Words by Madisen Quick
I joined the Holl & Lane team as Sarah's assistant in October 2016 with an absolute love of independent magazines. But, of course, it wasn't long before I realized that there is much more that goes into making these magazines than I ever realized. So here goes what I learned about working at an independent magazine so far:
Focus, Focus, Focus
As content creators, our first instinct is to offer our readers as much content as we can push out. However, our growth at Holl & Lane has come from learning what our readers love about us– that we're a supportive, thoughtful space to discuss real life– and paring down our content to give them more of this. For us, this meant cutting out extra sections of our magazine and moving away from daily blog posts to focus on life stories. You don't have to be everyone's publication one-stop-shop to offer something valuable and create a loyal community of readers.
At any magazine, the weeks leading up to an issue launch are going to be crazy busy. So when I'm calling tons of potentials stockists (phone calls are the stuff of introvert nightmares, am I right?), it's Holl & Lane's mission that makes all the difference for me. Our mission to connect women through shared experiences always puts the crazy weeks back in perspective and pushes me to keep going even though the terrifying phone calls!
Even the Best Ideas Sometimes Fail
In many ways, Holl & Lane is still a baby mag. A lot of what we do is trying new ideas, experimenting, and hoping it sticks. Just in my first year, we've had a bunch of ideas that I was convinced would be absolute slam-dunks. We all thought "This is the blog post/H&L product/Instagram post that's going to make us a household name, right?!" Until they were total duds. This is just part of being a start-up. So we put what we learn in our back pockets and keep on experimenting!
Comment below and tell me: what's a lesson/value/experience you've learned in the last 9 months?
Madisen Quick is the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Holl & Lane Magazine. She is currently a senior at Wellesley College where she studies English and mathematics.