My earliest memories are filled with Columbia Metropolitan, beginning with watching my parents, Emily and Henry Clay, launch the magazine 27 years ago. As the fifth generation on my father’s side to work in some capacity of publishing, we laugh that my sisters and I truly bleed ink. Growing up on Amherst Avenue, literally next to our office then on Devine Street, afforded me the unique opportunity to become a frequent visitor. It was a big moment when I was allowed to cross the small dividing street of Bellwood alone to run an errand to the office.
I spent many “productive” hours beneath my mother’s editorial desk with my pink, plastic briefcase and Spottie Dottie® pencils drawing the next cover of the magazine. I also enjoyed frequent “work breaks,” playing with my Lite-Brite® and copying my face on the Xerox® machine. Having progressed through the years to interning at CMM during my high school and college summers, and then to working full time after graduation, it’s now an incredibly great honor to step into my mother’s shoes as editor.
The defining characteristic that makes CMM special is the uniqueness of the great city we are privileged to feature. Each year, we strive to honor the businesses most beloved by our readers through the celebrated Best of Columbia contest. The long-awaited listing of the 2017 winners is on page 42, as well as their most memorable reflections from the past year.
Best-selling author Gary Chapman, whose church I attended while a student at Wake Forest University, has contributed his expert advice on keeping love alive this Valentine’s Day — and throughout the lifetime of a marriage — through understanding the five love languages. Don’t miss his article on page 28.
Also in this issue is Melissa Andrews’ feature on the big trend of tiny homes which is sweeping through the Midlands. Learn uses for miniature dwellings as both weekend getaways and permanent residences, as well as tricks for pairing down and simplifying life’s clutter on page 120.
We hope you enjoy these stories as well as all of the other articles written by our talented writers in this first issue of 2017.
Happy New Year!