Special Moments in 2014
Siting here, writing this entry, seems so surreal to me. This time last year, my husband and I walked our land setting visions and creating goals on leaving a legacy that we would be proud of - a legacy that wasn't about us, but was about laying a foundation for others. That is when the mission of Cottage Hill was born, to celebrate lives worthy of an elegant and meaningful legacy. To see that mission come to life over the past 12 months is exciting, but also, very humbling. I'm honored that so many artists believe in our mission so much as to sponsor and contribute to our publication. I'm humbled by the thousands of people who have visited this journal, subscribed and send us kind notes about how different entries have positively impacted their marriage, there life. I'm more than honored that nearly 1,000, copies of The Homecoming Issue found new homes before Christmas with readers completely delighted by the content inside. Here are just a few special moments of many from this past year - including this feature above with Becca Lea - we hope you enjoyed it as much as we have!
Early spring, while the frost still clung to the grass we created our very first Cottage Hill Original to be published in The Homecoming Issue. The team including Brown Egg Bakery and Silver Cup Artists Ely Fair Photography, Juniper Designs and Christina Leigh Events jumped right in to create a sweet baby shower. Perhaps my favorite aspect of this shoot, is that our very first shoot was not a wedding, but a post-wedding story emphasizing that Cottage Hill is about more than the wedding day. You can see more from this shoot here.
Also in spring, we launched our preview site with our first promo video by Choate House. The Choates are a magnificent husband and wife team who captured the essence of Cottage Hill in such a beautiful way. My goal with this film was to not give a definition to Cottage Hill, but a feeling for what was to come. And, we had a lot of fun playing with the sheep at Five Oaks Lodge.
In May, we prepared for our Kickstarter campaign. This was perhaps my favorite moment in 2014 because I was completely floored by the response and support we received. I will always be so grateful for each and every Kickstarter backer for helping us launch our very first print issue. While shooting the Kickstarter campaign with Molly Thompson Visuals, The Art House and Silver Cup Artist Something Gold Photography, we met our first assistant Ajenda, who modeled with her husband. Special thanks to Brown Egg Bakery, The Bridal Garden and The Dress Theory too!
Summertime finally arrived and we worked tirelessly coordinating, designing and executing shoots for our first issue. We could not be more thankful for each and every name listed in the credits of The Homecoming Issue, as well as the assistants, families and spouses who were not listed but played just as an important role in supporting these artists and writers to create fantastic work.
The fall was so exciting not only for working with our fall interns, but also the launch of the website! With the launch of the website also came the Cottage Hill Originals. Creating original work is a very important and unique aspect to our online presence. I knew when creating Cottage Hill that we needed to provide our own, fresh content to better promote our stories - separating us from other sources of inspiration in a way that emphasizes our mission. And again, emphasizing our mission of encouraging couples after the wedding day, many of these shoots - like the photograph below captured by Sawyer Baird - are lifestyle and family based.
Perhaps my favorite Cottage Hill Original story is reserved for The Captivated Issue next year, here's a little preview featuring photography by Perry Vaile.
Another unique feature to our journal is home tours. We love when couples open their homes for us to see how they've made their house and home. This entry featuring the most adorable couple in their just as adorable Airstream has been one of our most-viewed posts to date! See more here.
Later this fall we journeyed to California, meeting with Bri Emery and scouting locations for print shoots and Cottage Hill gathering locations. We are so excited to return in the spring to shoot for The Captivated Issue and host a few gatherings while we are there! We were also happily deluged with gorgeous submissions including this one below captured by Silver Cup Artist Jenna McElroy - see more here.
This month we received very exciting news that Cottage Hill officially has a national distributor. This means that we could be on a newsstand near you, soon. Hopefully by next month, we will have more details, but we are ecstatic to have our message sent out all over the country.
Also this month, the fall apprentices wrapped up their season with us. Ally has been our online editor - and sometimes model! - and will be focusing on developing her photography business and is officially one of our Silver Cup Artists. Morgan our key writer for the journal and print has joined the team of Silver Cup Artist Rebecca Rose as her assistant which we think is a perfect fit. Emily assisted with our submissions for our first few weeks and will continue as a Silver Cup Artist with her business Something Gold Photography. Coordinating and designing our internal shoots, Kaitlin will be putting her styling experience to good use with her workshop - Katie will be speaking at her Austin session. Ajenda, our social media and Silver Cup Assistant, has been promoted to the Cottage Hill team and will be continuing as our Brand Relations Director - we are so excited for all of her ideas to come to fruition for 2015! Ajenda's favorite photograph this year? This Amalfi Coast Love below by Heather Payne.
These past few days, we have been planning for the new year, focusing on our mission, our stories and our communities. We have a lot of exciting things happening, and many of them very early in the year. To learn more about what we have planned for 2015, including introducing our new styling assistant and team contributors, be sure to subscribe as we will be sharing in our newsletter tomorrow morning!