New magazine hopes to build community
The Grand Valley is about to get a new, locally produced magazine focusing on positive stories mostly around the natural amenities in the area.
Spoke + Blossom has its first issue scheduled for an Oct. 1 release and will print 15,000 copies as well as offer its content online at spokeandblossom.com.
Editor Robin Brown — who runs the Brownhouse public relations firm — is the founder and editor-in-chief of the magazine and is partnering with The Daily Sentinel to help distribute the first issue. Brown also writes a column for the Sentinel.
“I know all these great stories and great businesses in the community and I’ve kind of become this person who knows what is going on,” Brown said.
Brown added that the magazine will tell stories focusing on the western Colorado lifestyle, improving the area’s self-esteem and letting people know about what is going on in their community. She’s also hoping to create a better brand for the Grand Valley.
“The main point of this is that people will read the magazine, learn about community, feel pride in community and get involved in community,” Brown said.
She said she feels her magazine will tell stories that most people don’t know, even if they’re from here. She also wants to see more articles from locals, rather than in national publications by people from outside the area.
“We’re not controlling our own narrative, it’s being written by outsiders,” she said.
The magazine will print quarterly, with issues dropping on Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1 of 2018. The website will update with new stories as they come in.
For the first issue, articles will focus on what would happen if Colorado National Monument became a national park, hunting and fishing, arts and culture and several other topics.
“I think we don’t talk enough about how much hunting and fishing brings into the community,” Brown said, noting that it will be a regular subject in Spoke + Blossom.
The magazine has a staff of five and relies on freelance photographers and writers to produce content. Brown said another idea behind the magazine is to bring different groups together who are making great things in the area, but may not know that one another exists.
She also wants to educate the community about interesting businesses that they may not be aware of because they don’t market or sell as much locally.
“It’s a pretty rich community, but a lot of them exist in their own worlds and we’re not aware of them, so we’re trying to bring them together,” Brown said.
The magazine’s name was a suggestion of her husband. She said she laughed at first, but it actually made perfect sense in representing the great outdoor attraction in Grand Junction and the surrounding area.
Brown will be looking for more sponsors after this first issue and hopes to find more help in getting advertising. The publication will be free and she wants to get issues in the hands of as many people as possible, including doctor and dentist office waiting rooms.
“We’re going to do one year and see how it goes,” she said.