Five Firsts with Jennifer Mueller, Editor of The Scout Guide Lexington
Photography by Victor Sizemore.
We’re always hoping to make a good first impression, and that first-time readers of The Scout Guide will put the publication down feeling inspired to learn more about the featured businesses—and, if they’re out-of-towners, to seek out (or start) a guide in their own hometown. In this series, we talk to our editors about their TSG “firsts,” from their first encounter with The Scout Guide to the first business they approach to be in the guide and more. Read on to learn about how The Scout Guide Lexington editor Jennifer Mueller discovered the brand, the first business she scouted, and what it was like to launch her first volume.
When did you first discover The Scout Guide?
I first discovered The Scout Guide in 2015 when the original editor/owner of TSG Lexington approached me about collaborating. At the time, I had a marketing consulting company and together we saw a lot of synergies. I started researching TSG and found it was a smart marketing opportunity for many of my clients. I began encouraging my clients to make this strategic marketing investment because TSG’s numbers in print and digital were growing like crazy.
What made you decide to become an editor?
I was an editor for a quarterly publication in Lexington from 2010 to 2014 and I loved working in print and writing editorials. However, I felt restricted because I didn’t own the publication and there wasn’t a strong digital media component, which I felt was vital. I continued conversations with the original TSG Lexington owner, and eventually she came to me asking if I was interested in purchasing the Lexington franchise as her family was relocating to Tampa. I vetted the opportunity quickly as I saw owning TSG Lexington as a way to continue to support my already established, and growing, local business community clientele and have the flexibility to expand the digital media footprint.
Tell us about the first business you approached to be in the guide.
I first approached Betty Spain, owner of Bella Rose. Betty and I have worked together for years in Lexington. She’s a friend, client, and has been a business mentor for many years.
“If you are passionate about your local community, supporting small business, and being an entrepreneurial resource, then being a TSG editor is for you!”
What was it like to launch your first volume?
The first launch for me was truly a dream come true! My dear friend and great American gardener Jon Carloftis let me host the launch at his historic home, Botherum. The weather was perfect and we held the event in Jon’s award-winning gardens. Lavish food and champagne stations were perfectly scattered throughout with whimsical music, swag bags, and photographers capturing the celebration of our scouted small business community!
What’s the first thing you would tell a prospective editor?
The Scout Guide in each city is only as successful as its editor is business-savvy. Networking is key! It is glamorous and a lot of hard work all at the same time. If you are passionate about your local community, supporting small business, and being an entrepreneurial resource, then being a TSG editor is for you! If you love scouting new, up-and-coming businesses and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit, then this is for you. If you love print and the power of social media, then this is for you. If you want to wake up every day scared and excited because you love your job, then this is for you.
To learn more about Jennifer and The Scout Guide in her area, follow The Scout Guide Lexington on Instagram. Learn more about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.