Publisher John-Lawrence Smith conceived of Virginia Living while relaxing with his dog Cutty on the James River one beautiful June day in 2002. Through his then-14-year-old company, Cape Fear Publishing, he published Richmond Guide, the quarterly magazine that highlights the best things to do and see in Richmond, and Value Guide, a coupon magazine. He had always wanted to publish a high-quality life and lifestyle magazine about Virginia. When just such an opportunity presented itself, he pursued it whole-heartedly.

Virginia Living’s premiere issue was published on October 31, 2002. It’s a glossy, upscale lifestyle magazine that’s been a big hit in the state, with a readership of over 500,000 readers (including nearly 30,000 subscribers).

The company’s latest effort, — and specifically the Virginia Living eStore—is just coming to fruition. The prospects for both are very exciting. Many of Virginia’s best merchants have signed up to have their products and services displayed on the site. We hope to provide all of them with a nice marketing stage, and our eStore customers with the finest shopping experience.

Cape Fear Publishing is the parent company of Virginia Living and its sister publication, Richmond Guide. The company is named for a favorite rest and relaxation spot of our owner, John-Lawrence Smith, who founded the publishing house in 1988, shortly after he graduated from the University of North Carolina.

The lower Cape Fear region of North Carolina is where much of the thinking and planning for the company originally took place, and still does. He was looking for a good, strong, striking Southern name for his company, and Cape Fear Publishing Company seemed like the perfect choice.