Friday, February 28, 2014

Get To Know: Jessica Leavitt

Photo from Garden&Gun highlighting the Nation's Scout Guides. 

Jessica Leavitt is about to rock the local business world in Savannah, Georgia with the introduction of Savannah's own Scout Guide in March 2014. Literally filled to the brim with local businesses (we hyper-linked the heck out of the third question down), TSG: Savannah is going to show locals and tourists alike a wide variety of local and small business in the Low Country. Get to Know a little bit about the editor behind the scenes below...

CLUTTER FURNISHINGS AND INTERIORS: For those not in the know, what is the Scout Guide? When is it coming out? Where can people pick it up? Give us all the details!
JESSICA LEAVITT:   The Scout Guide is a photo-centric, boutique catalog and guide book of local culture. It is a national brand and the guides exist in about 30 cities currently with many more to be released by the end of this year. The idea behind The Scout Guide is that a local editor, in this case me, gets to take locals and visitors on a curated tour of Savannah to show the faces behind the businesses that make this city unique.  If you want a preview, feel free to check out our national page:, find a city of interest and virtually flip through one of the volumes! The Savannah guide will be launching in early March and I am quite excited! People can find it at any of the membership businesses as well as at various events around town. I will be updating my Facebook page [] with events I will be at so like my page and you will be kept in the know!  

CF&I: Who is on the Scout Guide Savannah Team? We know a lot goes into making your brilliant publication. 
JL: Well, surprisingly enough I am the Savannah team! I hired Leeann Ritch [] to work with me as my photographer and we have a ton of fun working together!  I also get quite a bit of support from our headquarters in Charlottesville, VA. In Charlottesville the design team works with my art direction to create the spreads and then they also oversee the printing process making sure the colors and quality remains constant and in line with the very high Scout guide standards! 

CF&I: Can you tell us what local businesses will be featured?
JL:  ABSOLUTELY! I am so excited about all the businesses that I am featuring this year.  As of today, look for features on the following businesses: Alison Seeger Slipcovers, Bean Counters Bookkeeping, Byrd Cookie Co., Casey Schivera of Celia Dunn, clutter, Cohen’s Retreat [includes Hens &Chicks, Curry & Co, S. Tallevast Interiors, Savannah Plush, Revolver Studios, Fish Out of Water Designs, Liz Demos, Victory Gardens, and Form II Table and Art Tank], Design House, DXM, Erin Rene Photography, Emily McCarthy, Goose Feathers Cafe, Heath Ritch [artist], image by dxm, j. lauren conceirge, Law Office of Julia Sullivan, Leeann Ritch Photography, lily bay studio + bazaar, Maison de Macarons, nourish, Oglethrope Orchids, Posh Petals and Pearls, reThink, Rob’s at Drayton Tower, satchel, Savannah Power Yoga, Slea Slemmer [artist], and Tybee Island Social Club

CF&I: Do you have a favorite shoot so far? Is on-site day a fun part of what you do?
JL: OH BOY! I couldn’t pick one favorite, they are all great! I just love being able to use visual language to tell a story. The on-site part is amazing, one of my favorite things to do! Also, I have learned a lot through the process, having an open mind and being able to roll with the punches makes the shots just happen. Often over-planning makes you stiff and too set in your ways when the perfect shot might just be there waiting for you. Being able to be flexible I think makes each shoot fun. I always try to keep the mood light and create an atmosphere of fun. I’ve been known to have quite a laugh, most who know me can agree! 

CF&I: How did you get into editing?
JL: So my job as editor is also one of curator and I think that really best suits me.  I come from a line of entrepreneurs and grew up talking about small business and customer service, important skills to have when starting a business of your own.  I have always been one to research new things, march to my own beat, and find beauty all around me.  I have taken a few turns in my career path, starting by working in the fashion industry, then moving back to Savannah where I began to manage nourish for four years. At nourish I came to enjoy working with the other local businesses to create cross-promotional events. I also came up with idea of Broughton Street bingo to offer incentives for people who shopped locally during the holidays.  I wanted to find a way to further promote local small businesses and work more in marketing them together. That’s when I first saw The Scout Guide. I just was so attracted to the feel of it, the look of it, the smell of it.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how great it would be for Savannah to have a guide. After many pro and cons lists, I dove right in and haven’t looked back yet! I love hearing what makes people tick, have a bit of styling experience, a healthy dose of creativity and a fairly positive, personable demeanor, all important when thinking about the facets of creating The Scout Guide. 

CF&I: Describe Scout Guide Savannah in five words.  
JL: Loves local, beautifully, hand-picked & personal. 

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