Everyone has had those moments where you are staring in the mirror thinking to yourself, or maybe even out loud, “Where am I going with my life?” Our paths are constantly taking us back and forth and my resume is a perfect example of this phenomenon. I began my professional career hell bent on being in Environmental Education and then started teaching Montessori Kindergarten. Now, the journey has taken me here, with you, writing.
When I first started writing for GLFF, I had the pleasure to meet many people that have either had their own arduous journeys, or are still on one. As a blogger, my first big break into the sustainable community was the Natural Product Expo, where hundreds and thousands of people, from all walks of the industry, get together, network, and become aware of new advancements in natural products and sustainable living. The pressroom was a mad house. People were being interviewed, products were being promoted, and you couldn’t tell who was coming or who was going. Being surrounded by such powerful, motivated, and inspired people was like coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. So much stimulation, it was all a revelation; I was home. Dorit, our founder, knows everyone and she introduced me to many great people with shared passions.
One particular introduction really sparked something inside of me and opened my eyes to the possibilities ahead. As a writer, I have always loved getting inspiration from magazines. They are current, eye catching, and easy to read. When Dorit introduced me to Barbara Manconi, CEO/publisher/founder, of Natural Child World and Ariane Moore, the design editor, I was so happy to meet them. Being a Montessorian, a teacher of young children, an environmentalist, and a caregiver for our beautiful blue planet I love the idea of a magazine promoting natural parenting.
I was extremely excited to work with Natural Child World and to be able to speak with Barbara and Ariane to find out how they went about changing their stars. I wanted to know what or when Barbara’s Eureka! moment was. How did it happen? What do I need to do to make a change in my life so large? Barbara said she was on a plane coming back to the U.S. from Australia, reading an Australian magazine called CHILD and she thought, “I should launch a magazine in the U.S.!” She also told me that she had left the corporate world because she realized that if she had to work for a living, she had to find a way to apply her skills and expertise to something that would not only be enjoyable but would also marry her values, ethos, and contribute to making the world a better place. She opened a marketing agency and decided to work only with socially responsible clients (most of them being in the baby industry). After a few years however, she realized that promoting “good” companies wasn’t enough and she wanted to educate the future generations of parents on the attractive side of sustainability and on the different choices available. With Barbara’s vision to make Natural Child World synonymous of modern parenting and modern lifestyle, she began to publish and build a following.
It wasn’t until a little over a year that Ariane met Barbara and her adventure began with Natural Child World. “I had been searching for work in publishing, and when I came across Barbara’s ad for an editorial/marketing intern, I replied instantly,” she recalls. Ariane’s process of personal growth is so impressive for a struggling writer. She told me that her background had been in interior architecture and design, and that she had worked in the field of high-end residential and hospitality design for years, but was beginning to have a feeling that something was missing in her career, as many of us have.
Even with all of her architectural success with award winning design firms, she was still not happy. I can relate so vividly to the want to have more in your career. After making the decision to leave her once set path in search of a new direction, she thought of her many interests and sought the opportunity to explore them to determine if there was a more fulfilling position in her future. Having had an interest in magazine publishing, she decided to seek out internships and entry-level positions, until finding her new home at Natural Child World.
I had a chance to ask Ariane a few questions and I found her answers incredibly inspiring; I wanted to share with you a few thoughts from Ariane Moore, design editor of Natural Child World.
Please tell me something unexpected and positive that has occurred from your involvement with Natural Child World.
Where should I begin? There have honestly been so many positive and unexpected things that have occurred from my involvement with Natural Child World. From day one, I have been challenged in a variety of different ways. Every day is different from the next, and I never know what is going to pop up. With that being said, one of the most unexpected surprises was when I was told I would have to go on television to talk about the magazine. I tend to be somewhat of an introvert, so I never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that I would be on TV and I wasn’t even sure I could bring myself to do it. However, I somehow managed to find the courage to make it through, and it’s something that I can look back on and laugh about, as well as be proud of.
You had mentioned in our conversation that you have a background in interior design and clearly have a developed eye for visual content. There is a distinct succinctness to the pages of the magazine that is graceful, and flows much like a high end art magazine. From where do you take your largest or most significant influence?
Thank you; that is a very nice complement. We are fortunate to have such a great team of people that all contribute to making the magazine what it is, but Barbara Manconi is the creative director and she has such an amazing eye and sense of style which drives the magazine. Lucky for me, our design sensibilities are pretty in sync, so it is always fun to bounce ideas off of each other. We want the magazine to be a moment of respite from our reader’s busy lives; something that people can really enjoy looking through and hopefully, if we are lucky, find some inspiration of their own. I would have to say that the biggest source of inspiration for me is life in general. Maybe it’s a beautiful photo, amazing architecture, artwork, fashion, books… I try to experience as many things as possible, because you never know where you will find inspiration.
What was your most fun/interesting photo shoot or feature?
So far, I would have to say that I’ve had the most fun with our recent photo shoot for the daddy issue, where we photographed six different fathers with their children. It was such a pleasure to witness and capture intimate moments between these fathers and their children playfully interacting with each other.
Natural Child Magazine has introduced me to such a wonderful, inspiring group of women. I appreciate them showing me that I can change my stars. If nothing else, over the past few months, I have learned that you can create your own future and that it’s never too late for change. You can’t be too old to do what you want to do. So, I am going to keep writing, keep being passionate, and I will eventually find my home too,