Vancouver Family Magazine was founded in 2003 by Summer Morris, a Vancouver mother who was frustrated with the lack of information specific to Southwest Washington families. While she loved occasionally visiting Portland and the other fun spots across the river, her families’ activities, schools, friends, neighbors and life were firmly rooted in Clark County. She needed to know what was happening here, and what resources for her family were available here. A natural entrepreneur, Summer rolled up her sleeves and prepared to create what she was missing in her own community. She started with publishing a small newsprint listing service for daycares called “Childcare Choices.” As the listings became more popular, she brought the publication to life with editorial content and display ads and renamed the bimonthly Vancouver Kidz Magazine. Experienced graphic designer, Julie Buchan, soon came on board as a business partner, using her skills to visually elevate the magazine to the next level. With a final rename and increase from bimonthly to a monthly circulation in 2006, Vancouver Family Magazine was iterated in all of its monthly, full color, glossy glory.
Summer was proud of what she and Julie had built, but her other entrepreneurial interests began taking her elsewhere. Julie wanted to stay with the magazine, but Summer started looking for just the right person to join Julie in carrying on the little local magazine she had created out of nothing.
Meanwhile, another local mother, Nikki Klock, had recently settled in Vancouver with her husband and two very young daughters. She hadn’t yet heard of the magazine when one day her mom called to tell her that a local magazine was for sale—it would be a perfect fit for her, what with her love of writing and general chutzpah. At first, she balked at the idea—she had no journalism degree, had never published anything, had never owned anything of great value other than the tiny 1940s house in Vancouver’s Fruit Valley neighborhood that she and her husband had purchased a couple of years earlier. Could she publish a magazine? Could she own a business? She wasn’t sure. What she could do was give Summer a call to learn more.
Summer answered all of her questions with confidence and transparency. And the more Nikki learned, the more she wanted to publish and own and even grow this wonderful local resource of a magazine. The only possible holdup was the built-in business partner that came as a package deal with the magazine. Nikki had never met Julie before, and the notion of willingly linking herself financially and professionally to a complete stranger seemed somewhere on the spectrum between imprudent and idiotic.
The two prospective business partners decided to meet, each secretly wondering where the other might land on that imprudent-idiotic spectrum. To the surprise of both women, each found the other to not only be decidedly prudent and sensible, but in fact thoroughly delightful. After that first meeting, and for many years afterward, they continued to find themselves just enough alike and just enough different to make their minds a perfect match.
The deal was done. In September 2006, Nikki purchased Summer’s share of Vancouver Family Magazine, and Nikki and Julie have been partners in publishing ever since.
Vancouver Family Magazine now boasts a circulation of 10,000 magazines per month which are available for free at various businesses, schools, libraries and organizations throughout Vancouver, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, Camas, Washougal, and Woodland. In addition to the popular print magazine, readers enjoy online-exclusive content, giveaways and hundreds of community event listings at VancouverFamilyMagazine.com.
Vancouver Family Magazine’s mission is to strengthen a sense of community by providing Southwest Washington families with comprehensive and locally based resources and information regarding parenting, education, news, community events and personalities, recreation, and more. We connect your family to the people, places, ideas and organizations that help you thrive.
Julie Buchan came on board as co-owner and publisher of Vancouver Family Magazine in April of 2005. Bringing her knowledge and expertise in layout and design, she is committed to making Vancouver Family Magazine look its best. She grew up in the Arizona desert before living in the Pacific Northwest for almost 20 years. She has a son and a daughter.
Nikki Klock became co-owner and editor of Vancouver Family Magazine in September of 2006. The oldest of eight children, she grew up mainly in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from Utah Valley University. She insists that a book is always better than a movie, with rare exception. She is a lover of podcasts, hiking, history, and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. She has lived in Vancouver since 2003.
I-Shüan Warr became principal graphic designer of Vancouver Family Magazine in 2012. She has been a graphic designer for over 15 years since graduating from Brigham Young University, and has loved almost every day of it. She and her husband and two boys like to hike and bike together, and she enjoys volunteering at school and church, traveling, taking pictures, and eating cookies.
Meet the rest of the team on our Instagram Highlights.
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