Who are you and what is your background?
I am Kitty Drake, a journalist, and one of the editors of Ladybeard Magazine.
In what city?
We started with a sex issue a few years ago with a pink vibrator on the cover. The idea behind Ladybeard has always been to open up old topics lie sex, and beauty in unexpected ways. We wanted to read something funny, and challenging, with stories about real people feeling difficult or uncomfortable emotion. So we decided to make it.
We look for stories that are honest, and that makes you think about a topic in a different way. For our mind issue, for example, we had a feature about why suicide prevention emphasis in the UK mental health system might actually misguided: there shouldn’t be such a stigma against suicide, maybe people have the right to decide about their own lives.
Print: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why? Typography?
We love print media. A print magazine is so luscious, and importantly it stays still and has this lovely sense of completeness — it is formally whole — when the internet makes reading so fractured. You’re always scrolling to the next thing. With a printed magazine you can have a reading experience and come out the other side having actually felt and completed something and may be changed a little on the way.
How’s the public response?
It’s good! We have an audience which is small, as with all indie print audiences, but enthusiastic.
Can you give us a tour of your local media scene?
Well, it’s just the London media scene really! In terms of other indie titles, we love Oof, Mushpit, Ordinary, Buffalo, The Gourmand, MacGuffin.
Business: Good print mags get a lot of love, but is not always translated to sales or advertising. How’re the sales? Advertising-wise, is it a normal approach of selling an ad page or more a brand ad approach?
We don’t sell advertising! Our motivation is feminist! We are anti-advertising! And we’re fed up of buying mags that just tell you to buy something else.
What is your online strategy?
We concentrate on print. We don’t really see ourselves as an online brand.
About design, what does your brand represent/reflect?
Our design is playful and colorful – we want to present sometimes serious, political content, but design it so it’s juicy and fun to read.
What inspires you and motivates you to go to work every day?
The freedom to do what you want with the pages, because you are making it with friends and its up to you.
What were your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?
Motivating ourselves! And all the fiddly financial bits.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a magazine?
Make sure you really really want to because it is hard and exhausting.
We are working (slowly) on our power issue.