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Outside insiders

Executive Editor Nicole CrewsExecutive Editor Nicole Crews hits the ground running during Chicago’s ICFA Preview show interviewing Terri Lee Rogers, VP of sales and marketing at OW Lee.
GROWING UP WITH AN INTERIOR/FURNITURE DESIGNER MOTHER in a house with wall-to-wall white upholstery is not for the faint of heart, the wearer of dirty sneaker nor the hoarder of all things Crayola. So what's a kid to do? In my case, I took it outside - but with it, I unwittingly took mom's design aesthetic. Said art supplies were put to use creating paintings that are still nailed to the exterior of our family lakeside retreat. Hay bales from a neighboring barn were often arranged into outdoor seating and dining areas for gatherings. For our Hobie Cat, I even made marine-grade, foam-stuff ed pillows out of old sailcloth so I could catch rays comfortably during calm weather.
     Suffice it to say, I've been in the outdoor business for some time. It's not so surprising then, that today I find myself on the masthead of Casual Living. The journey here has veered from food, style and adventure travel writing all the way to shelter, fashion, boating and lifestyle magazine editing. Along the way I've written and produced furniture trend segments and design features for television and the Web. Are you sensing yet another pattern here? All of the above subject matter is exactly what defines the outdoor lifestyle - and "lifestyle" is the direction we are headed both as an industry and as a magazine.
     You've already seen our fabulous redesign, now stay tuned as we transform Casual Living from the leading trade news magazine to the leading business lifestyle multimedia source.
     As the fastest growing segment of the furniture industry, the outdoor category is poised for an exponential take-off - and we plan to be right there along with it, serving as insiders to the outdoor industry. We are fuelling our news segments directly to our website and via e-blasts so you'll have up-to-the-minute information. We are powering up the video side with interviews, insights, trend and product coverage.
     The magazine itself is grinding down on the issues facing the business of casual home furnishings as well as putting a lot more life into Casual Living with entertaining and informative guest columnists, retail and design-driven features and trend projections.
     This month in particular we're paying homage to many of the great designers who have made the outdoor category a contender. We hope you enjoy learning about this eclectic bunch, what shapes their personalities and design aesthetics and how they tackle the blank canvas that is the great outdoors. We've certainly all come a long way from hay bales and sailcloth slipcovers, but creativity and innovative thinking never go out of style. I think even mother would agree.

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