The Scout Guide Charleston editors, Julie Hubert and Jenn McKian. Photography by Aleece Sophia Photography.
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 approached to be in the guide and more. Read on to learn about how The Scout Guide Charleston co-editors Julie Hubert and Jenn McKian discovered the brand, the first business they scouted, what it was like to launch their first volume, and more.
When did you first discover The Scout Guide?
Julie Hubert: I first discovered The Scout Guide Cincinnati when I was visiting in 2018. McKenna Brooks had just taken the reins as editor and she hosted this amazing fashion show and from then on I was hooked. I loved the concept of the guide and how high end it was. I’m somewhat of a paper snob, and that thick paper sealed the deal for me!
Jenn McKian: I first discovered The Scout Guide years ago when I was living in Cincinnati. I was visiting one of my favorite spots in town, Jenny Simon Face, and she had guides in her lobby. I was instantly hooked and started seeing them all over town.
What made you decide to become an editor?
JH: I’ve always been passionate about local business and being involved in my community. Both of my grandfathers owned small businesses and the whole family worked for them. I grew up in this culture and was so proud of them for their entrepreneurial spirit and all they had achieved. I hoped becoming an editor would give me and my family that same experience. After meeting Jenn, who had a similar upbringing, we knew we could really make a go at this. Charleston is all about small business, boutique shopping, family owned companies, so we were positive this was the perfect market and it needed to be here again!
JM: For me, becoming editor was a total leap of faith! My previous career was in the corporate world. I had taken 10 years off to raise our kids and longed to get back into the workforce but in a more creative way than in my previous corporate positions. Our family was unexpectedly relocated to Charleston in 2020 and while I was getting our life settled here, I met Julie and we decided to take a leap and just give it a go! The timing with the pandemic was less than ideal, but I knew the opportunity was right.
Tell us about the first business you approached to be in the guide.
JH: We first approached our hair stylist, Colleen, owner of Perdita Hair Artistry. She’s so good at what she does; people even fly to Charleston to have her do their extensions. We knew she was the best of the best and we had to scout her!
“It’s very rewarding to promote businesses that you care about.”
What was it like to launch your first volume?
JH: It was insane! We both worked so hard to bring TSG back to Charleston and seeing it in print was surreal. I don’t think I slept the month before the launch though. You always worry how it will be received, did we do enough, etc. But volume 7 has been a huge success and people absolutely love it!
JM: Like Julie said, launching our first volume was a surreal experience. It was the culmination of a full year’s worth of work and to finally have it in our hands was a fantastic and overwhelming moment. The fact that it was such a huge success was the icing on the cake.
What’s the first thing you would tell a prospective editor?
JH: This is an amazing job! You meet so many interesting people, attend fun events, and really become a part of your city. It’s very rewarding to promote businesses that you care about. Secondly, I would let them know it’s definitely a full-time job and a labor of love. It was a ton of work to get our first guide out, but again, totally rewarding and worth it.
JM: This job is fantastic on so many levels and is an amazing way to connect with your community. There is never a dull moment, and being an editor means you will be doing many different jobs—sales, marketing, event planning, designing, staging, entertaining, public speaking, bookkeeping…there is never a dull moment and that is one of the reasons I love it.
To learn more about Julie Hubert and Jenn McKian and The Scout Guide in their area, follow The Scout Guide Charleston on Instagram and visit charleston.thescoutguide.com. Learn more about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.