1. Sophie! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do:
I am an avid dreamer and creator. I always have a million ideas going through my head and to be honest, I try and do most of them. There are definitely a few hundred though that sit in a book in my bedside drawer, waiting for the right season to come out and play. I love love my family and am very close to them all. I am a passionate lover of my country and my city. I have worked in a lot of different arenas and I love that. I have worked in retail, food, helped my parents open a cafe, coffee, nannying, corporate, agencies, design, freelance and small business. I play a lot of music in my spare time, either on my piano or through my headphones, whichever suits the mood.
I am currently the Editor in Chief of Sceen'ry Magazine which is a bi-annual print travel magazine that focuses on a different city in each volume. We get locals within each city to photograph their favourite places to eat and explore and then we pull it all together.
2. What made you decide to start your own magazine?:
I was working in Corporate Travel for a number of years. Corporate was never my cup of tea, but I knew there was so much to be learned in it so I stuck it out and boy, am I so glad that I did. I left to go travel America and live with some friends. Upon returning, I met up with a friend who had been to similar places but had very different experiences, not knowing locals. This sparked the idea of starting a print magazine that locals contributed to, to show their favourite places in their city. It was a risk leaving corporate but it was also liberating and something that really pushed me to do what I was passionate about.
3. What do you love most about your job?
I love meeting PEOPLE. People are everything to me. Everyone has a different story and everyone's stories are valid. We try and find the hidden people within each city who are doing something remarkable and stop to listen to their stories.
We encourage everyone to do this. When you're getting coffee in the morning, talk to your barista, your server or the person clearing your table. Be aware of other people and their stories, I bet they have something that will impact you.
I also love working for myself. Its extremely challenging but so fun. You set the boundaries and you get to dream the big dreams.
4. Flying all over the world and experiencing new places sounds so glamorous, but have you had to face any challenges along the way?
I love that everyone thinks I travel all the time and that it all appears so glamorous. I thought that that's what it would look like when I started the business but it is very far from that.
I do travel, but at the moment, it is very short business trips that look more like lots of meetings. Now don't get me wrong, lots of it is super fun, the photoshoots and the interviews. 95% of my time though, looks like sitting in front of my computer and answering emails, editing articles and calculating finances... exciting right? haha.
Starting your own business is challenging in every sense of the word. The biggest one for me is carving out time to have fun. To not feel guilty when you go to the beach for a swim or get a coffee with a friend.
7. Any advice for someone who wants to start their own magazine or even their own business?
Do LOTS of research. Spend time talking to people, gleaning wisdom and create a great business plan. Work out your costs and how much you will need to start. Don't be afraid to take time so you can start well.
8. Any exciting projects coming up?
Yes, so many! We have a few secret ones, but we are also working on our Melbourne volume which launches in November in Melbourne and we are also heading over there for the Big Design Market. We are so stoked.