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Letter From The Editor | 2020 In Review



Dear Reader,

While this isn’t my first letter to write, it certainly does feel different. This was such an undeniably landmark year. Reflecting on a year’s past and thinking forward to the year ahead always stirs about a desire within me for deep house cleaning including business moves, as well as personal steps.  My job is to edit and decide what lands on this small slice of the internet, and what a year to navigate such a thing. 2020 has been one about overcoming barriers; ‘smart working’ during a global pandemic, shifting the cultural conversation to cast a light on those who deserve it most, and examining how it feels to be “together apart.”


This year has forced us to create differently, innovate on what we know, and run our already thoughtfully considered products through an even more strenuous filter. We’re missing fun, missing connection, and missing our familiar rhythms. However, with all of the heaviness that has come from the year, I am also reminded of the Orson Welles quote, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitation.” No matter the ways this year has pushed x pulled you, there is no doubt that the challenges of 2020 have made us approach everything with a new creative perspective. . . and with extra care.


The enemy of art is the absence of limitation.
Orson Welles


We recently had a socially distanced team gathering and a question that came about was, “What do you want to take with you from 2020 into the new year?”  This could be a new intention or a continuation of something you’re already working into your life. As much as we all have been anticipating leaving things behind once the clock strikes midnight, this year was not in vain. I’m reflecting on what this year has taught me, and the areas I’ve seen growth and refinement. I answered with something along the lines of “trusting my gut” [which yes, still true], but after sitting with the question a bit longer, I landed somewhere else entirely in 2021 I want to be deliberate with the special people in my life. After a heartbreakingly beautiful year, I’ve never felt more carried by them my family, my friends, my team. So, I plan to be purposeful and pour into those I love whenever I can next year. What are you taking with you?


What do you want to take with you from 2020 into the new year?
Aisle 9


The best part of making a publication is the teamwork involved and I am grateful to my crew for hustling to bring Aisle 9 to life. I am crazy fortunate to have one of the most talented lineups of creatives, to work with such vibrant freelancers, to have advertising partners to make the whole thing hum, as well as loyal readers who continue to show up for us. You’ve made all of this possible.  I want to continue to connect those of you reading to noteworthy products, as well as expose you to different perspectives. Shall we? Cheers to 2021.


The best is yet to come. . . 

Anna E. Cottrell
Editor-In-Chief, Aisle 9


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