Golly Magazine: Talking shop with the ladies behind our new favorite publication
Tired of seeing the same kinds of articles and editorial spreads in women’s magazines showcasing only a narrow view of beauty and what it means to be a woman today, Roxanne Fequiere and Alley O'Shea decided to take matters into their own hands. The result? Your new favorite quarterly: Golly Magazine, which aims to be “modern, irreverent, and inclusive—a new approach to the women's interest genre,” as it is described on the site.
Roxanne, Golly’s editor-in-chief, and Alley, creative director, recently published the first issue of the magazine, which is full of a range of interesting content -- from an interview with Saturn expert and astronaut Dr. Linda J Spilker to tips on houseplants for those of us with brown thumbs. To fund the future of the magazine, the ladies decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. As a backer (and big fan), I'm happy to report that its future is looking bright: not only have they met their goal, but they've surpassed it by $2,000 (and counting).
Obviously Social met up with Roxanne and Alley to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of crowd-funding, their sources of inspiration and producing a print publication in the digital age.
In a time when many are declaring that "print is dead," what were the deciding factors behind launching a print publication? Are you going to have a digital property as well? If so, what would that look like?
There are so many smart and visually-striking print upstarts out there that the whole "print is dead" argument seems a bit myopic. Our thinking was that, after years of feeling underserved by traditional print media, women's titles in particular, there was a gaping hole in the market for a magazine that spoke to a variety of women's interests (including but not at all restricted to fashion, beauty, and relationships), while depicting people of all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities and gender identities. So many of us have gotten used to the idea of only expecting to see a certain type of woman when you flip through a magazine—seeing yourself represented on the page can be a very powerful thing. That said, we definitely plan to expand into online content. Since the magazine is a quarterly publication, there are certain news stories and off-the-cuff items that run the risk of being out-of-date by the time an issue goes to print. Developing an online platform for Golly will allow us to offer our readers a steady stream of thoughtful commentary and great imagery in the interim between print editions.
Why did you choose Kickstarter for your fundraising? What have you found to be the benefits and drawbacks of crowd-funding?
We wanted to make sure that our inaugural issue connected with readers while we work on expanding our stockist list, so crowd-funding works as a built-in distribution mechanism for us. The obvious drawback is the ever-present fear of not reaching our goal. We're all losing sleep in these final days of the campaign!
How has social media help raise money and awareness around Golly Magazine?
Before our first issue had even gone to print, social media gave us an opportunity to share our mission, refine our aesthetic, and connect directly with potential readers. Their comments—both positive and negative—are invaluable.
Where do you find inspiration for upcoming issues?
Every time we all get together for a brainstorming session, we're brimming with so many ideas that narrowing them down can be a daunting task. We use one phrase per issue that sums up each edition's "big idea" and helps us organize our thoughts a bit. If you check out the spine of Issue 01, you'll see the phrase we used for our first outing: "wet, hot, American."
Who would be your dream interview subject for the magazine? Dream article?
Since we're dreaming, can we interview subjects beyond the grave? Vivian Maier, Audre Lorde, Mary Beard, Zora Neale Hurston, Yuri Kochiyama...the list goes on. As for dream articles, some of those are already in the works for Issue 02—stay tuned!
Want to hear more from Roxanne and Alley? Check out their answers to our Proust Questionnaire.
Lucia Davis is director of content at Obviously Social. Follow her on Twitter: @LKCDavis.