HERE’s one-year anniversary party tells a bigger story

"It’s one thing to create a product; it’s another to create a culture."

Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt

HERE’s one-year anniversary party tells a bigger story

Written by: Julia Perla Huisman
November 21, 2018


It was supposed to be an outdoor party.  

We had it all planned out that the HERE one-year anniversary celebration would be held on the patio and lawn at Byway Brewing. It would have been perfect. But then it rained. We were forced to have the party indoors instead, in Byway’s back room where they do all of their brewing. I was disappointed by the change in plans, I admit.  

But as is usually the case, the revision turned out to be even better than the original. 

We celebrated the magazine’s first year by inviting anyone who wanted to come—not just our writers, advertisers, photographers, etc., but also our readers and the public in general. What was most thrilling for me was seeing people I didn’t know, guests who came up to me and said they were huge fans of HERE and were eager to party with us. As a startup, sometimes it seems the only people paying attention to your work are your friends, loved ones and close business network. So when someone outside of that circle comes by, and with enthusiasm, it feels like a small but mighty victory. 

It was important to me that this party be “very HERE.” I kept using that phrase with the vendors and they knew exactly what I was talking about: cool, minimalist, but life-giving. Our party was all three of those things. And the indoor setting, which I originally didn’t want, ended up contributing greatly to the “very HERE” vibe. The chrome vats, industrial walls, wood tables and string lights all perfectly set the tone for a party about a magazine showcasing the area’s hippest features. 

Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt
Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt

It was supposed to be an outdoor party.  

We had it all planned out that the HERE one-year anniversary celebration would be held on the patio and lawn at Byway Brewing. It would have been perfect. But then it rained. We were forced to have the party indoors instead, in Byway’s back room where they do all of their brewing. I was disappointed by the change in plans, I admit.  

But as is usually the case, the revision turned out to be even better than the original. 

We celebrated the magazine’s first year by inviting anyone who wanted to come—not just our writers, advertisers, photographers, etc., but also our readers and the public in general. What was most thrilling for me was seeing people I didn’t know, guests who came up to me and said they were huge fans of HERE and were eager to party with us. As a startup, sometimes it seems the only people paying attention to your work are your friends, loved ones and close business network. So when someone outside of that circle comes by, and with enthusiasm, it feels like a small but mighty victory. 

It was important to me that this party be “very HERE.” I kept using that phrase with the vendors and they knew exactly what I was talking about: cool, minimalist, but life-giving. Our party was all three of those things. And the indoor setting, which I originally didn’t want, ended up contributing greatly to the “very HERE” vibe. The chrome vats, industrial walls, wood tables and string lights all perfectly set the tone for a party about a magazine showcasing the area’s hippest features. 

Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt
Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt
Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt
Photo Credit: Teresa Schmidt

Guests were treated to a delicious array of food—and equally tasty beer and wine—by Byway, plus an impressive display of cupcakes from Designer Desserts. DJ Stevie Dee played lounge EDM music that kept the energy high without overpowering the room. We did live T-shirt printing with Midwest Prints, featuring two designs made by HERE’s creative director Brad Wolf. Guests got a kick out of pulling the ink over their design of choice and walking away with a memento made with their own hands. We also provided a photo op where people could take pics behind what looked like a giant HERE magazine cover.  

These activities were an added bonus to the night but mostly, those present just mingled, laughed, met new people, and had a good time. The smiles were big that evening—which means we accomplished our mission. 

It’s one thing to create a product; it’s another to create a culture. Somehow over the past year, the HERE team has managed to cultivate a culture that was tangibly represented at this party. Despite all of the negativity in the world, here we were, a group of well-dressed creatives and friends, amid the shiny vats of one’s brewed creations, smiling, laughing, building each other up. Celebrating a movement that goes beyond our magazine: a movement of positivity and progression. A movement that is… very HERE.