Bye 2018! (A Letter from the Publisher)
This past year has been challenging and inspiring with so much learning and growth. In the process of making this magazine, I have felt so much evolution in myself, in the stories, in the mission, and in the future. It’s hard to believe that at this time last year, I had just met an exceptionally talented and kind designer and illustrator who would become Art Director. I owe so much to Sara Fowler for taking the words and photography from our contributors and translating them into some truly beautiful. I also owe a great deal to the contributors who, with curiosity, an open mind, and a passion for telling stories, have shared their talents through their words, photography, and illustration. I feel so lucky to be able to publish the work of these creative Minnesotans - and cannot wait to continue to grow our list of contributors in the coming year.
Throughout 2018, we’ve shared the stories of inspiring humans and their crafts, communities, ideas, explorations, and their connection to home. Our four issues this year tackled the concepts of vision, curiosity, identity, and possibility. In making each issue, I felt these themes inform my perspective whilst working with writers, meeting makers, taking photographs, editing, and interviewing and writing my own stories. In a rebrand of the magazine at the beginning of the year, I set out to renew my vision for Make MN while Sara made the most beautiful color palette and glyphs and updated the logo. I uncovered a collective vision in working on the first issue of the year, and after printing, reached out to local shops, bookstores, co-ops, and more about stocking Make MN. Into the community the magazine went, and with it, we began working on the curiosity issue. We had a bit more courage after one issue under our belt, and our questions and inspirations found themselves in the curiosities of this place. We connected with bold, unique individuals all over Minnesota. In the third issue of the year, we explored the overlapping identities of cultures and humans and communities of this place, adding more illustrative elements and personal essays straight from the voices of makers, artists, and farmers. In the last leg of our quarterly adventure of 2018, we venture into bold possibility, exploring creative potential in many forms. It’s a glorious concept to close out the year, filled with promise and big ideas. And we’re so close to completing it - eager to share it with you soon.
Making this magazine gives me so much.
It has opened the door to meeting some of the most interesting, thoughtful, compassionate, hardworking people I’ve ever met. And it just means the world to be able to share their stories, have meaningful conversations, and connect with them on a deep level. I spend a lot of time pondering routes of creative fulfillment and expression, and truly, the most concrete path I’ve found seems to be full of connection and collaboration. I love working with new and old writers, reaching out to makers and artists I admire to be featured, working with Sara and our contributors to bring it all together, and building relationships with local shops, bookstores, co-ops, and beyond to share Make MN with the community.
2018 also offered plenty of challenging, at times scary, opportunities. Representing the mag, I was featured on two podcasts, and as a very socially anxious human, these were honestly intensely stressful. It’s so intimidating to share something you care so deeply about in a permanent, unable to edit (hello I’m an editor!), setting - but it felt so good to get through them and trust my voice knowing I would a better business lady and mag publisher after the fact. Experiences like these, along with connecting with new stockists all over the state, local business owners and entrepreneurs for sponsorship opportunities, and more incredible humans who are simply interested in the magazine, have encouraged me to push past my carefully constructed boundaries of comfort and certainty. It hasn’t been easy. I’m in my head a lot and always will be. However, I’m really so proud of how far this magazine has come and the journey ahead in the coming year.
We have big ideas for the year ahead and hope to connect and collaborate with many more creatives, entrepreneurs, businesses, collectives, and beyond. Our biggest aspirations include the following: work with local makers/artists to offer exclusive merch in the online shop, improve our sustainability by printing all 2019 issues on 100% recycled paper, partner with more local businesses as Patrons or Sponsors, and as always, tell the stories of our communities through the lens of craft and connection to this place we call home. To achieve these goals, we’re going to need your help, ideas, and connections!
Join the community.
I’d love for you to be a part of the Make MN community in any way you can - by becoming a subscriber, a patron, a major sponsor, a newsletter recipient, a collaborator, a feature, or a friend. Let’s connect, grow, and share the stories of our communities. Let’s infuse creativity and inspiration and possibility into this place. Let’s share big ideas and challenge the status quo and consider the connection between craft, community, and how they shape our lives in the North. Let’s redefine our culture of making and carve out space for collaborative, inclusive work.
We want to hear from you, our community, so I invite you to share your ideas in the form below! Thank you for making this such a big, special, inspiring year - here’s to even more collaboration and meaningful work in the new year!