had been really sick and had a major scare and you had been in
full time caregiver mode. Upon meeting you, my image of you was
immediately, one of a woman who was a fulltime caregiver and
someone that worked fulltime. Back then, when he wasn’t in the
hospital, despite his illness, you always brought him out to do
karaoke with friends every Friday. Then after the weekend, work
would start all over again. I never saw that wear and tear on you.
learned about you. I remember you working your work schedule
around your trips home to feed him and give him his meds. It took
me a long time to get to know Keith because by the time I met you
his illness was pretty advanced. He was in a wheel chair, he was
very thin, he was VERY quiet and it took me a long time to realize
that he was still fully paying attention and capable of 100% sarcasm
and intelligent conversation. He just didn’t look like it. You
know, I never saw that affect you outwardly.
You and I got to know each other over much coffee and you
started to share with me your dream of starting up a little local
publication. I remember you taking that leap and quitting your
job and starting Community Magazine.
Jet: I knew I couldn’t stay at my job any longer because of the
conditions at home. So, I had to do something that I knew that I
could do from home and the best thing that I ever did from home
went back to the 80s, when I had my business.
I need that kind of scenario. Starting
Community Magazine... yeah, it was a
leap of faith to lose that paycheck, but it
turned out okay. I started it right when I
left the shopper. I did one issue to make
sure I could do it before I turned in my
notice and then resigned when that was a
Jen: What was your mission with
Jet: The mission for me was to be able
to do what I really love best. It’s to help a
business. I don’t have deep pockets, but I
love working with new business owners
and guiding them. They are often easier to
work with. I like to help them make better
decisions and to watch their business
grow. I have a lot of other clients, too, that
are not mom and pops, but larger businesses.
. . and to be able to service them without the constraints of
someone else, to be able to help them really succeed.
Jen: You do it well. So, here we are having coffee talks about
what you planned on doing, but what I don’t remember is whether
I forced myself on you or if you asked me to write the food column
for the magazine.
Jet: Well, it was kind of like, “I need a food writer and you’re
Jen: It was a life-long dream of mine.
Jet: I wasn’t sure if you were going to do it. You didn’t seem
to jump right at it, but bottom line, I needed you and you had no
other choice but to say yes. I needed your voice.
But, I am glad you liked my voice because you gave me the ability
to do something I had always wanted to do. I always wanted
to be a food writer, but I was actively still in the business. You
know, I watched you struggle with Community Magazine, they
were beautiful magazines, by the way, but I just remember it being
a big struggle. I don’t know if one of the main reasons was personal,
you know, with Keith deteriorating or that maybe Community
Magazine just didn’t hit the mark.
Jet: It was a learning experience. There are a lot of successful
business owners that are doing well now and if you sit and talk
business. Many of them had failures prior. However, Community
Magazine was not a failure. It was a stepping stone for what we
have now. And, it was a personal struggle for me.
Trying to balance work while having to take care of someone
who is so ill. I couldn’t give it my 100% all because I had to take
care of Keith, so I held back on things. I just wasn’t my regular self.
I had become someone else.
Jen: They say timing is everything and this is a classic case
of that because in my memory, I don’t remember much about the
magazine. I don’t think I ever even had them in my hands very
often, I just sent you my column and recipe. I was more focused
on being your friend and what you had going on at home than
that magazine. It was a total surprise to me when you handed me
the promo of the Women’s Magazine. You said, “this is an idea I
in this one.
Jet: Yeah, that was interesting because I stopped publishing
Community Magazine when there was a 100% focus at home,
which had to be, but still in the back in my mind... because, you
know, Keith and I would have these conversations
about what I was going to do
after. It was something that we KNEW
was coming down the road for us and we
were just trying to plan for when it happens.
Not the ‘what ifs,’ it was always the
‘when’ which is very different. When I
came up with the Florida Women Magazine,
Keith was still alive then. I showed
him the prototype and he was there when
all of that was being worked on, but then
Jen: You published it so soon after his
Jet: It was. Yeah, I think back and I
issue. I don’t even think you helped me.
Jen: No, I didn’t. I did a Bite Review
and a food column.
Jet: I just have no memory of that. We put it all together. Patty
did the graphics. Patty Chesser, she deserves full credit for the
design. I usually like what she sends me, she gives me different
things to pick and you know, she will change things, as needed.
But she is usually spot on.
Jen: How did you meet Patty?
Jet: I can’t remember. (giggles) I will have to ask her. She answered
an ad because I was looking for someone to do graphics. I
until after she was already working for me.
Jen: I know she had been working for the Tampa Tribune until
they closed their doors.
Jet: Yes. That was sad. All those people losing their jobs.
Jen: Well, I never knew that you met her through looking for
someone to do the work because I have always thought you two
have acted like old friends.
Jet: Yes, she is that easy. I really connect with Patty. I like her
designs and she doesn’t give me a hard time. I have worked with
many designers for many years and I hate to say it, but they can be
very fruity. (she giggles) That is probably not a good descriptive
word. (they laugh) You have NO idea. (both are still laughing)
813.682.9364 MAY/JUNE 2019 • 9