Monday, April 8, 2013

House of Fifty Magazine To Cease Publishing

Dreaming up the concept for House of Fifty and having it become a reality, publishing over the last two years, has been a fabulously rewarding experience and I've enjoyed (nearly) every moment as the Founding Editor. But even good things must come to an end... eventually!


I am so proud of the nine issues House of Fifty released through the dedicated efforts of the contributors, designers and tech staff, and I hope you enjoyed each and every one of the issues!



But alas, publishing is a challenging arena and to take House of Fifty to the next level would have required a partnership, as well as an infusion of additional time, effort and resources from my husband and I. He was the silent partner behind every page, putting in many hours each week in additional to my full time commitment, leading the technical staff and assisting on every aspect of the venture. The decision to cease publishing was arrived at slowly over many months. After extensively weighing all the pros and cons and pursuing alternative options, this is the best decision for our family at this time. Initially I was quite sad, but once I accepted the decision I turned my eyes towards the opportunity of having a break, with time to enjoy and embrace all the 'ideas for inspired living' covered in the various issues; more time to really enjoy living a best life!


The hard reality is that to take the magazine to the next level would have required additional staff, a possible partnership, and unfortunately the gamble of moving HOF to a pay to read model - with the goal of being able to hire more help - did not pay off. While producing original content is very costly, people are simply not ready to pay for content they have become accustomed to getting for free. I was informed of this perspective loud and clear as the readership numbers fell away. Yes, perhaps a smarter move would have been to fill the pages with ads, but that just didn't sit well with my desire to keep the pages full of content! 

(For those who continued to read, a big heartfelt and appreciative thank you!! But the fact is most people decided the cost - even its minimal sum - was not worth it. And believe me, this opinion was freely expressed in often less than kind emails and unsubscribe messages. I have to admit, this not only surprised me but also caused me to pause and reassess everything. Are these the people who have made up a significant portion of the House of Fifty readership and do I really want to continue working endless hours for those who are so free with a harsh word? Just to be completely frank here.)


But as I say goodbye to this venture, what I feel most is gratitude for having had such a wonderful opportunity, growing and learning with each issue published. I absolutely adored working with everyone who contributed in both large and small ways to HOF; a huge thank you to each of you and I already miss the interactions we shared when working on articles. And I think my favorite aspect of the venture was collaborating with Shari Miller, the fun and talented creative director, who has been one of the most dependable and outstanding individuals I have ever had the privilege of working with! And certainly I feel honored to have gotten to know the designers and talent featured in each issue, people who were so generous in sharing their work and stories. Meeting everyone House of Fifty featured (even if often simply virtually) was a real treat, and I'll miss all of this.

So, what's next for me? I'm not quite sure, but really, I'm very okay with that.

(All issues will remain readable in the archives at HouseofFifty.com)

85 comments :

  1. Even though I knew this was coming, I'm still sad about it. Mostly because of the feedback you received once you moved to paying to read. It makes you realize how people really are:(

    Yes, there are many publications that are free on the web, but HOF's content was "hearty" and just to be honest more realistic.

    You did well, Janell. To me (and I'm not saying this because we're friends) House of Fifty was and still is a success!

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  2. Janell,
    Good luck in your next adventure. HOF was a lovely pub.

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  3. I'm sad to hear this but I'm sure great things are ahead. I've enjoyed every issue. I wish I were surprised by the negative feedback but it seems that entitlement has become the way of the world... I'm always a fan. Can't wait to see what's next.

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  4. What an amazing thing to have brought to life - you should be so proud of yourself! HOF was incredible, so beautifully put together, creative, inspiring, and fun!! You personally inspired me so much, that you went after this dream and gave others opportunities in the process. I can't begin to imagine how it took over your life; enjoy a little freedom and time to breathe. Cheers to new adventures!

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  5. Thanks Lakeitha, I had a lot of fun working with you, along with all the other contributors over all the issues! Mimi, Courtney, Pauline, Valorie, Kim, Mindy, Nicole, Sukaina and many more! Thanks ladies, you are the best! Janell

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  6. oh my goodness. I really understand, but will surely miss this magazine. I guess I sometimes live in a bubble, thinking everyone is like me. If I could not afford to buy the magazine I surely would not be ugly about it. Sorry you had to deal with people like that. I am so glad you will keep the copies available because I know there are a couple that I missed just due to crazy family life! I hope you'll keep blogging and am looking forward to hearing about your next adventure!

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  7. It's kind of funny but your switching over to the paid version really made me think about the way I was expecting everything on the internet to be free. My readership in the magazine did go down, but the time I did purchase I remember being much more conscious of what I was reading and seeing. Making a monetary commitment to something caused me to savor the issue instead of treating it so disposable, if that makes any sense.

    At any rate, I hope you and your family enjoy a much needed time of rest and wish you the best in future endeavors!

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  8. So sorry to hear this but I completely understand. I enjoyed reading the issues and being introduced to products and designers that I hadn't heard of.

    Enjoy this time and wishing you much happiness now and for whatever the future holds.

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  9. I'm sorry to hear you won't be continuing...it was such a lovely online mag, and I really admired what you did. It's a shame people can take all this hard work for granted. I know first hand how much time, energy, and love it takes to put a magazine together. Best of luck to you, and I can't wait to see what your next project will be!

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  10. Janell, I continue to gain more and more respect for you every step along the way. Your commitment to keeping your priorities in life are admirable and I love that about you. Your work is wonderful, but {although I don't truly "know" you}, your character shines. Best to you. I will continue to follow along your next adventure and sure to be inspired.

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  11. Lots of small people with small minds out there. You've accomplished some pretty amazing things and should rightfully be very proud of your and your accomplices achievements. Props to the hubs. They're the best! Whatever the next phase is will be awesome I'm sure. Life is short, do whatever makes you happy.

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  12. This blog is my favorite. I think it is very successful, and a model blog to all bloggers. I do not think you should give up on HOF. I think you should stop, give yourself a minute to refocus, regroup, and then attack it again from a different perspective. Winners never quit, and quiters never win... Stay with it. Stay focused. I think you will be surprised. I think you're making a mistake for ending it.

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  13. Wishing you the best. Your magazine is lovely and folks should remember what my mom always taught me. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I am sorry you had to deal with negativity. Thank you for making this world a brighter place!

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  14. Janell, I have the utmost respect for you and all that you have accomplished. HOF has a special place in my heart. You blew me away with your ability to create such an informative, inspirational, and gorgeous publication from the ground up. You are so talented and driven and can't wait to see what the future holds. And a beautiful perspective . . .to now take the time to live out all of that inspiration found within those pages. Kudos to you and your husband and cheers to the future.

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  15. Janell
    So sorry to hear this. I truly enjoyed the magazine. People's expectations of everything being free is a tough one, I can relate. I agree with your decision to not work for free.

    xoxo
    Jennifer

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  16. wow, I am shocked, but if you've read about my transition in life lately, I see you're doing the same, and IT IS OK. We know what's best for ourselves and sometimes we have to be hit on the head to realize it, but it is for the best and you know it. I am so happy for you. Your family is only young once and it is so great for you to be soaking them up. We all support you what ever you do. I will be sad to not read your HoF, but I bet you'll give us the same content thru your blog or something.Much love,
    Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  17. Ah, so sorry to hear this... HOF was one of my guilty pleasures and lovely publication to boot. I'll look forward to what's next for you, Janell.
    All the best ~ Heidi

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  18. Good fortune going forward, Janell.
    Sending a hug from Texas....

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  19. Oh, I'm so sad to see the end of HOF. It was truly a remarkable accomplishment Janell. Onwards and upwards, right? I look forward to hearing about your next amazing adventure.

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  20. Wishing you nothing bet the best in your future endeavors. I know they'll be amazing - your such a creative talent and glad your have shared your magazine passion / interior design & blog passion with all of us!

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  21. So the saying goes...When God closes a window a Door opens. (I can't even type that without seeing Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp!) Thank you for bring such style in to my world and hope you follow your dreams.

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  22. I have never commented here before, but I think that you did an OUTSTANDING job with HOF! You should be very proud. It was a joy to read and I'm picky! I can't believe people would leave hurtful comments -I am sure not a one of them could have accomplished what you did! I'm sure your next venture whatever it is will be just as wonderful.

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  23. Thank you for all your hard work. Reading your blog is a treat because you are such a thoughtful and creative person. Just so you don't lose faith in humanity, know that the people that sent you unkind, nasty comments are not a true representation of all of your readers. I guarantee that the people that take the time to actually comment negatively are not a scientific sampling! There must be something in their own lives that pushes people to spew their negativity out. I appreciate all that you've done with House of Fifty, but as my daughter is graduating from high school this year, I know that the time flies by with your kids and hold on to every moment and spend it with and on the people that matter.

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  24. I enjoyed every issue. I can't believe people gave you a hard time about the price...seriously! I wish you continued success.

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  25. So sorry to hear. I enjoyed every issue but I understand your need to move on. Best of luck with your next adventure!
    -Shelley

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  26. It is sad when good things come to an end. You achieved a great accomplishment, and now I am sure something new and wonderful will come your way. It really was a beautiful magazine.

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  27. So sorry to hear this, Janell! I have enjoyed HOF both free and paid for. I completely understood your reasons for moving to the pay-to-read model, and maybe because I'm not a blogger, I am still shocked when I hear of people's unkindness to others online. I'm genuinely saddened every time I hear of it and sad that you had to experience it. Best wishes for your future adventures!

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  28. Ahhhh, I'm bummed out to see such a good mag go away, but I'm sure whatever you do next, will be great! Thanks for all your inspiration!

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  29. So sad to hear the end of HOF mag, because I LOVED it. I also want to tell you what an inspiration you are - you started this thing on your own, way past the normal "age" people expect you to do such things. You have guts, and determination and vision. And you realized your dream! Congratulations. You did it! And thank you for inspiring me to start thinking about what I want to do, regardless of what stage in life I'm at.
    I have your blog pegged for future reference when we move so please keep blogging??? My favorite room is your dining room - SO beautiful!!
    Best wishes and enjoy the freedom :)

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  30. Sad but i totally get it. Enjoy thd time w your beautiful family-they are the most important!

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  31. Everyone thinks it's so easy to produce the kind of work you did on HOF, and then they think you should work for free, and give it away to them.
    It is a selfish entitled little world we live in.
    I thank you and applaud you.
    I was very honored to have been a contributor to HOF.
    Recharge and take care of yourself. Your talent is forever, and you can choose to use it whenever you like, and perhaps for those who are less harsh with their careless words.
    xo xo

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  32. Janell, this will be such a loss as HOF's content has been 2nd to none, something I know you have worked long hours to produce, are so proud of and many of us have truly enjoyed. From the can do way you started this adventure to the gracious way you are moving on, I so admire you! I am excited for you to enjoy time with your family, while recalibrating and know that you will continue to be an influential person in the world of design. All the best to you!
    Cathy

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  33. I'm sad to hear that HOF is ending. I did not mind paying for it, it was/is so worth it! I enjoy your blog as well, I hope you will continue. I wish you the best of luck in your next chapter.

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  34. Glad you have come to terms with it, and please do continue to value all that you gained and gave to others by creating HOF. Enjoy the additional time you have created for yourself, and best of luck in whatever you decide to do. I have not one doubt that you will shine, and I look forward to following along!

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  35. :( I just got an IPad and was so excited to finally get to sub/read HOF on it... Truly wishing you the best, Janell! Can't wait to see what door opens for you next...

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  36. Oh Janell! Big, big love. You will always be my favorite. #friendshipgained

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  37. A huge hug to all of you for your wonderful comments today. It definitely helps me close the door to this chapter in a positive way, which is very very sweet. Have a great week! Janell

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  38. Janell, I am really sorry to hear this. I could share plenty of stories about what people want for free online. It boggles my mind somtimes. I loved my little contribution to your magazine and thought of you the other day...my neighbors have been relocated to nursing homes and the family recently opened the home to an estate sale. I didn't get a chance to go BUT I spied The Vase wallpaper in their foyer and up the stairs from the street.....who knew I could have used my hip old neighbors for the story?!? I am sure your next chapter will be better than you can imagine! Keep us updated!

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  39. Janell,

    I'm sorry that HOF is coming to an end, but I applaud you for taking a risk! That is inspiring to me and motivates me in my life to do the same.

    I have three favorite interior design blogs that I read every day and yours is one of them. One thing I miss is your posts about YOUR home and your home projects. I love your style and turn to your home frequently for ideas and inspiration. Perhaps you'll go back to blogging about your home and other trends in design.

    Thanks again for inspiring me!

    Kim Lubs

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  40. Janell! You should be so proud of HOF ~ what an accomplishment. You and Shari are two very talented ladies :)

    The best to both of you,

    xoxo Laura

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  41. What a beautiful and inspired piece of art you were a part of. And it was clearly a labor of collaboration....but also a lobor of love!

    To more dreams....more inspiration down this winding road.

    Wishing you the best of everything...You were wonderful to work with, for my little teeny part. Thank you. Thank you.

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  42. I wish you nothing but continued success, Janell. You must be so proud of what you've accomplished. Really looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you! xo

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  43. I really enjoyed you online mag. I'm very sorry to see it go but I'm looking forward to seeing what your beautiful blog has to offer in the future. Keep up the good work!!! From a devoted reader!

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  44. Janell.....I am so sorry people complained about 99 cents. That just amazes me. When they will go out and by a 2.00 Starbucks everyday! I mean AYKM? HOF was a fantastic read and I truly enjoyed reading it on my iPad. You are so talented and such an incredible person....every issue was better than the next....I will never forget when I first started blogging.....the first time you commented on my blog was a happy day for me:). I hope you can now enjoy more time with your family!

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  45. Your House of Fifty publications were beautiful and showcased your amazing talent! Be proud of them and even though this door is closing, many windows remain open - always a fan of your work in all its forms!
    xo
    Kate

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  46. This simply means new and wonderful doors will open. I admire you more than you could think. I have watched you do your thing (virtually, of course!!) and have been amazed. I am so appalled for you that people would have harsh things to say. No, they aren't worth sacrificing for, but really, they are the minority. Your work has been fantastic. You've been an inspiration for us who near or have passed the 50 mark. I may not have ended up subscribing, but that was about me and my absolute lack of time, not about your fabulous work. I will look forward to your next move, if there is one, on the web. You go girl.

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  47. I wish you all the best going forward. You did such a great job with HOF and you should be so proud !

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  48. Janell, you are one classy lady. Thank you for the respectful example you continually display.

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  49. I remember when you first talked about HOF, about taking a chance at an age when some people when many people are just ready to 'settle'. And you did it, remarkably well! You have so much to be proud of. I hope those accomplishments stay with you, that this whole experience has strengthened your relationship with your husband, and those stings from hurtful emails fades away. Best of luck on whatever you chose to do next!

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  50. Janell,
    Publishing is a hard road and I congratulate you for all that you have produced and accomplished....
    Enjoy your change of direction... it will be so exciting whatever you decide to do... I wish you lots of luck and heaps of relaxing... xv

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  51. Janell, I followed you before HOF, during it, and will follow you afterwards as well! You're a class act, through and through, and that's rare in today's world. Thanks for the inspiration that was HOF and that is still YOU!

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  52. Janell, I am sad to see HOF ending. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every issue. A gorgeous publication. You are an amazing woman and Sharon took the words right out of my mouth....You are a class act. It was so inspiring to watch you follow your passion and try your hand at something new. I admire and respect you so much. As the saying goes....when one door closes, another opens. I look forward to seeing what is next for you. In the meantime enjoy time to yourself and your family. Thank you, Janell, for sharing HOF with us.

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  53. It was a lovely magazine and you seem like a lovely person.

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  54. It's sad but I know that to enjoy time with family is more important than everything! So enjoy more time with them and congratulations for the great work you did!
    Thank you for brightening our lives with stunning interiors ♥

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  55. .........ah I will miss HOF it was my guilty pleasure at work to look like I am intently reading something, while blissfully enjoying an hour of design with out the adds!!

    Thank-you.

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  56. I am sad to hear it come to an end, but you have so much to be proud of! Your accomplishments and this amazing magazine will continue to inspire readers! It will be fun to go through them again and read so many of the amazing articles! This was a definite favorite of mine, and I am so sorry to hear that you received negative feedback when you switched to pay to read. That's just ridiculous! It's a shame people take things for granted these days and don't realize the value of hard work. You have so much to be proud of and you will continue to inspire!!

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  57. After reading all of the above comments and adoration I say...DITTO! You did an amazing job with HOF and I adored every issue. I understand the need to make changes as necessary and only look forward to what is next! Congrats to all of your success and especially the ability to prioritize what is most important like some down time, your family, and "living your best life!"

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  58. Making a decision is liberating.

    But, please tell us you will continue some kind of blogging.

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  59. I'm so sad to hear this, but I know your next venture will be grand, and I can only hope we get to be a part of it!!

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  60. Janell, we are living in an ever changing world, I totally understand your decision. I so enjoyed the house of fifty, but I will continue to enjoy your blog as I did before, during and now after HOF. You are an amazingly talented lady with a bright future and your devotion to family is paramount and that will be your biggest delight and pay-off when it is all said and done. I will look forward to your blog post that are always inspiring and full of great ideas, Much success and a fond farewell to HOF!! xo Kathysue

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  61. It's sad to hear that House Of Fifty is ending. I will miss it a lot! I will continue to check out your blog frequently. Wishing you success and the best of luck in your new endeavor! Kudos to you and your team for publishing a great magazine!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  63. Janell, HOF was a wonderful, inspiring publication and I was, and am, honored to have been featured as a 'blog we love' in one of its issues. My thanks to you and your husband (and your team on the magazine) for the time you invested. Blog posts easily take me 4-5 hours between concept/photography/editing/writing/editing/proofing, etc. so I can not even imagine the time the two of you put into a magazine. I don't mind seeing ads in publications realizing they are a means to a free end, yet that opens up a whole new time drain in getting and maintaining advertisers. It's a snowball. Life changes and evolves and we must do the same. While I will miss your issues, I wish you nothing but continued success.
    all my best,
    joan

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  64. I enjoyed each and every issue of HOF and I was more than okay with paying for the issues. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but I know that you will do something even more amazing. You are one of the first blogs I ever read and you are what got me hooked on blogging. I often still ask myself, "what would Janell do? " You are an inspiration to myself and many and will continue to be no matter what you do next.

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  65. Janell, I'm sorry to read about HOF. It was my favorite. You did such an incredible job and you should feel so happy and proud of such an accomplishment. I have many interactions through my business and most everyone is lovely. It's such a downer to have to deal with the occasional rude person. I'm sorry you had to experience the negativity. Especially since you're such a positive, sincere person. Whatever comes next will be amazing for you!

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  66. Hi Janell, I am so sad to read this. I love HOF....and it was so worth the money. I'm sure you thought long about this decision. I know you will find the next perfect place for you.

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  68. Just read both posts - you truly are an amazing and inspiring woman! I loved HOF and looked forward to every issue. I'm still meal planning thanks to Courtney's wonderful article so many issues ago. I hate to hear of the harsh emails over what was it a dollar or two? It's rather hilarious actually - this world we live in - where we are all so entitled to our oh so important opinions. Kudos to you and your husband! You did amazing work! Life was made for living not working.

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  69. Janell: You know, those people who criticized you for charging a small price to read HOF are probably the same ones who don't think twice for paying a small price for apps on their phones! Just a thought..
    Anyway, I am sorry to hear about this, but yes, when one door closes another opens: I have experienced this several times. You have done an amazing job and I can't imagine the constant pressure for both you and your family. Best of luck, and we will all continue to follow you!

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  70. I just discovered your blog and magazine! (Was surfing for a tutorial on how to do pillows with welting.) So very sad that you will no longer be publishing HOF; purchased a few issues anyway and look forward to reading them and following your blog.

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  71. I loved the magazines and never had an issue buying one...so beats $8 to $10.00 at the check out line. I know you will take some time off and enjoy your family which you should but I hope you will pop in every once in awhile. From another fan in TEXAS.

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  72. HOw did I miss this? I am saddened to see such a fabulous online magazine go, but I can understand what difficulties you dealt with, the time, the effort, etc. I have heard publishing is a tough business and am thrilled to have been a part of your adventure. So what's next?

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  73. Many under a certain age now expect everything online to be free whereas many over that certain age understand that people need to be paid in order to continue providing that good or service. I have had many discussions with my kids, who are in their twenties, about this when they talk about downloading music for free. I read several of your online magazines and I thought you did an amazing job. Thank you.

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  74. I'm so sad to see your beautiful magazine put to rest. But I completely understand ~ having worked in magazines for years, it's always a challenge at the best of times and I think over time, things have changed so much with free content, pinterest, blogging ~ all have an effect on magazines that require financial backing to succeed. Be proud of what you've accomplished ~ it was truly amazing. xo

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  75. You did a WONDERFUL job with HOF! That is all anyone can say and at the very least you can know that you truely achieved a goal of starting your own magazine. Coming from a self-employed family, we always say that we wouldn't be happy if we hadn't "stepped off the plate" as in baseball. You should be proud of yourself for trying!

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  76. So sad to hear the news Janell, I really loved reading the magazine and know how much of your heart and soul was in it. I know whatever you do next will be just as amazing, if not more so. You are crazy talented and you MUST share it with the world!!

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  77. Very sad to read about HOF shutting down but I'm sure your next adventure is going to be even more exciting. Thanks for keeping the archives alive so we can still enjoy the magazine.
    All the best, Christine

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  78. Janell I am so sad to hear there will be no more House of Fifty but I am so thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a beautiful magazine and getting to know you. Life goes on and I wish you the best that life can bring, take care of you and your family, have a fabulous summer and I do look forward to possibly working again one day if the opportunity should arise. Big hugs to you!!!! Tracey

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  79. You are brilliant and I am excited for you to have time with your family... I will continue to read my favorite blog (yours) for the kind of inspiration HOF offered! Blessings to you!xo
    -Molly

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  80. I always looked forward to a new issue of HOF. I poured over every thoughtfully written article. It is a really wonderful publication. You should be very proud. Best wishes to you!

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  81. I am just now seeing this! I can't believe what I am seeing! You have put your heart, soul, and much much more out there to create something very special. HOF was more than just a magazine, it was an attainable lifestyle, something I don't think we get to see enough. I know great things are in store for you and doors have not closed. You and everyone who worked on HOF should be proud. I loved reading each and every issue. Best wishes my friend. I can't wait to hear about your next adventure!

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  82. I must be the last person on earth to know that you are no longer publishing HOF! I'm so sad. I have looked forward to each and every free and paid magazine that you have put out. They are so beautiful and so filled with great content. I love the fact that you took a leap and started your magazine after 40! I was and am inspired by that as I took a leap and jumped into my art career in my 40s. Your creative vision was pure joy and I hope to find you again somewhere. Thank you for some fantastic escapism. Ellen

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  83. Well like most wonderful things in life....House of Fifty was to good to last! The content, layout and so much more will be sorely missed. Good luck with whatever you choose to do and I know we'll all see something fabulous.

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  84. Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment on this post, reading them all has meant a great deal to me!

    Janell

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