flourish Through the Years: Our favorite stories from Issues 1 through 50

Started as a magazine for Southeast Missouri women called She in 2008, the editorial team rebranded and created the first official issue of Flourish in 2010. That makes this issue, according to the number on the cover, flourish issue #50.

To commemorate, we went back into the archives and read through the first issues of She and all 50 of the first issues of flourish. Here, we share some of our favorite photos and stories from past issues, grateful for where we’ve been and excited for what’s to come.

Here’s to many more years of telling stories, asking questions and sharing life together in Southeast Missouri and the pages of flourish.

Cover photo by Kit Doyle

Summer 2008: The first issue of She, edited by Callie Clark Miller, features stories about women in this region, including Dr. Ella Phillips Lacey, a Hayti, Mo., native and Malawi Peace Corps alumna who helped eradicate polio; the artwork of Peruvian artist Celia Galarreta who has a studio in Cape Girardeau; and the 52% of Missouri mothers who are not being paid the child support owed to them.

Cover photo by Bob Miller

Fall 2010: She rebrands to Flourish under the direction of editor Callie Clark Miller, with a focus on “represent[ing] the staff members of Flourish, but more importantly, represent[ing] the women of Southeast Missouri and all the ways you’re Flourishing.”

Photo by Laura Simon and Kristin Eberts

Winter 2010: Shot on location at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Flourish staff and collaborators, along with photographers Laura Simon and Kristin Eberts, create the first flourish fashion photo shoot, inspired by 1950s Mid-Century Modern style.

Photo by Michelle Huesgen

Summer 2011: Maddie Rupke, winner of the 2011 Annie Laurie’s Antiques’ Top Model Contest models the trends of the summer in Callie Clark Miller’s final issue editing the magazine.

Photo by Glenn Landberg

Winter 2014: The Redhawks Equestrian Team participates in their first practice show of the year, in which 15 riders compete against each other, drawing horses’ names to decide which they will ride, in a story by Tyler Graef and photos by Glenn Landberg, with editor Heather Collier heading the magazine.

Photo by Laura Simon

Fall 2014: Chilean architect Rocio Romero, who designs prefabricated homes that land in settings from California to New York, discusses her vacation home in rural Perry County in this story by Robyn Gautschy and photos by Laura Simon. The 69-acre property is an ideal location for Romero and her family, who live full-time in St. Louis, because many of her homes are manufactured in Perry County, Mo.; Illinois and Arkansas.

Photo by Laura Simon

Spring 2017: Editor Logan Young features trendy nail designs in her first issue leading the magazine.

Cover Photo by Fred Lynch

Spring 2018: flourish gets a redesign with the “Shape” issue, including changing the paper stock to matte paper, returning the logo back to lowercase letters and focusing each issue around a central theme, under the direction of editor Mia Pohlman and designer Jeff Rawson. The hope is for the magazine to “feel like breathing, a space of renewal for your soul” that is a “gathering-place to share our stories, our questions, our lives — a sacramental that shapes our community and connects us with women of courage.”

Photo by Kassi Jackson

Summer 2018: The “Your Summer Roadtrip Playlist” photo shoot features models in a laundromat, with a 1940s DeSoto Custom Club Coupe and at the Cape Girardeau riverfront, as well as 100-year-old Grace Albrecht with a drum kit while wearing purple velvet high heels in a field. Here, photographer Kassi Jackson captures Vona Sitzes having a picnic in Cape Girardeau.

Photo by Tyler Graef

Spring 2019: In this story called “Ink” that profiles a local calligrapher, a tattoo artist and a printmaker, artist Jessica Lambert discusses her work that focuses on women’s reproductive health, which stemmed from her own personal health scare. Her art, photographed here by Tyler Graef, makes public the vulnerability women often feel during a gynecological examination and asks the viewer to think about subjects often considered taboo, such as cysts, endometriosis, disease and infertility.

Photo by Tyler Graef

Summer 2019: In our “Preserve” issue, Shirley Buchheit of Apple Creek, Mo., teaches us how to can green beans in this image by Tyler Graef. Shirley and her husband Lawrence Buchheit have a 75-by-30-foot garden they cultivate in their yard each year.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Summer 2020: Ali Eisenhauer meditates on her Missouri native wildflower “friends” in our “here” issue, and Aaron Eisenhauer photographs them in the wild. Ali writes, “It is a special thing to know the name of a flower, to know exactly when and where to look for it, to recognize its foliage before it blooms, to appreciate the bloom while it is here, and to recognize the dried and dead remains covered in a deep winter frost.”

Cover photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Spring 2022: Parker Bond is the first man featured on the cover of flourish for the “femininity” issue, ushering men in to be featured in the pages of future issues of the magazine. In this issue, he and Kara Filbeck are part of a photo shoot about body language and the ways women and men are taught to embody body language differently, photographed by Aaron Eisenhauer.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Winter 2020: In our “retrospekt” issue, Jo Rodgers models while hiking to Inspiration Point in Southern Illinois in this photo by Aaron Eisenhauer. The photo shoot is woven into the essay “Images: Reflections on Susan Sontag, social media and the art of being human,” by editor Mia Pohlman, in which Pohlman reflects on photography’s connection to what it means to be God and what it means to be human.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Summer 2022: The Perryville Marching Buccaneers Drumline in Perryville, Mo., is composed of all female drummers for the 2021-22 school year and is majority-female for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. Most commonly a male-dominated position in the band, the women changing what is possible are, front row, left to right: drum major Delainy Napier, snare drummer Megan Kluender, tenors player Anna Abbott. Second row, left to right: second bass player Haylie Hagan and drum major Sam Yamnitz. Third row, left to right: fourth bass player Libby Reed and first bass player Macy Vincent. Back row, left to right: fifth bass player Taylor Greer and third bass player Julie Morris. Not pictured: drumline captain and snare drummer Breanna White.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Summer 2022: De’Vontae Graham dances at Ferne Clyffe State Park in Southern Illinois for our “Movement” photo shoot, photographed by Aaron Eisenhauer. The photo shoot is a collaboration between flourish staff and Southeast Missouri State University River Campus students and staff Graham, J’Nae Howard, Rebecca Zwick and Hilary Peterson.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Fall 2022: For our “Stay” issue, we threw a dinner party. Lisa Essmyer, Maria Wade, Stephenie Gardiner, Mary Gentry and Belle Schott cooked for us, and then we got together with friends Jamie Phillips, Jasmine Jones, Paige Garner, Erica Robbins and editor Mia Pohlman to share food, conversation and time together, while Aaron Eisenhauer photographed.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Fall 2022: Born in Pakistan, Maria Sheikh lived in Saudi Arabia and Philadelphia, Miami and New York City before moving to Cape Girardeau for her husband Ahmad’s job. In this story about how Southeast Missouri women conceive of “home,” Sheikh says living in so many different places has allowed God to be her anchor and given her a chance to “really pollinate and mix and choose your own hybrid sense of lifestyle.”

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Spring 2023: In our “Ask” issue, we asked three people we admire to interview someone they each admire. We admire Aaron Eisenhauer, and he photographed and had a conversation with Zelda Mazur about her creative work and being a transgender woman in Southeast Missouri.