In Conversation With Joe Barbaro

Homestead Press has worked on producing and printing the magazine since its inception, and the owner Joe Barbaro has been an integral part of this. He sat down with us to talk about the changes he has seen in the magazine and how it has changed over the last 99 issues.

IN – How have you seen the magazine evolve from 4 pages to now?
JB – With growth comes change and new ideas. When we started the magazine in March 1994, the circulation was 125 now the circulation is 1500. The Magazine as many people know was initially called the Store Age.

In 2001 the magazine changed the name to Insider and grew to 24 pages, and today we see what started as a newsletter is a fully fledged magazine of upwards of 44 pages.

IN – How has the creative changed?
JB – We received fantastic feedback from members when the magazine first started. It is hard to believe now that it was produced on photocopy grade paper in black and white, then a year later in 1995, it went to colour on gloss paper and increased the size of the publication to 16 pages.

IN – Why do you believe you have been the constant through all of these 100 issues?
JB – It was very fortunate for me because l was and still am a member, as I own a storage facility. The other part of my business is in Printing, so l was able to combine both of these to work with the Association in printing the magazine. With this background, I understand the industry and have been able to contribute this knowledge to the publication and its printing.

IN – How has the content changed?
JB – The content at the beginning was initially all contributions from members now it’s a mix of professionals and members. I find the content to be of great value to the industry. The content includes topics and forums that are real and current and relevant to us all. The one thing I like is the fact the Association is prepared to adopt new content and move with the times.

IN – How many Editors/CEO’s/Chairmen have you worked with over the years?
JB – When you think about how many years the magazine has been going, there have been fewer people involved than what you would imagine. There have been approximately four editors, six CEOs and about 10 Chairmen.

IN – Where do you see the magazine going in the future?
JB – There seems to a growing demand for electronic versions of the magazine, but many people prefer the hard copy as it is easier to read. I am hopeful there will still be a hard copy produced way into the future, mainly because I am a bit biased and old school I prefer hard copy through the mail. So, it’s old school vs new technology. We shall see what the demand is. At the moment we produce both and it is available as a PDF on the SSAA website.

IN – How relevant is the Magazine to members? And the Industry?
JB – The magazine is extremely relevant as it provides members and the Industry with information on law changes, new suppliers, changes in the industry as well as many other timely elements like the conferences and industry events. Without the magazine, the industry would not be operating as a whole. The magazine provides a conduit for great networking opportunities, dinner meetings and of course the conference. Ultimately it comes back through the growth of the industry and the association’s professionalism and support.

IN – Why are you so passionate about the Storage Industry?
JB – I have seen this industry grow from humble beginnings, we were all doing it tough in the early years when the awareness and knowledge of self-storage was weak. The good news after all of those years of hard work l am able to say I am now reaping the rewards and seeing other people in the industry doing the same.