In continuing our celebration of CMM’s 30th anniversary, this ongoing series will reflect on the many wonderful people who came alongside Henry and me during those early years of starting the magazine. In 1990, our first year of publishing, I met Linda Burnside of LGB Interiors as we were planning to feature Shelvie and Heyward Belser’s lovely home for Christmas. In scheduling the photography, I asked Linda as the Belsers’ interior designer if, in the next two weeks, she could decorate the entire house with all the holiday sparkle possible. In her can-do spirit, Linda said, “No problem!” Bear in mind it was August, thus, you can imagine how delighted I was with her enthusiasm.
Since that time, Linda has been a constant part of our magazine family in providing stunning interiors for us to feature as well as supporting us through advertising. With our Home & Garden section being an integral part of CMM, we have relied heavily on talented interior designers like Linda to provide us with the most beautiful homes in Columbia.
Reflecting back on starting her business in 1987, she says, “I was only 27, single, and remember being terrified that I had to do this all by myself. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit and have been a bit of a risk taker. So when I started my own business, I knew it was sink or swim time. Of course, all of my friends and family were there to support me.”
As her business grew not only throughout Columbia and the United States, she also has enjoyed projects overseas, including in Paris. “I remember installation day in France being such a surreal moment for me and my career,” she says. “I was standing on the sidewalk in Paris as I watched a furniture truck pulling up with Notre Dame in the background. Watching furniture that I had selected being unloaded in such an iconic spot was a game changer for me.”
With local, national, and international projects in her career, Linda has also been recognized through winning the TWIN Award, being a nationally recognized finalist for ARTS Award for Interior Design excellence, and being a five-time winner for CMM’s Best of Columbia contest. “My relationship with Columbia Metropolitan Magazine has developed into a lasting industry partnership,” she says. “It was a small magazine in the beginning with beautiful photos and editorial style. The content and quality have grown from year to year with its photography and depth of editorial. I am always so excited to grab the latest copy and see what has been added. The content is always fresh, and it seems to expand more with each issue.”
During our start up years, Henry and I always felt immense gratitude when gracious homeowners and talented designers trusted us to photograph their beautiful homes. These interiors have been essential in driving interest and in building our wonderful readership. What compelled Linda to participate in this new publishing endeavor? “I was also a new business, and it was a goal of mine to be part of a magazine,” she says. “CMM’s appreciation for good photography was important to me because it properly showcased my work. In fact, a key piece of my success has been the ability to showcase my design in CMM through the beautiful photography of Robert Clark. From my experience, CMM has also been a great way of connecting people within the community. It broadens everyone’s knowledge of what the city can offer and is a great representation of South Carolina.”
In building her company, Linda has received support from many people along the way, including family and a savvy team at her office. “Not only have I created lasting relationships with others within this industry, but also with my amazing clients who have believed in me and supported me,” she says. “Without this strong base of people throughout the years, I would never have built LGB into what it is today, having the ability to pursue my other passions of traveling and photography. We recently just finished a home in Newport Beach that was featured in California Home Magazine. Growing to be recognized in such a way would have never been possible without Columbia Metropolitan.”
Linda continues to support CMM, for which our entire staff is exceedingly grateful. From her perspective, she says, “I knew early on that our ideals aligned and that we would have a lasting partnership. I am proud to have been a part of it for the past 30 years.”