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In July, I returned to work from maternity leave with two new titles: publisher and mother. Still me of course, but a part of me was profoundly transformed. They say when a child is born, so is a mother.

There’s actual science substantiating the changes that mothers experience during pregnancy, while in labor and postpartum — from brain chemistry shifts and heightened perception to expanded empathy and newfound resilience. No one can prepare you for how dramatically your perspective of the world will shift during this pivotal time. My daughter, Sofia Rose Velez, is seven months old as I write this. She is everything, a whole universe in one small human, with her full cheeks, gummy smiles, boundless curiosity and endless sweetness. 

When I came back to work after having my daughter, I was also officially made publisher of Artful Living, becoming the successor to my longtime mentor and friend, Frank Roffers, who you are used to seeing here.

I was welcomed back by the team I’ve spent years with and by Artful Living’s partners alike. There was a distinct compassion and added depth to the conversations that greeted me. It was as if I’d been admitted into the club of working parents — particularly working moms, who would ask me how I was doing and wanted a real answer. This community has provided astonishing comfort and support to my little family and me. These gestures reflect how if you are open to it, true kindness does exist in business. 

Almost eight years ago, I asked Frank to give me the chance to help grow his business. He took me under his wing and mentored me while giving me an abundance of space and trust. Recently, he encouraged me to take time from my professional life to care for Sofia, allowing for a delayed succession so I might properly launch my new personal chapter. For all of this, I am eternally grateful.

This magazine is a tangible time capsule that provides a permanence so rare these days. Sometime in the not-so-distant future, I’ll give my daughter this issue and she’ll see that her mom was working with a group of exceptional people to create something distinctive and was able to do so thanks to the generous support of a very caring community.

My very best,



Emma Cutler Velez, Publisher

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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