Is That Veranda Getting Bigger?

The magazine that celebrates living well is dropping its biggest issue in 10 years.

Thirty years and still growing; that’s the way Veranda is doing it these days, with an anniversary issue set to mail soon that’s already getting rave early reviews.

Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni recently interviewed Veranda’s editor-in-chief Clinton Smith about the magazine’s ongoing mission to celebrate the good life.

“An anniversary shouldn’t be about wallowing in the past,” Smith says about this issue. “A healthy bit of reflection is good for anyone, but the occasion should be about taking stock and focusing on the future and new opportunities that await.”

The magazine, which was founded 30 years ago in Atlanta by Lisa Newsom, encourages readers to embrace the good life at home and celebrates design, architecture, gardening and décor on many levels. And this issue, says Smith, is a fitting tribute to three decades of editorial excellence.

“So many people have already received some first-bound copies that are going to be landing in subscribers’ mailboxes very soon,” he told Husni. “We’ve received several notes from those who have gotten those few first-bound copies, and they’ve said something along the lines of they can’t wait to spend their weekends with it.

“I can’t imagine anyone leaving work on a Friday afternoon saying that they can’t wait to spend their weekend with their phone or their iPad, I mean of course, they might like whatever they’re streaming online and can’t wait to binge-watch it that weekend, but for people to actually say they can’t wait to spend the weekend with the magazine is pretty special and remarkable and a testament to print,” Smith continues.

Smith, it should be noted, is a former student of the magazine program at the University of Mississippi that Husni heads. While a student there, he worked as an undergraduate assistant for Husni, and solidified his interest in print magazines as a career choice.

As for what’s next for Smith and the magazine, he’s clear about one thing: “It seems cliché to say that you’re only as good as your last issue, but of course, my brain right now is on November/December. (Laughs) If the next issue can stand up to this one,” he explains.

He’s rightly proud of this issue, and especially in how his team is able to execute his obtuse visions for the issue.

“And whenever you work with such a great team and surround yourself with amazing people who all want to get to the same end goal and make something better than it was last time, that’s just the icing on the cake. I’m extremely proud of this issue,” Smith continues.

As he should be; congratulations on 30 years of growth, and here’s to the next 30.