It all began when Merle and Gail Taylor owned a small craft-based giftshop in Volant, PA. To promote sales, they placed an ad in The Country Register of Pennsylvania. They noticed that The Country Register of Maryland needed a publisher. It seemed like a natural progression, and Merle and Gail became the publisher in 1998. They brought their "customer service is 'job one'" attitude from previous business ventures to publishing, and most of their original advertisers are still featured in each issue.
Meanwhile, daughter Amy and husband Dave Carter were stationed at the Virginia Beach Naval Air Station. Dave's job as a military pilot kept him away from home quite a bit. Amy became interested in The Virginia Country Register. Her degree from Western Kentucky University was in Marketing and Advertising, and she'd been the advertising manager on the college newspaper. Before long, Amy found publishing from home the perfect job because it allowed her time to stay home with her first baby, Rachel.
Rachel, who is now fourteen, has grown up with the paper! She and her younger sister Grace, age nine, are a popular feature. Readers look forward to candid photographs of the children during holidays and celebrations; or just enjoying everyday life. Amy tells people that the children's baby books will feature each issue of the paper.
Over time, both families acquired more papers. In 2002 Merle and Gail added The Country Register of Delaware/New Jersey. Two years later, they began publishing The Country Register of Indiana. Amy and Dave became publishers of The Country Register of New York in 2003, The Country Register of Pennsylvania/West Virginia in 2005, The Country Register of Florida in 2008 and the Country Register of Alabama in 2015.
While juggling a business and parenting can be challenging, Amy and Dave are fortunate to be able to share the load with The Taylors. Each family member brings their own special skills to the job. Merle is famous for his knack of pulling together graphic designs into attractive advertisements. Gail and Dave do the administrative tasks: phone calls, accounting, distribution, and paperwork. Amy views the whole process as a puzzle, and she loves to put together the pieces: fitting the ads, placing the articles, highlighting the recipes, helpful hints, craft ideas, contests and other upbeat items found throughout the pages.
Readers look forward to the variety of information and uplifting stories in the papers. Many weekend trips are born of advertisements, special event calendars and articles penned by like-minded people who share an appreciation of handiwork, crafts, folk art, antiques, collectibles and B&Bs. Several advertisers—as well as readers—relate to the publishers as they, too, began businesses at their kitchen table, with children underfoot.
A favorite of the readers is the colorful cover page, pretty enough to be framed! Seasonal themes feature cozy kitchens, cheerful quilts, smiling snowmen and charming nature scenes. These are painted by regional newcomers as well as national artists.
Don't miss the next issue, put together with love and dedication by Amy and Dave Carter; and Merle (or "Pop-Pop" as he is known by Grace) and Grandma Gail Taylor.