October 27, 2022 by Arden Montgomery
How I Argaux: Drinking Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Lindsay DeLong, 6 Year Breast Cancer Survivor
If you don’t already know Lindsay DeLong, chances are you’ve read her words as she’s been a journalist for more than a decade. Interviewing bands backstage? She’s done it. Covering international festivals? She’s been all over. Highlighting local businesses all over Orange County? It’s her day job… one that she absolutely loves.
Lindsay is a serial entrepreneur and currently runs two successful businesses, Laguna Beach Living and the City Living Network, where she highlights the best parts of life, creating dream jobs for others in the process.
A breast cancer survivor — 6 years this month — she inspires us to live the life we have, while we have it, never getting buckled down at a job that doesn’t fulfill you.
In fact, she worked the entire time she went through chemo, not because she had to, but because she wanted to; because it was something that she loved.
Because she wasn’t going to let cancer bring her down.
She was always going to write that article. Always going to see the beauty in things. Always going to have fun.
This way of thinking is apparent in both of her businesses today, and we were so excited to catch up with her to delve deeper. How about we toast to that!
Tell us about yourself, Lindsay! Please introduce yourself to the Argaux community.
Hello! It’s so good to be featured by Argaux as I’ve been a fan for years. I am a journalist-turned-entrepreneur who has my hands in quite a few things. I currently serve as Editor-in-Chief of Laguna Beach Living, and at the beginning of 2022 branched out and started a web design agency called the City Living Network where I help people launch city-specific publications in their own towns.
I’m also a 6 year breast cancer survivor (this month). It was an absolute shock to be diagnosed at the age of 33, with no history of breast cancer in my family. But although it was a time that upended every aspect of my life, it’s also a time that I look back on with gratitude because of the amount of love from family and friends that I received. You don’t always get that opportunity to see how loved you are when you’re alive, and I got that and I’ll forever cherish that time, despite how hard it was.
How did the concept for Laguna Beach Living and City Living Network come about?
I had always dreamed of starting a city-specific publication, but I simply didn’t know how. How do you start a blog? Get writers? Photographers? How do you actually get paid for it??? After serving as Managing Editor at The Fullest, a popular wellness magazine for many years (putting out content 7 days a week / 365 days a year), I had learned a thing or two! Today, I’ve bundled that knowledge into a successful publication that highlights small businesses and inspiring entrepreneurs in Laguna Beach and its surrounding areas (we’ve even highlighted Argaux a few times). It’s a total dream job to get to attend local events and showcase all that makes Laguna the iconic place that it is.
With City Living Network I’ve taken the concept nationally. After a girl from Lexington, Kentucky reached out and asked me to help her create a city-specific publication modeled after Laguna Beach Living, I realized I had the formula for something special that could really help people achieve their dream jobs as well.
In a nutshell I build you the website, write 10 launch articles, create a media kit, teach you how to get advertisements, build a team, start a podcast, and — in just 30 days — launch the publication with all the know-how on how to maintain and monetize it.
What is your goal with the City Living Network? You recently had a retreat and I believe the network is now made up of 8 cities!
Yes, it’s been a dream come true and I never expected we’d be at 8 cities in less than a year! The City Living Network currently consists of cities in Laguna Beach, Lexington, Denver, San Diego, Prescott, Salt Lake City, Wilmington, and Long Beach with so much more on the way! I actually received an inquiry from a woman in Bangkok this week!
Because all of the editors are just a few steps ahead of each other we all get on monthly Zoom calls where we guide each other along, share what we’re working on, and provide encouragement. We also just did our first retreat where all the girls flew in to Orange County and we networked, journaled, and went sailing! It was a blast and has become a group of girls that I know will be forever friends.
What’s been your favorite part about building these two companies and networks?
Seeing all the success that comes from each city! Each editor is so talented in their own right. The Lexington editor sold her first advertisement for $3000, the Denver editor hosted a speed dating event, and the Prescott editor secured her launch party venue completely free — with signature cocktails and appetizers. Everyone is so excited and each day is something new. Someone will get invited on a press trip, someone will get asked to be the local judge at a bluegrass festival, someone will get interviewed on a podcast or local television station. My phone is always blowing up with editors who can’t wait to share a recent win with the group. Even if it’s a 6am text (because they’ve just woken up on the East Coast and CAN’T wait to share), I’m equally as excited that my business module has worked and that they now have their dream jobs, too!
What’s been the most challenging part of running your own company?
It’s honestly fun and different every day, but as I’m growing and expanding into new cities, the hardest part is trying to figure out who to hire and who to delegate tasks to. I spent years in the role of Managing Editor, so it’s been a juggle learning how to give up control in some aspects and allow someone else to do it, but also a total time-save so I can concentrate on the parts of my businesses that specifically need me. (My favorite thing currently is to hop on sales calls with people in prospective cities because it’s so fun to share about the business and I could talk about it all day.) It honestly makes me so happy.
You are a 6 year breast cancer survivor this month – Congratulations! How has breast cancer changed your outlook on life?
It changed so many things. At 33, when I was diagnosed, I was living the life. I was traveling the world, I did whatever I wanted, I was hellbent on climbing the editorial ladder and had just landed my job as Managing Editor of The Fullest. My life was good. I was also an extremely proud redhead which was a huge part of my identity (I literally used to go to the World’s Largest Redhead Festival in the Netherlands each year), so when I got diagnosed and suddenly my life of adventure was put on hold, my red hair gone, and I had this fast-growing sickness that was trying to jeopardize the job I had worked towards for years, it was a huge life change. It took my hair. It took my adventures. But I wasn’t going to let it take my job. I couldn’t let it take everything.
Do you have any advice for others who have been diagnosed?
My advice would be to keep doing the things you love. Luckily, I was able to work from home and ended up working the entire time I went through chemo, radiation, and surgery. Being a journalist makes me happy and I remember writing cover stories and conducting interviews with celebrities from my couch, surrounded by pills, with a bald head. The people I was interviewing didn’t know I was sick. That was just my body. My mind could still do what I loved, I could still ask questions, still write words. That helped me through that time.
Not giving up.
Still going on walks. Still hanging out with friends and family.
On my chemo days, I would have 3-5 friends come with me to the hospital and we’d sit there as I was connected to my port and all my various chemo bags, and we’d laugh, entertain all the other cancer ladies, and honestly have such a good time. Afterwards I’d go home and be passed out and sick, but those times were very special. Everyone showed up for me in a way that I’ll never forget.
Another thing I’d suggest is to not take it for granted. I’ve had many amazing friends that have passed that should still be here. I have a painting in my bedroom that I look at everyday from my friend Meghan, an amazing artist, who didn’t make it. She was younger than me. We got cancer at the same time. We got better at the same time. Her hair grew so fast and I remember being jealous cause mine wasn’t growing. Her cancer ended up coming back later as leukemia and I think about how she’s not here — and I am — all the time. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to still be here, so when I have bad days I try to think about how badly she wishes she could still be here. How badly my friend, Raquel, who was in chemo with me, who I used to go on long walks with at sunset, how bad she would still like to see those sunsets and do those walks. We are all so lucky if we have our health and I want everybody to remember that.
Every year at Argaux, we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month with our Drink Pink Kit in partnership with City of Hope. Can you share a bit about your experience with City of Hope and their mission to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today.
City of Hope is actually my cancer hospital so I’m very thankful you are donating 100% of proceeds from your Drink Pink Kit. It is so important for cancer research to be funded. 10 years ago my type of breast cancer would have been a death sentence, but because of the research and the daily medication they’ve since created that I take everyday, my cancer is now treatable. How lucky is that?
We know you love wine, Lindsay! You have been such a supporter of our brand over the years. When you get home from a long day, what are you drinking?
I do love wine! I think meeting a friend for a glass, or sitting outside on my patio after a day of working from home is a great way to wind down, reflect on what I have, and enjoy the best parts of life. I’m a big fan of Argaux’s kits — from their Blind Tasting Kit (which is so much fun and a great way to learn more about wine) to the various Holiday Kits you put out. The Drink Pink Kit is obviously my favorite right now though!
What’s next for you and your companies? What would you like to share with our community?
I love life as it is right now. I run two successful companies, have an animal family that I adore, and am working on myself daily to better myself through fitness, eating healthy, and a good mix of fun, family and friendships. But dreaming big is something I’ve always done… my long term goals is to grow the City Living Network internationally (I’d love to do 2 cities a month starting in 2023), attending launch parties all over the world and gathering life-long friends everywhere I go. Ones I can share a glass of wine with at the end of the day… of course.
A vacation house in Italy also sounds like a good plan.
Lindsay’s Argaux Favorites:
2021 Chateau Barbebelle Aix-en-Provence ‘Cuvée Madeleine’ Rosé