Though 5280 won’t celebrate its 20th anniversary until next summer, it was two decades ago this month that I quit my job and began working full-time on creating the first issue of this magazine.
I spent most of those early months on my own: drawing up a business plan, researching the market, and (unsuccessfully) looking for investors. By necessity, I created that first issue on the cheap and with only a few part-time contributors. But, if truth be told, I secretly relished the idea of doing much of the work myself. I fully bought into the myth of the lone-wolf entrepreneur.
Looking back at those early issues, I now see how very foolish that was. While my instincts may have been good, the execution was sorely lacking. It wasn’t until years later, when we could finally afford to start hiring and developing a real team of talented professionals, that 5280 finally began to live up to my original vision.
I’ve been reminded of that important lesson recently as we created our newest publication, 5280 Home, which debuts this month (5280 subscribers receive it free along with their September issue; it’s also available for purchase on area newsstands). This time around, I had the luxury of pulling together a staff of rock-star editors and designers—led by editor Cheryl Meyers, art director Dana Pritts, and photo editor Sarah LaVigne—from the start. I gave them simple marching orders: Forget the sterile, unapproachable palaces you see in so many shelter magazines. Instead, show me the homes of people who are actually living well in and around Denver. Some may be wealthy, others may be wonderfully happy in a 1,200-square-foot bungalow, but we should always focus on their experiences rather than their possessions. As you’ll see, our team delivered all that and more. 5280 Home is a magazine I’ll look forward to reading, and it’s one I’m even prouder to publish. Let us know your thoughts on this first installment.