Happy Birthday to us!
We know there’s still a lot of hoopla and holla going on about our debut print issue—and we thank you for that—but we wanted to take time out of the absolutely gut-wrenching race of getting the next issue to the printer, and quietly observe a little anniversary.
One year ago today, Generation Q began publishing as an online eZine! Thanks to you, we had readers for our from-the-heart content about modern and contemporary sewing; we had a place to carry out our editorial mission, which began back in the days when Jake Finch and Melissa Thompson Maher were editors of Quilter’s Home Magazine.
Enough about that for now. We asked the staff to share a few thoughts about what this past year has meant to them. The posts are long-ish, but they’re from the heart. Today, we share messages from Megan, Scott, Tracy and Vicki, the latter two being newer members of our staff.
Megan Dougherty, Creative Director:
I’m going to make a confession, and you probably shouldn’t say anything to the others about it. We’ll just keep it between us, okay?
I didn’t think we could do this.
When Jake and Melissa came to me and told me about the blog-zine they wanted to start, and that it would have daily—daily!—magazine-quality content, and asked me to do it with them, I said, ‘Sure thing! Wouldn’t miss it!’ But inside, I was thinking, ‘Are they insane? We can’t do this.’
And then we did it.
And when they said we’re going to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter and then put together a print issue in time for Spring Market, I said, ‘Okay! Let’s get started!’ And inside, I was thinking, ‘They’ve really gone off the deep end this time. There is no way that’s gonna happen.’
And then we did it.
Now, let me make something clear: I did not think that we couldn’t do it because I have no faith in my partners or the product we are creating. I thought that because I am a natural cynic. Shoot—I’ve read Pride and Prejudice a hundred times and I still don’t think Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will get married in the end. I’m not saying this is a good way to approach life, only that I do. And I’ve still managed to achieve quite a lot.
But Jake and Melissa and Scott don’t think like I do. From the beginning, they have all said, ‘This is what we want, and we are going to make it happen.’ Period. We’ve all had family emergencies this past year; we’ve all worked extra jobs to try to pay our own bills. But no matter what has come up in our lives, no one has ever lost sight of the goal. When one of us needs to focus on our family, the others all pull together to cover the work, and no one ever complains. We support each other in a way I have never experienced in any other work environment.
And together we have done all the things we set out to do.
So, when they told me we had to produce our second print issue less than half the time it took to do the first one, I said, ‘Okay.’ (Though I said it in kind of a whimper.) But this time, I didn’t think, ‘They are so incredibly loopy.’ I thought, ‘We can do this.’ And when the next goal comes, and the next and the next, I will be there, uncharacteristically expecting ever more success.
The past year has proven to me that the old platitude is true: you really can do anything if you want it bad enough. So, thanks—to all of you and to Jake and Melissa and Scott. You’ve softened the cynic in me. And I kinda love you for that.
Scott Hansen, Community Editor:
Wow, what has one year been like? Not just any year, but the first year.
Last year my world was completely different. I had a Day Job that had me so stressed out that my wife was worried about my health and wellbeing. This year, I now have three jobs, besides my own designing goals, and I make about 30 percent less income, AND I haven’t been this happy or stress-free in years. But, I digress. I have learned so much working on the Generation Q team this last year. And I have never had such encouragement from a company before. The team aspect of what we do has been so uplifting to me.
We actually all met together for the first time at Market back in May, and it was wonderful, because this thing we were working on had become. It wasn’t a dream anymore, we really had something here. And the reception and welcome we received at Market was just as uplifting. I felt I had landed where I was always supposed to be.
It is a pretty incredible thing to be believed in. I felt that way when Melissa and Jake first asked me to be part of the core team. I was surprised and delighted and amazed. I have dropped the ball many times, but Jake, Melissa and Megan have always helped catch it, and I for them when I can. And there is never judgment or anger. We all have real life happening around us, and as much as the blogosphere and rag mags try to hide it, it’s there and simply has to be overwritten with kindness and support.
All the community support has been phenomenal. Yes, there are a few naysayers and Negative Nellies out there, but there always will be that type. And frankly, I know from my years of serving the public that you just can’t please everybody all the time. And a whole lot of you like us; you really like us! (Sorry, Sally Fields!)
I have really enjoyed the creativity of the designers we have worked with, and as the submissions are starting to flow in, I can see there will always be a place for what we do. Even though at the core, we as quilters and sewists work with just a few 100 basic principles and concepts, there is always a new slant on designs and ideas. It is definitely not easy, but it is wonderful just being a part of this.
Tracy Mooney, Associate Editor:
I met Jake on the fan message board (remember those?) for Quilter’s Home way back when that magazine started. We quickly became online buds. I followed Jake and Melissa as they became editors and was so sad for them when the magazine folded. When GenQ started last year, I thought it was a breath of fresh air! What a great idea to start the magazine online and give us Q-bies a place to get the news.
And when the Kickstarter campaign was launched, I did not even hesitate. I immediately clicked on the link and made my pledge. I even put a note in with my pledge that said, ‘I don’t need the goodies. Send them to someone else!’ That is how much I wanted this magazine to succeed. I turned down fabric!
I secretly wanted to be a part of the magazine in some way. When Jake invited me to come to Kansas City for Spring Market, I was over the moon! She kept playing it down – because I had to pay my own way and work in the booth – like that was a bad thing! Are you kidding?!?! Can I tell you the people who stopped by our booth? Pu-lease…I met Rashida Coleman-Hale, Jane Sassaman, Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison, Kaari Meng…. Not to mention the time that I escorted the very handsome David Butler back to the booth (you should have seen the stares I got walking down the aisles), but, I digress.
I ended that weekend being part of the GenQ team and I have been pinching myself ever since. To watch this magazine blossom this past year from a simple desire to serve this underserved audience of the fabric-obsessed into an actual print magazine, not to mention, the miracle of the Kickstarter campaign, well, it has been a beautiful thing. You have no idea how hard Melissa, Jake, Megan and Scott have worked this past year to give you the content you crave. I have only seen a few months, but it is spectacular. Every extra minute of their time has been devoted to their GenQ baby, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Congratulations, Melissa, Jake, Megan and Scott! Here’s to many happy returns of the day!
Vicki Tymczyszyn, Technical Editor:
A year ago I was minding my own business, helping Jake out occasionally with ideas, as a sounding board for occasional gripes, doing some product testing, you know, just being a friend.
Then, GenQ becomes a necessity due to world (and life) situations, the friendly ear is getting more involved until my entire brain is engaged and the same person who would willingly tackle me from behind for taking on another project requests a ‘bit’ of assistance. ’Sure!’ I say. ‘I love this mag, what do you need? I’m your gal.’
Fast forward to some interesting trips to Houston–that is definitely a story for another time, and the same goes for a trip to Kansas City, where more laughs were had than ought to be legal–and here I am today, totally ensconced in a project I absolutely love with the support of family and friends. In fact, they don’t even think I’m crazy for doing this! Who would have thought! The only thing I’m endanger of losing now is my mind, but that was well on its way before, so what have I got to lose?
On Friday, the birthday reflections will conclude with thoughts from Jake and Melissa.