Photos by Chris McNish of Sweet Gap Photography
Huntsville Magazine recently celebrated one year in publication with an unforgettable soiree’. Held at Lincoln Mill, Co-Publishers Takara Swoopes and CJ Byrd commemorated their journey into publishing with a kid-friendly anniversary party on the evening of Friday, July 28th. Attendees from across North Alabama came together for an evening of sunset views, food, drink, and laughter to toast the magazine’s successful first year.
The new publication had a lot to celebrate. In their first year, they secured print distribution in more than 130 stores across North Alabama, including Target, Walmart, Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble, Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods Market, and The Huntsville International Airport. Additionally, Huntsville Magazine’s team was awarded six Alabama Press Association media awards, including three first place awards for “Best Overall Design”, Best Individual Website”, and “Best Business Feature”.
“We went into this knowing we wanted a premium digital and print magazine. Since we already had a background in digital, we thought print wouldn’t be too difficult. We were so wrong,” explained Swoopes.
“Our first year was marked with a lot of lessons. We had a lot of growing pains but we survived. Starting a business is ugly, it’s messy, and it’s hard. Thank you all for supporting us, saying ‘yes’ to us when so many in this city said ‘no’, and for showing up for us. Cheers to year one and we hope to be celebrating 100 more years of Huntsville Magazine.”
Co-publisher CJ Byrd shared, “My heart is so full right now. I look around the room and it looks like Huntsville looks. And that’s something very important to us when we started Huntsville Magazine, that the magazine represents and showcases not just a few select zip codes, but all of this great city.”
The heart of the event lay in its creative and interactive elements, sparking lively conversations and forging new friendships. Party guests were encouraged to mix and mingle using clue cards to discover and converse with other guests in attendance.
“I have never attended anything like this in Huntsville. Everyone was so open and talkative, I only regret the people I didn’t get to connect with,” explains attendee and contributing writer Cyle Augusta.
Amidst the merriment, the Huntsville Magazine team of writers and editors took center stage and were recognized for their exceptional contributions that brought the publication to life.
“It was a wonderful evening celebrating the 1-year anniversary of Huntsville Magazine. I’m blessed that Takara Swoopes took a chance on me in March 2022 and still believes in me today,” says Huntsville Magazine feature writer and copy editor Erin Coggins.
As the night unfolded, it was clear that the celebration was not just about marking a milestone, but also celebrating a community individuals united by a love for North Alabama, a love for Huntsville, and a passion for storytelling in digital and print media.
“Our mission is and will always be- to create community and connection in Huntsville with our publication, events, stories, and everything we do,” says Swoopes.