Publisher’s Corner

This Is Our 25th Expo In 15 Years

Way back in 1997, I was more than busy trying to get a fledgling Healthy Planet magazine off the ground. It was tough, but at least I had 17 years of publishing experience under my belt thanks to my firest venture, The Webster-Kirkwood Times. I knew it was important to get out into the community and network so we took a booth at one of the local expos and handed out our new publication. We had been on the streets for about a year when a friend said to me, Hey, why don’t you host an expo?

That friend, Susan Hunt-Bradford, entrepreneur/marketing extraordinaire, and teacher at STLCC-Meramec, was soon titled the “Expo Queen” because she had been to so many of these events around town. I was extremely reluctant to get involved in the expo circuit as my expertise was publishing, not expo-ology. Over the next 12 months Susan and my staff wore me down saying it was a great opportunity to get the name of the Healthy Planet out there for more people to see. It was all about networking, they told me. I was not all that tuned into networking. My years at the Webster-Kirkwood Times had made me a big fish in a little pond, and now I was a little fish in a big pond. And the thought of putting on an expo made me feel like a fish out of water.

But soon it was time to sink or swim as our first expo took place at the Webster Groves Recreation Complex in March, 1999. And we haven’t looked back since. My wife Niki created an organized model for all expos to follow. This 25th Expo on March 10 is a culmination of all that wisdom from the past agonies and ecstasies. Snow and ice storms near misses, power failures, missing vendors, and all the while quality crowds and just plain fun shows. I always get nervous about the crowds. I want our exhibitors to be happy. We have sustained good crowds over the years, knock on wood. Even the smaller crowds were “quality crowds” according to vendors. But I am a Leo and I want to make everyone happy. This expo is no exception.

We have a great line up of exhibitors as you can see on the back page of this issue. We also have some wonderful live music lined up with Terri Langerak on Harp and Carol Eder on Classical and Jazz Guitar. I understand Carol is bringing a few friends to play with her creating a trio for our enjoyment. There will be plenty of healthy food and beverage samples for expo visitors. The early birds will receive Missouri Botanical Garden tickets, eco-friendly reusable tote bags from Whole Foods Market and Schnucks Market. Chipotle has donated BOGO burrito cards and Quest Nutrition has sent us samples of their new Protein Bar to hand out. Look for some great coffee samples from Kuva Coffee and Tea samples from Traveling Tea. And it would not be a Healthy Planet Expo without samples from Schlafly Beer. Yes, there will be free chair massages and health screenings. Lots of info for pet owners including special dog training from the K9 Pack Leader. You can also sign up for an Amtrak Ticket Giveaway and a family weekend at Trout Lodge YMCA of the Ozarks.

After 25 of these events you would think I wouldn’t get antsy over these events anymore. Not going to happen. I want everyone to come. If you are reading this, I expect to see you at the expo. Get your discount coupon on the back of this issue. There is no better way to cure your cabin fever than a dose of Healthy Planet Natural Living Expo. Take two friends and call me in the morning.

In Good Health,
J.B. Lester; Publisher