that Satchie’s business development work within in our trio was fulfilled, and so she stepped off of our creative train and hopped cars to ride a parallel track full steam ahead toward her additional business pursuits. Gratefully, Melissa and I pressed on for a grueling month that culminated in the late-night launch of ELEANORA Magazine. All was worth it this morning when we woke up to see our live site: EleanoraMagazine.com.
Here we are. A bit worn, a bit dazed…but ready to face our new lives with conviction. To each and every person who helped us along the way, no matter how modest or monumental the favor, thank you.
Welcome to the new chapter of S.H.E Media…we invite you to step into a world reimagined.
Introducing… ELEANORA Magazine.
With endless appreciation for the efforts of all,