If you look closely at the alcohol-free industry in this precise moment in time you can practically feel the steady buzz of excitement surrounding it; a high frequency vibration of creativity, inspiration, excitement, collaboration and cooperation. We’re witnessing the birth of an industry that is long past due, and it shows.
Whenever I wonder if I’m a little late to the alcohol-free party, I’m quickly reminded that this explosion of activity and creation began in earnest only about two years ago, a time frame that happened to coincide with the days that I was taking my first baby steps into sobriety. I didn’t know at the time that I would find an entire world of support, information, AF beverages, and new friends; and I didn’t know then just how amazing it would be. I’m grateful that all of this EXISTS; grateful for the creators, entrepreneurs, mixologists, beverage producers and many, many others who set out to bring forth alternatives for people who need them; and I am grateful for social media and the ability to find this information once I started looking.
AFTER Magazine began with a desire to pay it forward; born out of a soul-searching process centered around how I could reach people who might not know this world exists and whose lives would be made better if they did. Eight months later, here we are. If you’re reading this, then you’re holding our first issue in your hands (or perusing our digital edition). AFTER Magazine is here! It’s been a labor of love to get to this point and, thankfully, not one that I’ve endured alone. I believe that when a person believes in, and is committed to, a goal, the resources they need appear, and this is what has happened, in spades, over the last eight months. Amazing people have come out of the woodwork to share their talents, skills, perspectives, help and encouragement, and to support what we’re doing. I’m grateful for all of you, and I believe we are all onto something BIG. Alcohol has had its day. The tides are changing and, with them, lives, relationships and dreams are being altered for the better.
Early on in the creation of the issue, I received a text from an acquaintance (and several like it since) that read, “I saw what you’re doing online. I’ve been thinking about giving up alcohol. Can you tell me more?” This is all the validation I need. This is why we’re here. I believe that life is more beautiful AFTER giving up alcohol (the reason for our name), and I’m proud to be one voice among those showing how that can be done.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this first issue of AFTER, and I look forward to many more to come. (Our Spring issue is already in production so stay tuned!) Please reach out if you want to be part of this in any way. We are ALL the AF movement.
With love and gratitude,
Nicole Pietrandrea Hough