“Growing up in a house with seven siblings prepared me for dealing with publishers and other different personalities that arise,” said Sharon Bruckman of Naples.
A graduate of Central Michigan University, Bruckman started out studying marketing and retailing, switched to psychology and ended up with an art degree. She laughed. Needless to say, the path to owning a magazine franchise was an organic process. It came after 20 years spent raising children and germinating the message that would grow a magazine.
And once firmly planted, it grew and grew. “We started here in Florida, then started branching out around the country,” Bruckman said. She feels like a mother to her 90 franchisees, and speaks maternally about the collective 3.8 million readers. “It has become so important for people to wake up to what has happened to our food supply and that we can keep in our bodies all the chemicals.”
As concerns about GMOs and green living have entered mainstream conversations, it’s clear that Bruckman was ahead of the curve. “My daughter sometimes tells the story that all she remembers is this huge never- ending bag of brown rice in the back storage room.”
The largest magazine in the franchise is in Puerto Rico and printed in Spanish. Talks are under way for an Australian edition.
“All along the way I have learned to become quiet and listen to what is next and what I need to do,” Bruckman said.
“I think Natural Awakenings has been a much more powerful energy than I am. I mostly have been trying to stay out of its way and not block it.”