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Margo Schwab Shares Inside Scoop on San Diego’s Social Scene

La Jolla residents Margo Schwab and Scott Johnston publish the first print edition of their online magazine the San Diego Social Diary.

There aren’t many San Diego events Margo Schwab hasn’t attended.

A La Jolla resident since 1974, Schwab has covered charity and private events for 23 years as a society editor, reporter and photojournalist for numerous publications, including La Jolla Patch.

In 2000, she and her husband Scott Johnston, who served 32 years as an officer with the San Diego Police Department, launched the online magazine San Diego Social Diary. After more than a decade of exclusive online coverage of the San Diego social scene, the couple recently published the first collector’s edition of San Diego Social Diary, which highlights some of San Diego’s most glamorous events.

Patch: What prompted the launch of the online magazine San Diego Social Diary?

Margo Schwab: In 2000 we saw the future of the Internet and seized it as a way to be innovative, modern and independent.

Patch: The magazine has been exclusively online since 2000. Why did you want to issue a print version?

Schwab: That’s a great question. We always wanted to be pioneers not only in content with exclusive coverage, but also in format. We saw no point to do yet another print magazine that is tossed after a month or two. We wanted to start documenting the history of social events and organizations, and people in a permanent and high-quality fashion. Hence the idea of a beautiful coffee table book came about.

Patch: What are some of the highlights of the first collector’s edition? Do you have a favorite part?

Schwab: There are many. Hands down the Brandes’ Halloween balls with their amazing creativity and costumes is a fun exclusive. So are the very who’s who San Diego Council on Literacy’s Chairman’s Circle Receptions, as well as our dear friend Tanya Brandes at the royal wedding in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan. That wedding coverage took three months to get clearance from the Office of Protocol. Also any and all of the animal-related events and the historic flashbacks are close to our hearts. Then, of course, there is the fabulous cover story couple, the Deasons.

Patch: Why did you decide to feature Katerina and Darwin Deason on the cover?

Schwab: Katerina and Darwin are movie star quality fascinating and new to town. Everyone is curious about them and would like to meet them – small wonder. They are not just glamorous and charming, but they are quite the story. Darwin is a hard-working, charismatic, self-made billionaire from Dallas, and Katerina, originally from La Jolla, transitioned from actress to businesswoman, to the jet set life. What is key is that both have a realistic perspective on life, with their feet on the ground. No attitude, just smarts and thoughtful kindness.

Patch: What do you enjoy most about covering San Diego’s social scene?

Schwab: It is an endlessly educational, entertaining and energizing learning experience. There are amazing people and organizations in San Diego. San Diego’s social scene is continually vibrant with newcomers and creative events.

Patch: What do most people not know about the social scene in San Diego?

Schwab: There are some very under the radar, generous folk. We know several. They don’t want publicity; they just want life for others to be better. 

Patch: Do you plan to continue to release print editions?

Schwab: Yes, this book is the first annual collector’s edition. We plan to release the second book in the summer of 2013. This print book is all part of project one. Project two we are keeping under wraps for the moment, but it is very exciting and so are the exclusive surprise elements for book two!

The first collector’s edition of San Diego Social Diary is available at SanDiegoSocialDiary.com. The book, which retails at $100 plus tax, can also be purchased at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's gift store, Bowers Jewelry in La Jolla, Statements of La Jolla, Animal Fashion by Jordan Studio in Sorrento Valley, Maggie B and Mister B in Rancho Santa Fe and Nicole Miller in Carlsbad.

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