Follow us on Instagram!

A Breathtaking Online Magazine

vertical tampa bay

I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite online publications, VERTICAL Tampa Bay. Its lovely creator, Leslie Ickowitz, and I initially bonded via Twitter and Facebook over our mutual love of local designer k. hendrix. We eventually decided that a coffee date was in order and an instant friendship was formed.  I am truly in awe of how Leslie has brought her vision to life. VERTICAL, aptly described as a work of art, is the type of publication that makes you marvel at the beauty Tampa Bay has to offer…but don’t let that turn you away if you aren’t a Tampa resident. Anyone who appreciates beautiful things is sure to become an avid reader. Did I mention that it’s free? Yes, that’s right…free!  After you read my interview with Leslie, I’m willing to bet you’re going to want to subscribe!

Can you tell us a little about the mission of VERTICAL Tampa Bay? VERTICAL is designed to uplift our community by celebrating its treasures—the people, places and things we rejoice to discover.

What can readers expect to find when they peruse it? Captivating content, vibrant photography, artistic layouts,  thoughtful editorial and something for everyone.

vertical tampa bay

Would it be an enjoyable read for people outside the Tampa Bay area? Sure. While VERTICAL is ideal for locals and people who have ties to the Tampa Bay area, much of our content is broad enough to apply no matter where you live. Plus, VERTICAL is often referred to as a “work of art”, so those who enjoy a stroll through a gallery or museum might also enjoy experiencing it—especially curled up in comfort from their favorite spot.

Starting your own publication is quite the undertaking. What inspired you to take on a monster goal like that? People inspired me. In the midst of economic chaos, I came across a group of local professionals who refused to bury their heads in the sand in favor of reaching out to one another and lending a helping hand. After sitting around a table with them one night, I created VERTICAL specifically with the goal of playing a role in uplifting those around me.

Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs? Believe in yourself, surround yourself with positive people and get vertical.

Besides the online magazine, do you have anything else in the works? OMGoodness; I have never had so much going on at once. Topping the list is launching VERTICAL’s “Stellar Society” & a constellation of benefits to help you celebrate the treasures of Tampa Bay. Check it out here.

stellar society

On 2.11.11 VERTICAL hosted its premier fashion presentation, “So Not Sari” featuring a collection exclusive to VERTICAL by local designer k.hendrix. We auctioned the garments live that night and donated 50% of the proceeds which benefited  homeless children in St. Petersburg and surrounding areas.

Then there are the Studio 10 TV appearances which are always exciting because we get to bring the pages of VERTICAL to life!

And I’m over the moon by the response to my original photography. It’s a passion that has developed auspiciously to coincide with creating this vessel to share it. Now, one of my favorite boutiques in the whole wide world (The Hive Creations on Anna Maria Island), is creating a section of the store dedicated to selling my photography.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of VERTICAL? VERTICAL is gaining momentum and it’s starting to feel like a movement.  People are passionate and involved. This is a community magazine and everyone is welcome. Over the course of our trajectory, I hope more and more people will embrace it and understand the meaning of “Get VERTICAL…and be part of something fabulous!”



  1. Fabulous interview! The photography is absolutely gorgeous, and I think it’s so inspirational when people follow their dreams and put themselves out there like that 🙂
    Wishing all the best to this fabulous new project!

  2. Looks like a FAB mag (<—–just made a rhyme, lol)…..sorry….I'm getting a TAD loopy towards the end of the day..perhaps its the Weight Watchers weigh in after work I have on my mind, or the fact that I've starved myself all day!! hahaha..nevertheless, I'm off to check out the mag:)

  3. Kristin,
    Being in St. Pete,how have I not heard about this until now?! Thanks for letting me know! I love the Winter issue, and would love to get involved with it anyway I can! Yea for VERTICAL Tampa Bay!

  4. This was such a lovely interview and the mag seems fascinating! I’ll definitely be checking it out. I’ve found a few online magazines in the past couple of months and it’s always so inspiring to see how people put them together. I like to think of blogging as sort of maintaining one’s own magazine in a way, the idea of the different columns and articles, etc. Can’t wait to give this one a look! (:

  5. Ooo, how refreshing! Can’t wait to check it out. I actually love to read the online versions of cool “local” magazines for hip cities that I don’t actually live in – a couple that come to mind are Atlanta Homes&Lifestyles, & Charleston Magazine.

  6. This is really neat and inspiring and beautiful and I love how the whole thing got started. I will deinitely check it out and I hope that more communities will start similar uplifting magazines that aim to bring the community together 🙂


  7. Breathtaking is right!! I saw that first photo and WOW! My eyes were so happy with the candy presented to them! Great interview! I don’t live in Tampa – but I sure wish I did! Good job with this post and finding such a terrific mag! I will probably become a subscriber – all because of you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.