Letter from the Publisher


For the VIP family of magazines, launching VIPShoals is an integral part of our growth plan. Ironically, the VIP brand began 15 years ago just a short distance from Florence when my brother Jason and I launched our first magazine in Pickwick, TN. Of course, Pickwick Lake stretches as far South as McFarland Park, so Florence and the Shoals area were always on our radar for expansion. It was weekend boat trips to Florence Harbor and First Fridays that first sparked my love for the area. Over the last several months as we have prepared for the launch of VIP Shoals Magazine, I have realized just how unique of a place this is considering the rich music heritage and abundance of arts and fashion. Mix in the spirit of a college town with a river running through it and you truly have a vibe unlike any market we have developed.

To tell you a little about VIP Magazines, I think our motto “Celebrating Life…One Event at a Time” says it all. Yes, events are the common thread which run through all VIP’s. From the be-ginning, our goal for event coverage was to have a strong emphasis on the charitable side of this socially active world. Local non-profits, along with the support of business owners and generous volunteers help to organize events and galas throughout the year. It is these events that raise monies so that charities can carry out their role of helping those in need. I have learned over years of publishing magazines in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida and now Alabama, that the generosity of those who attend the many events which we cover makes a difference in so many lives. Highlighting, promoting, and publishing pictures from these events is a significant part of our editorial package. As we have grown, our event coverage has expanded to also in-clude local festivals, civic events, business functions, and a host of other forms of entertainment which is what makes each community so unique. In addition to events, we also love to highlight hometown personalities, area homes, and behind-the-scenes “movers and shakers”.

One of our primary goals with each magazine is to be very local and to be extremely involved in the communities in which we publish. While we started the VIP concept before social media was even a phrase, we have grown to be referred to as “social media in print”, a title which we proudly accept and strive to expand on. While printing a glossy, full color magazine filled with local faces and great editorial content is in our DNA, we also offer all of our magazines in full digital versions as well, so that you can read the VIP from anywhere, at any time, and on any device by visiting VIPShoals.com.

I would like to thank the wonderful local staff, which you will meet in coming issues, for the hard work they have put in to making this first issue a reality. Over the next several months we are excited to meet as many of our readers as possible as we strive to become your local source for entertainment for the entire Shoals area.

We look forward to seeing you in the VIP!

Jeff Watson