Publisher’s Corner: 30 Expos Later & Summer into Fall

On Sunday, September 27, we will be celebrating our 30th Natural Living Expo. That does not mean we have been in business for 30 years, since we hold two of these events per year. I think we started hosting these expos back in 1998 against my better judgment. When someone approached me about hosting an expo, I just laughed and said, “I’m a publisher not an event coordinator.” And even though I had been an exhibitor at a few events around town, I had no idea how to put one of these expos together. The thought of it gave me a headache. After all, we had just started our magazine the year earlier and we were still trying to make ends meet. The magazine was being very well received in the community, but the revenue was hardly as enthusiastic as the readership. I was working 60 hour work weeks just to try to break even. And then the thought of taking on something else, a big event like an Expo? No way. Well, 30 expos later I guess it was a good thing I listened to my good friend Susan Hunt Bradford who we affectionately call “The Expo Queen.” When she wasn’t working full time as a teacher at Meramec Community College, she dabbled in side businesses associated with health and wellness. She had attended dozens of expos as an exhibitor and said she would help me get one off the ground. Between Susan and my wife Niki, the Natural Living Expos were born while I continued to work on The Healthy Planet magazine. After Susan’s initial help, Niki took over the next long era as expo coordinator and has done such a great job as the most important part of this type of event is details. And Niki is a detail person. And so it started and 30 expos later I still have the feeling of “throwing a party and hoping people come.” And yet they do, time after time. So many of our exhibitors are the same people who advertise and write for us. The expo is a great way to meet these people in person. We hope to see you there. Bring the whole family!

As Summer comes to a close, the garden is bearing some of its late season bounty. The goldfinches are starting to nip at the seeds of the withering purple coneflowers. Hummingbirds are especially active while the cicada are singing their last songs. And the next time you feel like squashing a spider around the house, take a look at its web. A zillion mosquitoes have become spider food in a season so ripe with the little buggers. A cool August sends us into Fall and Winter predicted by the Farmer’s Almanac to be a humdinger. Like the squirrel who will be hiding his acorns, I think all of us should prepare. I am ready for October. I have my Cardinals shirt and hat ready for the playoffs and World Series.

See You At The Expo! J.B. Lester; Publisher