Heart and Soul, the nation’s first health and fitness magazine for African-American women, has returned from a brief hiatus, this time sporting the new tagline: Healthy.Wealthy.Wise.
Heart & Soul along with Honey and Savoy ceased publishing when its publisher-Vanguard Media-went bankrupt in November 2003. Despite this past adversry, Heart and Soul has risen from the trenches to try a second run.
It wasn’t an easy return. After the Vanguard bankruptcy, Heart & Soul was actually bought in an auction in 2004 by Black Enterprise publisher Earl Graves’ company. But shortly after buying the magazine for $80,000, the company changed its mind and let the right to publish the magazine go to Baltimore businessman Edwin Advent.
Now the magazine is back with a fresh made-over look and stronger than ever. Heart & Soul hit the news stands on October 7, 2005 with Toni Braxton as the cover girl of the re-launch issue. Yanick Rice-Lamb, who has served as editor and chief and then editorial director in the previous life of the magazine said that old fans will recognize the magazine but there are a lot of new features that will attract readers. ”There is a greater emphasis on emotional health and building wealth,” said Lamb, ”We’ve always focused on physical, mental, emotional, and financial health, but this time we’re really looking deeper into how these things can effect us.”
Valorie Burton, who was formerly the magazine’s Life Solutions columnist and contributing writer, is now editor-at-large. Some new elements of the magazine such as “Wealthy Ways” a financial advice column by Michelle Singletary, a noted Washington Post business writer, add freshness to the magazine. Old favorites such as the “My Body” section, a section where black women discuss health issues specific to their bodies, retain consistency.
”Heart & Soul has a little bit that’s been around since its beginning,” said Lamb, “We have a strong core of readers that want to change their lives.” New owner and publisher Edwin Avent hopes to expand that core of readers and has said that the magazine’s goal is "to get several thousand subscribers by Christmas 2005."
For now, Heart & Soul is starting off strong and steady with plans to grow and gain momentum in the future. Currently Heart & Soul is slated to print bi-monthly; December/January is the next issue. Eventually the team hopes to print the magazine 10 times a year. The magazine also hopes to become more interactive with its readers, “In the future we hope to have a lot of live events such as fitness tours at spas, gyms, and malls,” said Lamb. “We are also looking into different products related to the topics covered in the magazine.”
”This is a get your whole life together magazine,” said Lamb. With its inspirational advice for the body and spirit, Heart & Soul’s return once again fills the void of health advice tailored for black women.
For more information and/or to subscribe to Hear & Soul, visit www.heartandsoul.com.