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I'm All In For 2017

Oh my stars! What a year 2016 has been and I'm dreaming of 2017 already. But I want to share my journey of how FOUR Magazine got started and what I've learned the past few months.

I've always been an entrepreneur, even when I was a school teacher. I enjoy helping others and seeing my creations grow from nothing to "something". Back in 2004, I started a cosmetics company in my basement (see below) and to my surprise got nominated as one of the top executives in my home state of West Virginia. I loved being able to employ several factory workers and female home-based business owners across the country. They became family in many ways and it brought me so much joy to see how many lives we touched.

After many twists and turns in my life, I ended up in Florida about ten years ago. Last year I was lucky enough to marry my best friend and soul mate, William. After a whirlwind engagement I found myself planning a wedding with only weeks until the big day, which plays a role later in FOUR Magazine's growth.

As we started our life together, we began comparing notes of the growth and changes we'd noticed in our area after moving to Florida. Ironically, we both moved here the same year, about 10 years ago - William from Iowa and I'm from West Virginia.

I had always created the catalogs, brochures and even websites for my cosmetics company so I knew a thing or two about design and publishing. I mentioned to William one day last February that I felt this area really needed a magazine that had articles about local businesses, people and its new found growth. My very supportive husband said "go for it!" and I was off to the races.

I started mocking up a magazine cover on my little PC in my home office, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I have no idea what will come of 2017 except a lot of surprises. I’m a busy small business owner, who takes on way too much. I make mistakes. I’m also impulsive. But I'm driven beyond belief and committed wholeheartedly to building FOUR Magazine and FOUR Weddings Magazine.

We aren’t owned by some big corporate publisher. We’re not even corporate in fact.

I am a thrill-seeker and a risk-taker. I guess you could say this is evident as I prepare to launch our new sister publication, FOUR WEDDINGS Magazine, which is a direct result of my own wedding woes last year. You can read the full story here.

I know my mother wishes I had a "normal job" that works 9 to 5, but I have big ideas and lots of creativity going on in this head of mine. I can't work like a "normal" person. I like stopping at nothing to achieve success with my creations, even though it's a detriment to my sanity at times (so I've been told).

Look out 2017! I'm ready to tackle anything, despite being a small locally-owned magazine without the money of a big publishing house. This magazine is built on 100% heart, quality and a passion for showcasing local Florida people and businesses, which is a rarity nowadays.

Thank you for coming along on this ride with me - so much more to come in the new year!

Making the leap,

Melisa

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