Inside a new refuge mag for black interior designers

One night time approximately a 12 months in the past, Atlanta-based indoors dressmaker Celeste Alexander awoke in the midnight, roused her napping husband, and stated, “Honey, I’m going to create a mag.”
And she did, setting her 3-many years-lengthy profession on pause to launch Curated Quarters, a quarterly magazine—to be had in print or as a virtual down load—featuring the work of African-American designers. The first issue debuted in January; the third turned into released this month.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, but I never idea it’d be me,” she tells Business of Home. “I had no clue what I changed into doing or how I became going to do it, but it all just started out coming to my thoughts.”

A self-proclaimed mag junkie, Alexander had long been an avid reader of safe haven books. And though there’s a huge gulf between loving layout media and producing one’s own, she determined that in many methods, she became properly ideal to helm the identify—beginning along with her deep enterprise connections. “I’ve been in the layout subject for 30 years, and I usually saved anyone’s card,” she explains. “When I visit High Point, I make it my business to satisfy all of the African-American designers—I swoop down on them, introduce myself, and accumulate their playing cards.” When it came time to faucet into that community for the magazine, Alexander started revisiting the one’s vintage playing cards, searching up as many humans as she ought to.
For Alexander, the mag is for black designers—but also for black clients. “There are quite a few human beings whose only contact with indoors layout is thru HGTV, or choosing up a mag and questioning, ‘Oh, I can’t have the funds for this,’” she says. “We’re displaying them that it’s far low-priced—and that humans that appear like you and live like you are doing it.”
The magazine is likewise an antidote to the longstanding lack of diversity inside the media landscape. “We’ve simply [recently] started out seeing more African-American people in magazines, and plenty of times it’s in February in the course of Black History Month when people feel compelled to do some thing,” she says. “The method to get published is so hard. People are running to take care of their households and pay their bills, no longer questioning, ‘I have to get this undertaking photographed, pitch it, and get it posted.’ Other humans, they pitch and it’s similar to I’ve been informed with the aid of diverse editors over the years: ‘That’s not what our readers are looking for,’ or ‘It’s no longer what our advertisers want.’”
Each issue of Curated Quarter’s transitions from excessive-cease to mass as readers progress thru the pages, a product of Alexander’s desire for inclusivity. “I simply didn’t want to go away every person out,” she says—be it luxurious kitchens or a one-room makeover that gives the reader a few DIY tips. For the equal motive, the magazine has no underlying aesthetic or style. “This [magazine] offers the network an opportunity to peer themselves, to percentage. I’ve had humans name me crying, pronouncing, ‘Celeste, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve in no way visible my work published.’”

Houston-based fashion designer Rhonnika Clifton’s work graces the pages of the 1/3 issue. “Celeste and her crew are sturdy black interior designers, searching at the industry and finding folks that are relatable to proportion their testimonies and struggles,” she says. The task, a domestic office, embodies her adorning ethos. “It’s brilliant, formidable, colourful—it’s me,” she says. “I love showing clients infinite opportunities. Don’t be caught in a container. Tap into that internal Beyoncé!”
Clifton, who has been instrumental in organizing the first Texas Black Interior Design Symposium in Sugar Land, Texas, this autumn, recognizes the price of Alexander’s undertaking: “There are instances when you need to be surrounded via individuals who communicate your equal cultural language—there’s a sense of honoring African-American designers, and I suppose this magazine is so essential for that.”
Some of the guide’s subsequent challenges consist of distribution (for now, Alexander fulfills issue orders herself) and bringing in marketing revenue to cover running costs. Alexander also hopes to build an internet presence with blog content.
“I’m developing a booklet that celebrates the diversity in interior layout,” says Alexander. “For black designers to get a mag that shows their subculture, their background, the matters they like—maximum magazines comply with a sure system, however, I desired to create my personal component.”

Eddie Bowers
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