The Year in BRINK - 2012

Hello readers,

I hope your holidays have been treating you well and you’re looking forward to the brilliant 2013 that is a little more than 24 hours away. It is going to be brilliant. It is. Trust and believe. We’re busy here at BRINK HQ gearing up for 2013 and solidifying some last minute plans for the February/March issue and the April/May issue. Keep in mind that the Feb/March issue is our 3rd annual Movers and Shakers issues, so be sure to see who made our list for people that are ones to watch.

I thought I would take a trip down 2012 memory lane and reflect on the past seven issues. I must say, these last few issues have really molded the BRINK tagline ("bi-monthly magazine that maps out the blueprint for success from entrepreneurs who have paved a path" ) and the way we operate. Are you ready for our journey down memory lane? Let’s go!

December 2011/January 2012

The first official issue of 2012 features Lisa D’Amato. Lisa is probably best known for being a sassy firecracker on The CW’s America’s Next Top Model season 5 and All Stars. However, that was not the signifying reason we sought out Lisa for BRINK. Lisa is an entrepreneur in her own right doing mixed media and various gigs supporting her music. Lisa’s interview was one of my personal favorites. Anyone that read it knows that she was extremely humble, motivational and ultimately looking for the best in situations. I think Lisa is actually a bit underrated outside of Top Model and that given the chance, she could really inspire and ignite a generation of young girls (or anyone for that matter) looking for a positive role model. If you haven’t read her interview, I encourage you do so. Oh! And, Lisa won All Stars when that issue came out. We had no idea she had won before we saw it air, just like everyone else, and the interview (and issue) was completed before the show concluded. Beyond proud.


This issue featured our second annual “Movers and Shakers.” Movers and Shakers is our line-up of entrepreneurs really taking things to the next level. We featured Embrace the Culture Fashion House (on the cover), BetterPress app developers and The Fashion Truck. The Fashion truck is a mobile retail store based out of Boston. Owned and operated by Emily Benson, The Fashion Truck is one of the first of its kind (that we knew of) and I first discovered the truck at SOWA Open Market in Boston. I was COMPLETELY enamored by this whole concept and when the time came for this issue, it was no-brainer to feature Emily and her truck. BetterPress are app developers (and beyond) and were actually working on an app for us (our iPad app). When we were discussing the logistics I thought to myself how interesting it was and that they would make a great fit for that issue…and they did! ETC Fashion House was camera-ready, had a great interview on how a team works and created original fashions for men and women. Unfortunately, I’ve heard they had some differences and no longer run ETC.  Super disappointed. Their words were strong, but apparently not strong enough. Moving on…


This issue – so funny. HBO reached out to us about a piece on their new Cinemax show, The Girls Guide to Depravity based on the book. We thought it was a great opportunity to speak with these up and coming actresses on this fresh-racy-exciting show. However, our shoot was to take place in NYC. BRINK is based in Orlando. Ok, no problem. Our Photo Editor at the time, Garrett, decided he wanted to shoot this, so he made his way up to NYC from his place in Georgia. Thankfully, friend of BRINK, Dana Roquemore, was in the city and styled the shoot on a shoestring. As Garrett was driving up, I was handling the logistics working with HBO and getting the room and concept for the shoot ready – remotely from Orlando. The concept was all about “Girls in the City.” All these little details were coming together when the hotel we rented called and let us know a pipe burst and the hotel was shut down and they were moving us o the Hampton Inn a few blocks away. Ok, don’t panic.  We sent out new call sheets, Garrett made it to the hotel and Nicole, our Community Relations rep (in the city), had the place ready for the girls when they arrived for the shoot. It was freezing outside, but Garrett got the girls outside and got some great shots (love the one of them running down the street towards the camera!). Nicole executed the interview with Sally Golan and Rebecca Blumhagen and it was great. I loved some of what they had to say. It was so fresh and insightful and you could hear that these girls were thirsty for this new show. The show debuted and got a really great following. And they lived happily ever after…


This issue we dubbed “The Florida Issue” after Garrett (Photo Editor previously mentioned) suggested we do some sort of different theme for an issue. I loved the idea and we went with it. Tammy Jo Fashion (Tammy Jo and her husband Oscar) reached out to us on being featured and wanted to know how to make that happen. I loved what they were doing and their attitudes on creating their fashion house. This issue was really “easy” in terms of logistics. Garrett took a majority of the photos and really cranked it out and the interviews were all smooth and easy to follow. This issue wa sfetaured on the newsstand which is seen by 52 million readers. Huge accomplishment. Summer continues next…

August/September time. This issue was not exactly supposed to happen. There were a few ideas being tossed around and I knew that I wanted to restructure the magazine quite a bit. Everyone referred to BRINK as a “fashion magazine,” which is fine, except we are not a fashion magazine. We are a magazine about entrepreneurs. We’re just a sexy version of entrepreneurs. We’re not stuffy and boring, we’re glossy and flashy. So I took what features we had and restructured the magazine into departments – making everything a little easier to read.  This whole issue is based around "entrepreneurs on the rise" - from the United Scents of America to Paper Street Market.  The cover was based on design to be a COMPELTE 180 from any cover we’ve ever had. And you know what, it worked. This issue has some great little features and I really enjoy it, but more importantly, I see this issue as a turning point. The moment when things shifted from BRINK being about fashion to BRINK being about people. One note, that interview with Tyler Hilton is not what I had hoped. We had the opportunity to meet with him and speak to him about what he was up to now. The interviewer was only supposed to facilitate the Q&A and did not create the Q&A. She went a bit astray and it bordered on the line of insulting for Tyler (painful to listen to, painful). However, his responses were _____________. You can fill in the rest of the sentence depending on how you perceived that interview. Maybe you liked it, maybe you learned something from it or it inspired you. But I was…less than thrilled. And Jackie, our fealess Copy Editor, had a field day with her red pen.


The Ed Sheeran issue. We had the opportunity to chat with Ed soon after + was released. I knew who he was from the Olympics, Taylor Swift G+ chat and the iTunes charts. I was like “who is this guy, he is so buzz-worthy.” Ed is a perfect example of BRINK and an entrepreneur/talent making it happen. He hustled to make things happen for himself. HUS-TLED. The interview took place on the phone and it was extremely hard to hear once it was being transcribed. Ed might’ve been in a very busy place or just somewhere NOT QUIET.  I repeat, NOT QUIET. AT ALL. We negotiated original photography and our photographer went to House of Blues Orlando to take his photo. He mentioned that he didn’t like to have his photo taken – that’s the que for hurry up and snap the photo. So the photographer tried to get as much as she could and she succeeded it came out great. On another note, this was the first issue that I didn’t have a hand in designing. There was a lot of it I was unhappy with. The designer was not great to work with and that’s why the next issue came out so different (more on that in a second). However, this issue really defined all our departments and our vision.  Also, Ed is going to be HUGE in 2013. Get ready.  Last but not least…


Ok. Love this issue. The design, the theme, the concept – the whole thing is just how it was meant to look. With the last designer out, I took back control of the way the magazine was designerd and I think it’s the best yet. It’s the easiest to read, everything is clear, the photographer/y is great and it’s just smoooooth. This is the last time any re-tooling with the layout of the magazine will happen for the foreseeable future. The cover feature on Milkmade Ice Cream happened very sporadically. Milkmade was to be included, but even we didn’t know it was the cover feature until I received the interview from Diana, owner at Milkmade. It was ridiculously inspiring and filled with great knowledge - it was a no-brainer that it was meant for the cover. It was so relatable. The cover photo imagery was shot early, but didn’t work at all, so we had enough time and reshot it.  The photographer, Ari Scott, hit the nail on the head and got this great shot. Sure, it’s not summer, it’s cold out, but you know what, Milkmade is a year round business, it’s not a summer time business and we are in the business of business. So it was a perfect way to go into the new year. The other features in this issue are also so on point with our themes.

This is going on much longer than I intended and I have no idea if you’re still reading this, so I’m going to wrap it up. BRINK is about entrepreneurs in creative arts – the fields of fashion, human interest, pop culture and entertainment. We’re about building people up and giving those recognition that deserve it and are working for it. Sometimes, the subjects we feature give us zero feedback and we never hear from them again and sometimes we hear from subjects and features throughout the years. The thing is BRINK will grow with you and support you for as long as you keep hustling for your brand. No matter what. There is no talent too big or too small for us. We are all one, we are alike, we are after the same outcome in life. We are about emerging entrepreneurs and talents and validating what they do.  Make. It. Happen.

We wish you nothing but the best in 2013 and hope that you grow with us and keep up with us in print, digitally and all our social media channels. We have some VERY exciting features in 2013 and we’ll see you next year.

Yours in Copy,

Kyle M Menard | EIC

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