Let me just start by saying, that running a magazine is an incredible journey, but this past week had me want to throw in the towel and hand it all over to my business partner. Yes, we're growing and making waves in Atlanta, but this week, it's been the most stressful yet.
Where do I even start?
But, you know what? I'm all about being open and transparent with my amazing HerTribe community, so let's dive right in. Jasmine, my partner, was the visionary who saw the immense potential in our brand. As for me, I was a bit skeptical at first. I've had my fair share of businesses that didn't quite pan out, and I've always been wary of getting my hopes up. But this magazine dream had been simmering within me, largely thanks to my all-time favorite childhood movie, "13 Going on 30."
Watching Jenna transform from a 13-year-old into a successful magazine editor was nothing short of inspiring, especially the part where real people became the stories and graced the cover. And so, Becoming Her Magazine was born from that very idea!
Now, let's get into what I affectionately call this "hell week." If you're not familiar with our Core HerValues, let me break them down for you:
1. Empowerment: We're all about recognizing the inherent strength and potential in every woman. Our core value of empowerment drives us to lift up women's voices, stories, and achievements, fostering a sense of confidence, self-worth, and capability in every reader.
2. Inclusivity: Inclusivity is at the heart of our brand. We're committed to showcasing the diverse experiences, backgrounds, and journeys of women from all walks of life. By creating an inclusive space, we celebrate the power of unity and shared stories.
3. Authenticity: Authenticity is the cornerstone of Becoming Her Magazine. We value real, unfiltered stories that women bring to the forefront. Our dedication to authenticity encourages women to embrace their true selves, inspiring genuine connections and personal growth.
4. Resilience: Resilience speaks to the strength that women exhibit in overcoming challenges and setbacks. It's a value that shines through the stories we share, reminding our readers that they have the capacity to triumph over adversity and emerge stronger than ever.
5. God-Affirming: Our commitment to being a God-affirming brand is fundamental. We honor and respect the spiritual journeys of women, fostering an environment where faith, hope, and spiritual growth are celebrated.
As a brand, we strive to approach people with grace, and make sure we are all aligned. It's never our goal to offend anyone.
And speaking of staying true to our values, my business partner and I strongly believe in putting God first in our business. If you're curious about her perspective, check out her blog post titled "I was a witch in the making." It sheds light on why we've chosen this path. Now the blog is not to offend anyone just to shine light onto her decision.
Now, since we celebrate all women and are a female-focused brand, we're aware that some women may lead lifestyles that don't align with our values. While they might support such lifestyles, we, as a brand, don't choose to go down that path. Our Core HerValues are proudly displayed on Instagram and our website for all to see if they align with our brand.
It's ultimately up to potential features to determine if we're a good fit for them too.
In our seven months of business, we've occasionally received applications from women who don't align with our brand, and we've sent polite decline emails. Most understood and moved on. However, this week, things took a different turn. It's never our intention to hurt anyone, but we stand by our values, and our unwavering support is reserved for GOD! We respect everyone's beliefs, whatever they may be.
The chaos of this situation has been a learning experience for us. We're now going to shout it from the rooftops: WE ARE A GOD-AFFIRMING BRAND! For no one will never feel hurt by us again. By creating more content that is front and center, people will be able to see it. Our link in our bio has been updated to ensure no one can miss it. We are making sure we hit every angle of this because ultimately we did hurt someone's feelings, and I formally apologized to her because that's never my intent.
"hell week" had more surprises in store than we ever imagined! 😅
One thing that really got under my skin during HELL WEEK was when one of our featured individuals simply declared that our graphic was not up to par without offering any constructive criticism. Now, My mom always said, "It's not just what you say, it's how you say it." And that's something my mom instilled in me from a young age.
I firmly believe in approaching people with grace and respect, and I think it's only fair to communicate issues in a constructive manner. Instead of just pointing out flaws, we should be asking questions like, "Hey, this doesn't quite align with my branding. How can we work together to resolve this so I can uphold my end of the contract?" It's all about fostering a positive and collaborative environment.
This situation served as a powerful inspiration, though. It prompted me to create an array of 13 new graphics for our featured individuals to choose from. Now, they can pick one that aligns perfectly with their branding. And, as we're all about continuous improvement, I'm also adding a new clause to our contracts regarding branding. This way, we can ensure that our visuals complement each feature's unique style.
But that's not all! This experience has ignited a spark of creativity in me. I'm introducing a brand-new mandatory posting graphic, titled "I am featured inside of the Becoming Her Magazine." This graphic will not only celebrate our amazing features but also serve as a reminder of the incredible journey we're on together. While giving them a better experience and having the feeling of being the face of our magazine.
Here is the new graphic
Our feature for September 2023, Witlee Ethan!
We had other issues that I can't blog about , but let's say I was so frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. So, even amidst the chaos, we're using this "hell week" as a catalyst for growth, improvement, and innovation. But that's not all – after all that chaos, we had a major communication breakdown that needed immediate fixing, and honestly, this whole situation almost had me ready to throw in the towel.
Stay tuned as we navigate these challenges and continue on this amazing journey of Becoming Her Magazine