Today we launch our first virtual issue. We have worked 24/7 over the past ten days to make this happen. It was a project we had on the horizon for later in 2020 but given the recent impacts of COVID-19 it was imperative we make virtual a priority. Like most businesses who have made the decision to fight for their futures, we have completely restructured our business. We have let go of everything we thought we knew about the future and we are focused and determined to build a new one.

TJ VIRTUAL #19: Our first virtual version (TJ #19) is available on our website right now. To celebrate our launch and to inject some positivity and love into the lives of those in isolation, we have made the decision to offer a free virtual copy of TJ #19 to all. We will keep this complimentary offer open for two weeks from today. After the two weeks are up, the complimentary copies obtained will still be available to those who have subscribed indefinitely, accessible within their account section on The Together Journal website. From April 17th a cover price will be added to all of our virtual products (yes there are more coming).

VIRTUAL CONTENT: The virtual environment is an exciting one and we are glad to be here, even if our arrival was more abrupt than anticipated. Our product is interactive and acts as a magazine with page-turning and linkable content. The experience for readers will only grow in enjoyment as we start to add more sophisticated elements like moving image and additional reactive content. This is just the beginning of our new journey into the virtual world.

PRINT MAGAZINES: We do still plan to have a print magazine, print is in our hearts and is part of the DNA of our brand. I don’t think we will ever tire of the tactile beauty of turning a well designed high-quality page of uncoated paper. But we recognise that survival in this new world, where isolation and disruption to freight have become common, requires us to have both offerings. And most likely many other new things too!

PHYSICAL DISTRIBUTION OF TJ #19: We have been lucky with the timing of distribution for issue TJ #19. Our distributors Ovato have delivered issue #19 to our resellers in Australia and New Zealand who are still operating at this time (including NZ supermarkets). We also managed to release our mailout and subscription list in New Zealand before lockdown. In America, TJ Issue #19 is literally one of the last magazine issues Barnes & Noble have accepted for the foreseeable future. In the United Kingdom, the shelf-life of issue 18 has been extended for a month as requested by our distributor and we are holding our UK based print for # 19 until the market is more stable – but of course, TJ virtual issue #19 is available to all globally. 

WEB ORDERS: As everyone knows we are unable to send couriers for our webshop orders over this time. However, orders are still being taken and goods are being packed at our home-based DC and will be picked up by courier just as soon as the hold on non-essential goods comes off. Everyone who makes a web order for any physical product on our website over the NZ lockdown period will receive a complimentary copy of virtual TJ #19 that they can access immediately. And we have some great specials and promotions coming so do keep an eye on our social channels.

WHERE WE ARE AT AND OUR FUTURE PLANS: It feels a lot like we are back in ‘start-up’ mode again, but I console myself with the fact that we have so many more followers, friends and supporters this time around. Being relatively new and independent we have always had to fight for our place in the world. The odds have always been stacked against us, yet we have thrived. And we will do so again.

We represent a community, we owe it to our audience and our partners to evolve. I have the utmost faith in our ability to adapt, survive and thrive. This COVID 19 situation will eventually pass, good things will come of it and people will always get married.

This is is our first pivot and was not something I was expecting to do so soon in 2020. But I truly believe that brands and people who are willing and able to embrace change and new ways of living, new ways of doing business and are able to look for the positive whilst doing so, will be better prepared for a completely new world.

The Issue 19 cover was photographed by Danelle Bohane

THANK YOU: The support and love we have felt from the wedding world and our partners have been overwhelming, thank you for sharing, following and having faith in everything we do – we hope you feel the same from us.

A special thanks must go to my web developer Ben who has worked with me since we launched four years ago. Ben has worked tirelessly over and above the call of duty for the past ten days with me quite literally 24/7 to make our virtual issue TJ #19 become a reality within a record time frame. I’m so grateful for team members like this. Enjoy the virtual read here

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