Following your inner compass
The premier issue of La Vie Claire debuted in the summer of 2004. But, the idea had been conceived six years prior. After she published her first coffee table book, Nantucket Inspirations, Claire realized that her followers and customers loved to know what inspired her designs. She also knew that her catalog was a wishbook of ideas. But with the coming age of online shopping, La Vie Claire would present itself as a new way of staying in touch. So, for the next 6 years 19 issues were published full of the achievements of artists, crafters, writers, photographers and entrepreneurs who followed their own heart's compass to find their passions. Enlisting writers and photographers from around the world, the magazine won the prestigious Ozzie Award for the Fall 2005 issue. This would eventually lead to Claire extracting the stories of 16 amazing women entrepreneurs and publishing the beautiful and inspiring book, Women and the Sea.
What is La Vie Claire? In its practical terms, it is the English translation of the French phrase, "the clear life." In its metaphorical terms, it is finding joy where you are and in what you are seeing and doing. It means "living your passions every day surrounded by people, settings, and objects that infuse your daily life with positive energy and peace." The direction that the compass points to for you to find your own personal "true north" is not always a straight line. For instance, in the Summer 2009 issue, you are introduced to Jennifer MacLean, who grew up on the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada, dreamed of exploring the Amazon. And, after a stint as a crewmember on a sailing vessel in Canada, she yearned for warmers climates and ultimately landed in the Florida Keys where she launched "Ladyship Sailing," a sailing school for women only with classes in Florida, the Chesapeake Bay, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Northwest.
Then there is the story of Jackie Decker, who after spending more than 10 years in the corporate world designing and producing on-line games and videos for children, wanted to stay at home with her young son, so she launched her own licensing business, Jacqeuline Decker Designs. She has converted an old church in Connecticut into her studio, and there she creates her whimsical product line of illustrated images for home decor, tabletop and social expressions.
Claire has always followed her heart that dreams, and her hands that create. She hopes to inspire others to do the same by finding the stories of creators and risk takers - whether it's teaching the German craft of Scherenschnitte ("scissor snipping"), making sand castles in Australia, or growing flowers from seed in your own backyard. The stories will inspire. The pictures will transport you to far away places, and the ideas will show you how your life can become the canvas for your own art. These are the compass points they sought, and through her imaginative and stunning award-winning magazine, you too can find your "true north."
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