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)