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Floyd Publisher Introduces Magazine to Southwest Virginia

stac.gif ~ The following was published in The Floyd Press on December 4, 2008.

Natural Awakenings of Southwest Virginia made its debut appearance in November. The 32 page magazine, printed on recycled newsprint with soy based inks, is a monthly guide to "healthier, more natural and environmentally friendly living," writes publisher Stacy Hairfield in the premier issue.

Hairfield, who was born in Richmond and grew up in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, lived in Charlotte for fifteen years before moving with her family to Floyd in February of 2008. The family first came to Floyd during a visit to Hairfield's husband's father who lives in Patrick County. "We stumbled upon Floyd years ago, buying honey and tea from the Harvest Moon," she said.

They liked Floyd and never forgot it. So when the homeschooling stay-at-home mother of three decided she wanted to contribute to the family's finances and felt ready to share her passionate talents more widely, Floyd was the chosen location to launch a local version of the franchised national publication.

The first Natural Awakenings was founded in 1994 in Naples Florida by Sharon Bruckman and expanded in 1999 into a franchise network. Today the network, Natural Awakening Publishing Corporation, consists of 54 markets and serves a community of over 2 million readers, the magazine's national website states.

"I had been reading Natural Awakenings in Charlotte for years. I picked it up while working in a health food store and I loved it. I learned so much and integrated so many of the ideas from the magazine into our lives," Hairfield explained.

She was reading the magazine regularly, when one day she noticed an ad in it, "Own Your Own Natural Awakenings." The opportunities offered - low investment, working at home, access to a great support team, marketing tools, and a meaningful new career - appealed to Hairfield. 'I can do that. I can be a publisher. I love writing,' she said to herself, and the seed for the Southwestern Virginia publication was planted.

Now settled in Floyd, with her children enrolled in Willis Elementary School and her husband, a home builder, commuting daily to North Carolina to work, Hairfield is busy writing, following leads for local stories, and lining up advertisers. As a publisher, she employs an editor, and a small advertising, design and production staff. Compensation for her time comes through ad revenues from the magazine, which is free to the public.

Turning off her ringing cell phone, Harfield explained how much thought she put into her first "Letter from the Publisher," introducing the premiere issue. She wanted to speak from her heart, but also convey an underlying theme "that we all need to honor each other, the good we do and the things we have in common, rather than focus on differences," she said.naturalawkdexc.jpg

According to a description on the index page of the first edition, the magazine's commitment is to provide readers with "cutting edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression, and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle." Each issue also includes the latest News Briefs, Health Briefs, and Global Briefs, along with regular features on raising healthy kids and natural pet care.

Like other Natural Awakenings across the country, the Southwestern Virginia affiliate draws from the national data base for some of its informative, solution-geared feature articles, such as the one that appeared in November's issue by Jim Motavalli, titled "Clean Energy Crossroads."

Other articles in November's issue include those on such topics as Socially Responsible Investing, Managing Moods with Foods, and Talking to Teens. There's a story on Local Roots Café in Roanoke, one on Tender Grass Farm in Rocky Mount (a farm that supplies raw milk by offering families shares in a Jersey Milk Cow), and another on the Hypnosis Practice of Michael McGee, LPC, of Blacksburg.

The magazine's central distribution takes place in Roanoke. It's also distributed anywhere within an hour of the city, and is most recently available in Stuart, Hairfield said. "Eventually we'll be in Richmond and Lexington," she added. Floyd readers can pick up copies of the magazine from the Château Morrisette to Sweet Providence Farm and in many downtown locations in-between, including The Jessie Peterman Library.

The November issue was well received and December's issue is hot off the press with a holiday theme that includes Survival Tips for the Holi-daze, The Gift Every Child Wants, a story on Chateau Morrisette's new chef, and another on how to be a Santa to a senior.

"Tis the season of giving and receiving," Hairfield writes in the December issue. She encourages readers to give a smile to a stressed sales clerk, patience to a demanding relative, time to a child, and quiet time to yourself because "It is in giving that we receive and in graciously receiving we return the blessings to the giver," Hairfield so wisely reminds us.

With the sharing of information and resources, the magazine Natural Awakenings could be described as a venture in giving and receiving. Hairfield hopes that it will act as a vehicle to connect the regional community and that each issue will be received in the spirit it is offered, one of educational and inspirational enrichment for the benefit of everyone involved.

Post Note: For more information on Natural Awakenings of Southwest Virginia, visit their website HERE where issues can be read online. ~ Colleen Redman


Good news! FYI, I tried to go to the magazine's site via your link and it didn't work. I'll Google it and get there, but thought you'd want to know. And PS... I keep getting a system email saying that delivery to your mailbox has failed. I can only presume it's my comments being delivered to you...or trying to be. You might want to check in with your webmaster. Stay warm!

Must be somethingin the Floyd air that attracts such creative and enthusiastic people. I have never seen this magazine out where I live, but I will keep my eyes open the next time I am in a health food store, which unfortunately is not all that often.

I posted a comment earlier this morning, but for some reason it did not make it through those Internet 'tubes.' I do think that Floyd attracts an unusual number of creative types. I must make a plan to visit when the weather is warmer.

Another great write up. This is the type of newspaper I wanted to invent, I am so glad someone is doing it in a magazine form. xo

I fixed the link. I had to moderate comments for a while because I was getting some nasty spam. I'll try to go back on live comments without a net now.

She, you could do a franchise of this magazine in your area. Check out the main website http://www.naturalawakeningsmag.com/

I just recently meant a new magazine doing some work here in Stuart at the local dinner but I don't think it is the same thing. I will have to get one of these.

I'm so glad you did a post on this. My husband just brought this magazine home after discovering it yesterday. It's beautiful and wonderful. I was thinking of sending in something about SOulCollage. Now it seems like an even better idea. :) Thank you.

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