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The Survivor Issue - Spring 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

It's here everyone! So, excited to share this latest issue! It's almost 4AM as I write this, but the late night was so worth it. Anything worth having in life never comes easy. It’s a mantra that I’ve stuck to throughout my years. It’s an idea that keeps me going when the days go long, my energy drops low at 4 AM and I’m still working – when it looks as if there is no view of success in sight. I keep going, even when the going gets tough. I had a troubled youth, but I don’t regret the hardships – they’re what helped mold me into the person that I am today. All the heartache, hardships and struggles have made me the strong person I am today. It’s the hard part of my life that makes me grateful for each and every opportunity that comes my way as an adult. It’s those hardships that help me see the greatness in others, even when they are not quite ready to see the greatness in themselves just yet. It’s those hardships that keep me pursuing my dreams, my goals and following my heart – even when it seems as if the odds are stacked against me. It’s because of these experiences that I hold this issue near and dear to my heart readers. Laura once again pulled through with some beautiful imagery for this issue's cover story. You can feel the emotion through her imagery.

I am so honored to present to you our annual anniversary issue. 4 years ago – we released Halfstack, without any idea of what the future was to hold, but with a vision. 4 years ago, we launched with a small team who had big dreams. Today – we release this issue with a larger team who still has the same visions as we continue to push for growth. This issue – we are focusing on the theme of Survival. Survival of heart ache, survival as it pertains to adaptation and most importantly – survival as it relates to overcoming. This issue I am proud to introduce a new writer – a hero – a mother – a woman who has overcome so much and still keeps going. She is our cover model: Karli Butler. After surviving a brutal acid attack 10 years ago – Karli is the epitome of a woman who never stops trying to better herself and the world around her. Her story is a true testament to survival, but what I find most profound is her ability to not allow her circumstances to dictate her life story and journey. She is the maker of her destiny and her story is just beginning.

Each story in this issue highlights the theme of survival in a beautiful, educational and poetic way. We share stories of creatives who are surviving and overcoming even when the odds seem to be against them. We highlight brands that are working with the poor and helping them break the cycle of poverty.

Jen Oquendo shares a list of amazing books all about survival and overcoming. She shares a review of the e-book “Scared Girls Talk” – featuring the story of a sexual assault survivor. Jen Gordon and Reynisha share beautiful sentiments on survival in the Editor’s Last Look. Thom highlights a local gym: Rocksteady Boxing that is helping people who are battling Parkinson’s.  Although quite a few of our stories are heavy, we still have fun pieces that relate to beauty and grooming from Danielle and Fashion from Stella and our new Style Columnist: Emily Ehardt. We spotlight a new blog: Reigning Rebel and our Business Columnist: Peter shares his thoughts on the journey after college graduation. Louis shares his thoughts on how the music industry can survive the digital evolution.

This issue is a culmination of all the hard work we have put into Halfstack for the last 4 years. I hope you all find it inspiring and even if it helps just one person continue on in their life journey despite obstacles, then all the hard work we put into it is worth it. Thank you for walking alongside us on this creative journey. Without each of you readers, our team and the amazing creatives I get to work with every day, this wouldn’t be possible.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can read the FULL ISSUE HERE.
Jen Veguilla-Lezan
Editor in Chief & Founder

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