At a time when print media is said to be in decline, launching a print magazine would seem a strange proposition for an entrepreneur to pursue.
But Jac Bowie has little time to be concerned by any naysayers. The founder of Business in Heels, one of the country’s fastest growing women’s networking groups, which has opened 50 branches since launching in 2013, plans to soon launch her first magazine.
“I’ve had a lot of people call me crazy,” she tells Women’s Agenda. “I thought about the reasons I never ever throw out a Vanity Fair or Highlife Magazine, and it became obvious that we wanted to do print, we just need to create the ‘LOVE’ factor in our content.”
It helps also that Bowie’s has some good business advice — including from Sir Richard Branson whom she once worked for in a marketing capacity. “We had many conversations about my early business ideas — he said once to me, ‘Jac, we’d never want to lose you, but for god sake go start a business’.”
The childhood actor and theatre producer went on to create a business offering burlesque events, which was where she started generating a large social media following, and later came up with the idea to offer networking events for women. She started with three events in Sydney before being asked by a producer to develop something similar in Melbourne, and was later approached by 26 branch director applications across six countries.
The next step is offering something tangible to Business in Heels event attendees in the form of a magazine, with a ‘preview’ print run of 5000 copies and plans to go monthly early next year.
She’s already recruited author Tara Moss to feature on the cover, and now needs to raise the $25,000 to get the first issue up and running — paying for writers, design and production. Readers who donate will receive a copy of the magazine before the general public and be recognised by name as making the first edition possible. Advertisers can also purchase ads in the magazine through a Pozible donation, with a half page going for $750, and smaller opportunities for $50.
Bowie says she turned to Pozible after deciding other options, such as working with an existing publisher and outsourcing ad services, would not fit with the magazine’s purpose.
“We didn’t want to compromise on the content, involvement, and ownership of our members around the world. The best way to give them ownership of this magazine, is to give them ownership of the magazine!”
If the campaign is successful, she’ll follow other Australian entrepreneurs in publishing a regular print product for entrepreneurs, including Lisa Messenger, publisher and founder of Renegade Collective Magazine, and Emma Isaacs, Business Chicks CEO, which publishes Latte magazine.
Bowie’s magazine will cover top female business personalities, upcoming businesses, trends, issues and advice written by business and women’s interest journalists. It will feature sections on business, wellbeing, beauty and fashion sections.
“This magazine is really going to be go to guide for female business owners and entrepreneurs. Whilst topical and with some glossy woman’s interest material, it’s going to have real grunt when it comes to business advice, tools, reviews, something our readers can pick up again six months or six years down the track and refer to,” says Bowie,
With 45 days to go, the campaign had raised $375 at the time of publishing this morning.