Last week, we celebrated a significant milestone at TSG Headquarters: With the publication of The Scout Guide Charleston, Vol. 4, we welcomed our 100th volume of The Scout Guide. So while we spend most of our time here sharing what we’re inspired by, highlighting the wonderful (and often one-of-a-kind) items that we covet, and garnering advice from our vast network of experts, today we’re going to take a moment to look back.
In 2010, TSG’s founders, Christy Ford and Susie Matheson, approached a community of small business owners, artists, and artisans in their hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, with a vision: a book that would showcase the faces behind the local places that they loved, and highlight the wealth of talent the area had to offer.
The idea for TSG originated with a blog Matheson started while raising her three young children, called Scout Charlottesville; her voice and local finds resonated with readers. Ford, who owns an antiques and home furnishings store, had recognized the need for a curated resource for locals and travelers as well. They decided the guide had to be coffee table-worthy, as it was meant to serve as a lasting reference and source of inspiration for anyone who picked it up, and enlisted a photographer and a graphic designer (TSG’s current Design Director, Erika Jack), and over the course of a few months they created The Scout Guide Charlottesville, Vol. 1, with the second floor of Ford’s store, And George, serving as home base.
Soon after the publication of the initial Charlottesville Guide in April 2010, visitors to Charlottesville who saw the books around town began to enquire about creating guides for their cities. Working with the small team in Charlottesville, Charleston-based editor Michele Johnson launched TSG Charleston, Vol. 1 in September of 2011. Six months later, TSG Charlotte, Vol. 1 launched, and was quickly followed by the inaugural volumes of Guides to Northern Virginia; Aspen; Dallas; Birmingham; San Francisco; Greenwich; Hunt Country, Virginia; Richmond; Washington, D.C.; Denver; Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill; Naples; Nashville; Omaha; New Orleans; and Palm Beach. By the end of 2012, TSG city guides could be found in 19 locations, curated by editors across the country with backgrounds in design, law, merchandising, photography, public relations, and a variety of other fields—and designed and produced by the growing team at HQ.
The concept behind TSG continued to spread in 2013, as editors in Princeton; Phoenix; Atlanta; Virginia Beach; Napa; Chicago; Austin; South Shore, Massachusetts, Houston, Silicon Valley, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Vail, Greensboro, Annapolis, and Wilmington brought together their local talents in beautiful print books and online. Meanwhile, new volumes of the guide were created for previously established TSG cities. The space above And George in Charlottesville was beginning to feel a bit crowded.
Our editors are tireless, creative, and absolutely dedicated to their towns. Our members are passionate, inspiring, and enrich their communities every day. And our readers appreciate and understand the value of supporting and living local, whether they’re at home or traveling, at work or at play.
In 2014, we welcomed even more TSG cities: editors brought the guide to Baton Rouge; Tampa Bay; Jackson, Mississippi; Pinehurst; Memphis; Savannah; Hilton Head; Cleveland; Jackson Hole; San Antonio; Minneapolis; Lexington; Fort Worth; and Jacksonville. Just a few weeks into 2015, we’ve already launched guides in Louisville and Sarasota, and we are excited to see guides to new cities—as well as new volumes to existing TSG locations and our first national guide, TSG Equestrian—in print in the coming months. And renovations are underway for TSG to take over a small portion of And George’s downstairs space (don’t worry, there’s still plenty of room for beautiful things).
While we’re enormously proud of where we are (we have guides to 52 cities in print, for those who are counting, and 8 more in production), we feel unbelievably fortunate for who we are—80 editors, more than 3,000 artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs who are members of our network, and countless readers who have picked up one of the 2,000,000 guides showcasing the faces behind the places that make our cities unique. Our editors are tireless, creative, and absolutely dedicated to their towns. Our members are passionate, inspiring, and enrich their communities every day. And our readers appreciate and understand the value of supporting and living local, whether they’re at home or traveling, at work or at play. Five years and 100 volumes later, we are still absolutely thrilled every time someone calls us at TSG HQ and says how excited they are to have discovered one of our guides, and how wonderful their city looks in print. Thanks for calling, and we agree—local never looked so good.
In light of our 100th volume’s publication, we are going to celebrate each book TSG has ever published over the next 100 days, highlighting each TSG city and the people and places that have helped us reach this milestone. We hope you’ll join and follow us throughout this celebration on Facebook and on Instagram, where you can participate in our #HowILocal campaign and be entered to win a trip for two to TSG HQ’s hometown of Charlottesville (find more details about the contest here). You can also visit our How I Local Pinterest board, where we’ll be pinning images of how you local, so please check back often. Here’s to another 100 volumes!