Monday, September 19, 2011

My Trip to Better Homes & Magazine Corporate Offices {Behind-the-Scenes}

I had such an awesome opportunity to go up with the Canvas Corp crew to a meeting with 12 BH&G Editors and Creative team at their corporate offices in Des Moines.  I have never been to Des Moines in it seemed like a very lovely city.

After our presentation, our sweet hostess gave us a full tour of the buildings on the BH&G campus.  We saw photo shoots in session, test kitchens cooking, history all around.  I have been a subscriber of BH&G for years, it has been around for over a hundred years...Americana!!

They had storage shelves all over full of props and displays.  I really couldn't take pictures fast enough to really soak it in...

This is a picture of one of the buildings of the Meredith Corporation, I was standing in the Test Gardens.  I just wanted to pack it up and take it home with me!!

This is the Scrapbooks Etc and the Quilting Magazine's Craft Lab where we had our presentation, as well as our luncheon provided by BH&G catering service.

There I am in action, I didn't know that Michelle {the Editor of Scrapbooks Etc} was taking my picture, I thought she was just taking the picture of the flowers I made out of the new Canvas Corp Tissuestock that I LOVE! 

We actually went through this kitchen {pictured below}, but it was in the middle of a photo shoot with two young kids eating something.  I am guessing it is for the Parents magazine or something.  It is gorgeous!!

BH&G really tried to keep really good records of their history in chronological order, so cool!

 We got to see in their "basement" the make-shift rooms for photo shoots.  There was a guy in this one straight ahead that was painting and then he was going to put moulding up on the walls.  So cool!  They had several of these rooms and the biggest woodworking shop ever.  Well, they do have a Wood hobby magazine.
I loved seeing the faux walls for photo shoots, if they want one painted pink...they paint it pink.  I know they try to not waste and use what they have.
 The official BH&G Test looks like a normal kitchen! :)  We were happy to see it in action.  It looks like they use Bosch appliances.  On the next isle to the right, there are a few gas stoves and ovens to cook at, this is the prep area.

I guess when you are cooking all of that need a lot of fridge space!  This is just one of the few walls of fridges.  They have a full-time grocery shopper, I wonder if she is into couponing. 

This was a beautiful kitchen right off the test kitchen, I am calling it the "Taste Kitchen" because they had food out for people to try and see what they think of the recipes they come up with.
Seriously, the prop rooms/closets were my favorite to see.  Look at all of that stuff they use!!

I asked if I could take a picture of this photo shoot in action, I believe it was for the Scrapbooks Etc website.  She was styling the carmel popcorn in this little holder.

Isn't this the sweetest little shed, it was in the test gardens.

 Ok, I am going to get one of the Craft Lab they have on of these tray holders like you see in a bakery.  Each designer has their own tray {with their name on it} that has a project they are working on, so if they are not done they stick it back in their slot to keep the Craft Lab clean!!  My craft table has stacks of projects on top of each other, I would be more organized with one of these!
 When we first walked into the building, this is what greeted cheery!
 Better Homes and Gardens actually was called Fruit Garden and Home.  The Meredith company actually started with publishing Successful Farming magazine in 1902, then they realized that the house/farm wife needed something for themselves and then that is how BH&G started.  Everyone has a red/white checked cookbook, a wedding gift staple, right!? 

 A photo of the Canvas Crew with a couple of the Scrapbooks Etc. gals.
{l to r:  Sonya, Christine, Michelle, Michelle Rubin {Editor of Scrapbooks Etc.}, me, Deb Berger {Art Director}. 
I love the sign on the wall to the right...
"Make Something Good Today"!!
Wonderful day to be a part of and see the behind-the-scenes of so many things to make a magazine come to life!
I hope you enjoyed my little tour!!


  1. That is so cool! Thanks for the tour! Makes me want to go work there!

  2. Oh Jenn, this was such a treat to read about! I love all your pictures. My mom for Christmas gets me a BHG subscription each year and it is my little "escape" afternoon once a month when it comes and I thumb through the pages. I was so entranced to see all the "in action" and behind the scenes pics. I too love that cafeteria tray idea. I need one of those for my desk! But high enough so that my kids can't play with it!:)

    Welcome back!

  3. Wow, Jenn! It looks amazing. Thank you so much for the photo tour! What an excellent opportunity!

  4. What an amazing trip JEN- so thrilled for you. LOVE BH&G. What a great experiance. P.S. you are just so darn cute too. winks-jen

  5. So great! So jealous! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your adventure!

  6. Wow, how enjoyable to watch behind the s cenes with you- thanks for the tour and the pictures! I love the faux walls- I had no idea- but when you think about it, it makes complete sense!! :-))

  7. Jenn, what a wonderful experience & opportunity! Thank you for sharing all the great behind-the-scenes shots! All of those props are incredible. Love the faux wall collection!


  8. Jenn, that is SO cool!! Can I officially say now, "I knew Jenn when!!"?