I get asked quite a lot why it is I do what I do. There are a hundred answers to the question, but the most authentic one is that I feel like this is more than a career. For me, it's a calling. I have a pretty deep-rooted need to belong and to help others feel like they have a safe place, as well. cityhomeCOLLECTIVE is internal. It's visceral; an earnest, hard-fought attempt to create a place where everyone can feel at home. This thing didn't just pop up over night, nor was it built with the last 100 newsletters. While I knocked on doors and worked endless hours over the last 12 years, I knew we could revolutionize real estate, but more importantly, I wanted to make everyone love where they live. When I look back on the last 100 newsletters, I'm most excited and proud of the exact same thing I hope to see more of in the next 100 issues...folks finding their space. Speaking literally, it's profoundly important to find our physical space, location, neighborhood, etc., and I love that we've helped so many do it. But I've also heard some slightly more flattering comments -- like those who have claimed they moved to SLC after finding our website, and those who claim they would have left the city had it not been for us. Damn. Talk about a surge of pride. cityhomeCOLLECTIVE.com is working! We're doing what we can to be cheerleaders for our city, and we're actually being heard!
My most full and honest disclosure: I believe so wholeheartedly in Salt Lake City that I'm not sure our words and photos will ever do it justice. To that end, I have a commitment for the next 100 newsletters [and beyond]. I'd like to cut through the surface of what we chat about and get to the heart of shit. Where do we all belong and how can I help? How can every one of us feel more at home in our city? How can we reach past cultural, socio-economic, religious, geographic [etc., etc] boundaries to create a community where optimism is the standard and beautiful creation is the focus? Onward and upward, SLC...I see a utopian, idealistic, picture-perfect god-damn dreamer's dream. It's a-comin'.
*Read on: I'm not in this gig alone, by any stretch. Keep reading...the entire COLLECTIVE has a healthy bit of pride and some cozy, heartfelt goals for 2014. God, I love these people.
Amy Tibbals [a.k.a. Les] -- I'm proud of our reach, full stop. Since we started shouting about this salty slice of the USA, we've seen a surprising number of people who happen to agree with us. Salt Lake is absolutely f*cking sensational...as creative, juicy, handsome, and tabloid-worthy as any other spot on the map. We're rapping to anyone that loves this city, but also to those that are making their own cities more creative and worth living in, as well. In doing so, we reach any and all who can read or appreciate some smooth-talkin' photography. All that said, we ain't perfect. We've covered a veritable shitload of stories over the last few years, and we'll continue to clap out loud for the locals, businesses, and cultural happenings that we love. But we can't ignore that which isn't working in this city. If our audience is anything like us, they're looking to improve the city, not just cheer for it. As the COLLECTIVE editor, I should be using my powers for good. Watch me.
Jenny Compton -- Helping others seems like an amazing way for children to build strong morals, which is how I resolve to make a difference in our community this year. I'd like to make volunteering a regular part of my routine, whether it's delivering meals to the homebound, planting flowers at a local park, or spending time with older folks with no family. For busy moms [like me] who want to spend time with their kids while still contributing to the community, volunteering is enormously beneficial. Along the way, I hope to teach my little girl about compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude, and community responsibility.
Andrea Beecher -- The thing that I am most pleased about is the opportunity the blog/website/newsletter has given me to reach out to people and meet people that I may not have had the chance to otherwise. It's connecting people and knitting our community in ways we haven't seen yet. 2014? Well...I, Andrea Beecher, hereby dedicate myself to furthering the betterment of our fair city by continuing to create beautifully-designed spaces for the community to share and gather in. I am also going to be a more involved citizen in our community. Our political leaders, local and national, need our voices sharing with them how we see our city shaping up. I want to take more responsibility in the change I want to see. I believe that it is our privilege and responsibility to do so.
Mark Seely -- I feel privileged to be a part of a like-minded, creative microcosm focused on the expansion of and the dedication to community/art/design/
Brian Tripoli -- For 2014, my commitment is to seek out those local entrepreneurs whose efforts make our city a better place to live, work and play. I'm talking artists, inventors, philanthropists. Those visionaries whose names or faces we may not recognize, but the fruits of their blood, sweat and tears we cannot miss. It's their stories I want to tell.
Corigan Kushma -- I am really proud of the connections we've made with the local community here through the work we've done in the last 100 issues. I'm constantly impressed and inspired by the people and businesses and the talent here, and feel so lucky that I get to play a part in connecting them all and encouraging forward movement, growth, collaboration, etc. In 2014, I want to do more of this through our website, but on a much larger scale. We should utilize this connected community to tackle bigger problems, come up with more solutions, and be a catalyst for positive change here in Salt Lake City. Ya herd?
Virginia Ulibarri -- Margaret Mead, a Cultural Anthropologist, said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." As a COLLECTIVE, we've made great strides over the past few years in making a difference through local business promotion, fostering architecture and design awareness, and coordinating/promoting community events. I'd like to continue this commitment to our community by volunteering -- whether it's building homes for those in need, beautifying our landscape, or improving community health and wellness, count me in!
Lauren Bald [ a.k.a. Hard Copy] -- I am most proud of our collective progress over the last year. We have consistently grown in ways that propelled the reach and standards of the COLLECTIVE. I think there's an inspirational quote floating around about not waiting until you're ready to get started. This utterly terrifies me, but may also be one of the most important things I've heard to date. It's not the start that matters necessarily, it's the finish. In 2014, I decree to become an efficiency machine in the marketing and branding departments. I will push for record listings and sales, and in turn, throw some kick-ass parties for COLLECTIVE, clients, and pals to get up in.
Leigh Anne Bernal -- My goal for 2014 is all about nourishment. Souls, hearts, heads, homes, bellies. Families, friends, clients and colleagues. Our time here is to give and receive love and for me, this translates into nourishing others. Literally and figuratively. Love where you eat.
Emily Millar -- Salt Lake City has a lot of things other cities do not have: clean and preserved architecture, beautiful locals [inside and out] who are changing this community for the better, and a growing sense of community that is rare within a bustling city. In 2014, I want to contribute and celebrate all of these qualities. Through staging I want to celebrate and preserve the unique architecture this city has and show it off to the world. I will sink my soul a little deeper into this city by taking more time to get to know my locals and celebrating them more often. Over the last 100 newsletters, I have seen an evolving sense of community and accomplishment among locals. There is so much strength and love in our community. In 2014, I will be a part of the change our community is brewing up and encourage our residents to “dance in the street together” a little more often. Bring it on 2014! [I wish I could insert emoticons here]
Brianna Davis -- My favorite story from the last 100 newsletters was the one we did for Nata Gallery. I have heard many people refer to the Nata Gallery by saying, "This seems like something you would find in some the best food cities like NY, LA, or Chicago...it's refreshing to find it right here in SLC". Our food scene in SLC is off the hook, and it just keeps getting better. I also have a favorite quote from last year: "We'll sell your home, find you a new one, design it, decorate it, and throw you a party when you move in. And we'll all show up, and you'll feel good about your life.” Mark Seely sums it up like no other. I pledge allegiance to the city of Salt Lake and it's residents, for which it stands. One city under God, indivisible, with unique spaces and good design for all. I vow to highlight the incredible local talent, design, and businesses Salt Lake has to offer, and will continue to strive to have the whole city in ownership of their dream space [or assist them in moving on to the next big thing]. In 2014, I'm going to move mountains.