This week I have a treat for you! My guest this week is a local entrepreneur and publisher of an online magazine.
I met Maryanne at our Blend event and was introduced to her latest venture, Stimuli Magazine, an online lifestyle magazine focussing on living the fabulous life here in the Fraser Valley. With features from beauty, fashion, make-up, parenting, home decor, food and shopping, giving women the "stimulus" to live the fullest life!
What I love is it is an online collection of local shops, talent and beauty/home decor finds which fills the void, that many national publications fail to fill. Not only does the magazine fill that void but the website and blog fills you in on the lives of women living the everyday life.
Be sure to check it out and sign up to subscribe today!
Tell us a bit about your background? Who you are? What was your education?
I spent 13 years in the newspaper business in advertising and marketing. I worked with small to medium sized businesses helping them create their advertising campaigns and coming up with new project ideas for the paper to implement. I trained to be a Certified Travel Agent - back in the days before you could book everything online. I kind of fell into my position at the newspaper and didn't look back once I discovered how much I like it. I have no formal eduction for publishing - it was learn as you go. I have upgraded my skills through the Leadership Training through the Executive Education department of UBC as well as attending regular seminars and conferences
How did you venture into the world of “publishing"?
Since I came from the world of publishing it was just natural. I did, however, decide that I wanted to leave the corporate world where I was doing the same thing year after year and branch out on my own. Originally Stimuli was going to be a small blog on my corporate website, www.urbanlifemedia.ca, talking about all the great things I found in the community but the concept grew and it became it’s own publication.
What is the focus of your magazine? Who is your targeted audience?
Stimuli is a lifestyle magazine. We talk about all the things that make up a woman’s everyday life: fashion, beauty, great gift ideas, home decor, health, food, wine...the list goes on. We do a lot of your shopping for you as we tell you about all the great products we find, both locally and online. We tell you why we like them and where you can buy them. We also have great contests and giveaways and a variety of writers that contribute to the magazine so there’s always something new to read. We speak to women predominately between the ages of 35 - 55. 4.
Describe a typical day at Stimuli Magazine? What is involved in putting together an issue?
Did I mention about hair straight back on fire?! Since we are primarily an online publication, we are sending out a new "issue" twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Content is uploaded on a regular basis and then on those two days we send out an email to our subscriber base highlighting all the new content with linking it to the site for them to read and view images. To be honest - shopping is involved in putting together an issue! People always ask how we find so many great things to feature and the answer is that our eyes are always open, always scouting out the next great idea. It just comes naturally! We have a team of excellent writers that contribute as well which adds different viewpoints and styles to the magazine so that we can appeal to a broad range of women and interests.
What have been some challenges you have encountered?
Web design is always an issue - having a fantastic web designer is critical. But really, the biggest challenge is building readership and letting women know that we're out there and that we're free to subscribe to.
Where do you hope to see Stimuli in the future?
The possibilities are endless. We are currently putting the finishing touches on our first print edition of the magazine which will be available on Nov. 13th. Next up? Developing an app.
You have many contributors and an intern, what do you look for when seeking contributors to your publication?
I look for someone who is passionate about their topic. Someone who is creative and very self-sufficient. Someone who can source a story idea and write a column from start to finish. I'm always excited to see their ideas.
Are you a mom? Or have a family? If so, how do you balance your life and work? Any tips for entrepreneurial mom’s/women out there?
I am a mom to a 14 year old daughter. Balance; the never-solved challenge in every working mom's life. I worked out of my home for 2 years and surprisingly, it wasn't until I got office space outside of the home that I achieved more balance. My home time became my home time again. It is certainly much easier now that I have a high-school aged child. There's less daytime schedule juggling now - no daycare needed. My advice is let go of the guilt. Be OK with the fact that you can never do it all all at once. There will be days when you're super mom and days when you're super business woman. Your child will benefit from watching a strong, successful woman build a business or career and they'll still know they are loved - even on the days they don't get as much of your attention.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love reading & wakeboarding - although not at the same time, I am a magazine junkie and those that know me know that I consider shopping a bit of a sport. Where do you see the future of online publications? With new advancements in technology almost daily, I see online becoming more and more popular. Sites like issuu.com and zino.com give millions of users access to thousands of publication, both free and paid, like never before. Publications will become even more interactive as well.
Any tips for anyone considering venturing into the world of publishing?
Do your research. Know your competition and who is doing what. Find your niche market. Make sure you're OK with having constant, consuming deadlines! Consider costs. It can be very expensive to produce a printed publication.
So thrilled to have met Maryanne and to have been introduced to this gem! Glad to see strong women forging ahead and giving women the strength and inspiration to live life to the fullest.