Locala Magazine, June 2022

05/31/2022 12:01 AM By Joshua
June 2022, Vol. 02, Issue No. 01

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Letter from the Publisher

Dear Ocala,

Sometimes you meet someone you just know was supposed to come into your life at the right moment. Lisa Anderson is one of those people. I first noticed Lisa when, on Instagram, she posted, “Raise Your Hand If Your Purpose Is To Empower Other Women.” I recall literally putting my hand in the air. I started following Lisa on social, after that, and felt inspired and excited about the content she was sharing. I remember being at an event where I first saw her in person. I was nervous to talk to her, because to me, she was (and still is) a strong, driven, compassionate, and passionate woman who is dedicated to telling not only her story, but the stories of others. It is through these stories that we are connected.

As Locala magazine celebrates its one-year anniversary, I can’t help but think how it is no coincidence that the traditional gift celebrating one year is that of paper, because for the publisher of Locala, there is no greater joy than smelling the pages of a new book (or freshly printed magazine). I admire Lisa and her courage to start a new publication, during a pandemic, when such messages and stories were sorely needed.

Locala was created by Lisa at that time, because she was witnessing real challenges throughout the community and wanted to create a space where “everybody’s voice was heard.” Lisa stresses that “parts of our stories are connected with people in ways that we never expected, and when you pull on one thread, you are affecting someone you may have never met or ever will meet.” I am in awe of Lisa’s ability to tell stories we otherwise may not have heard, all while encouraging people, in Lisa’s words, to “take off their mask” and show their authentic self.

In her own choice to “unmask,” Lisa has shared that the last 365 days have been full of high points and not-so-high points. Some of the highlights for Lisa include how many lives and stories have affected her, while positively impacting others. Another high point has been paving the road between the business side of things and the social side. “Helping the business community connect to the social aspect was unintended, but it has also been both surprising and exciting.”
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While the year was full of exciting firsts, I appreciate Lisa’s honesty in what kind of challenges small business owners face. “All small business owners have a business face we put on. We want to seem as professional and successful as possible, but owning a small business is a rollercoaster ride.” As any small business owner knows, the line between work and home is significantly blurred, and Lisa is transparent when it comes to how important it is to ask for help. “Business owners, you have to let somebody in, take off that mask, let people in and see what it is like. Being open and honest helps the community support you a little bit more.”

Lisa has learned a lot over the last year. Not only has she learned how important it is to ask for help when you need it, but she has also learned about herself, how to recharge after “situational extroverting,” and where future growth opportunities may be. The plan is to continue building a strong foundation for Locala within our community and see where it leads to next. While the one-year anniversary gift of paper signifies new beginnings, it also encompasses the notion that the threads within paper symbolize strength and connectivity. This falls in line with the purpose of Locala. “Our stories connect us. They remind us of our humanity. We are weak and strong, hopeless and hopeful, ashamed and shameless, and we are capable of both love and hate,” says Lisa. “We are here together, and ultimately, we all share one story, the human story.”

I would encourage everyone who is interested in helping Locala grow to subscribe, post a review, follow them on social media, or consider supporting in different ways. I commend Lisa for the hard work she has put in over the past year and am excited to see what comes next.

Most Sincerely, Lauren
Learn More About Lauren Debick
Lauren Debick
Photo submitted by Lauren Debick
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