Letter from the Editor
The New Year always brings with it a sense of hope, a fresh start, a clearing of the slate. For Artful Living, 2023 also marks our 15th anniversary — an impressive milestone we hardly could have imagined back in the early days, when founder Frank Roffers assembled a group of whip-smart, hard-working people to bring this brand to life. I often refer to that period as our wild, wild West phase, which was as exhilarating as it was challenging. We were naive and brazen, a typically dangerous combination that somehow worked in our favor. We made our fair share of mistakes, but overall, we had more victories than failures. And we ultimately built something I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.
Along the way, we’ve accomplished plenty: We’ve secured exclusive interviews with luminaries from Tom Brokaw to Martha Stewart to Padma Lakshmi. We’ve produced content that went on to score accolades, like a coveted James Beard Award. We’ve caught the attention of the nation by (unintentionally) breaking news, a rarity for a quarterly lifestyle magazine. Thanks to these achievements and more, I was recently named Editorial Director of the Year by Folio, an honor I share with our entire team.
As we look to write the next chapter in the Artful Living tome, we’re excited about what the future holds. Sure, those early wild days might be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to push the envelope and stand apart from the pack. After all, that’s in our DNA.
In this issue, we’re focused on the absolute best travel experiences on earth — and that’s not an exaggeration. Our feature, “Go Big or Stay Home” (page 112), dives into the world of rarified travel, showcasing exclusive destinations, excursions, happenings and more. Because who doesn’t want to escape the ordinary? I’ve had my fair share of once-in-a-lifetime moments, like witnessing Virginia’s legendary Chincoteague Pony Swim (a bucket lister for an equestrian like me). Or dancing in the streets of Delhi while donning a sari and henna as part of traditional Indian wedding festivities (yes, they last for days). Or dining next to famed former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter at New York City institution Le Bernardin as part of its 50th anniversary last year (I did my best not to fangirl).
But this is about more than just bragging rights; although it does make for fun dinner party fodder. It’s about making the most of our short time here and filling our years with enriching, unforgettable experiences with loved ones. If you can look back on it all and laugh, cry and realize how fortunate you’ve been — much like I’ve recently done reminiscing about those early Artful Living days — then that’s a life well-lived.
Kate Nelson, Editor-in-Chief