Wednesday, May 5, 2010
MAY HEROINE ENTREPRENEUR - REBECCA CARLSON + A GIVEAWAY
2. A woman noted for special achievement in a particular field.
Hola Beautifuls! I am happy to introduce you to this month's Heroine Entrepreneur...
1. Tell us about your business, products, services and what makes it special or unique.
Purely Delicious is a quarterly raw and eco-friendly lifestyle magazine. One thing that makes it unique is the production quality (design, quality of printing, professional writing and photography). Additionally, the fact that we are not focused on one small aspect of raw food, but on the entire lifestyle, from green products, pets and makeup to interviews, recipes and fitness makes us unique. The content of Purely Delicious is specifically geared to help people make small steps toward their goals, so we appeal to beginners as well as well seasoned raw foodists.
Our online retail store, 123RAW.COM, offers a full line of raw food products and eco-friendly items, such as bamboo towels and sheets and soy candles. 123RAW has the same target demographic and operating philosophy as Purely Delicious, and both the magazine and the store are focused on giving back to the community.
2. Purely Delicious is a high quality print magazine. How did you come about developing and delivering such a great product?
Thank you – that is very kind. One of my primary goals when I bought Purely Delicious, was to produce something that looked just as slick and professional as a Gourmet or Food and Wine magazine, but with a raw and eco-lifestyle angle. Luckily, I was able to call on my experience as a designer to help bring the raw message to a more mainstream audience. But I certainly couldn’t do it without the help and support of a lot of talented and wonderful individuals co-laboring with me.
3. What sparked the development of and idea for your business?
Before I embraced the raw lifestyle, I was at one of those life-turning points. I was successful in my career as a creative director, but had been doing it for many years and the stress was taking its toll on me. I knew I wanted to do something different but I wasn't sure what. Meanwhile, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which eventually led me to discover the raw food diet. Once my MS symptoms started going away and I was once again feeling so good, the diet evolved into a personal mission to help people by using the talents and skills developed over the course of my career.
4. Have you always been in the magazine industry? Do you have a history in this area?
I was a designer and a creative director for many years. I had the good fortune to work with some fun and wonderful clients, such as Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, and I also had the opportunity to work on a magazine for six or seven years. So the magazine industry wasn’t a new thing to me, though I was previously responsible only for the design, and was not involved in the editorial aspect. Now I work on all facets of production So while there has certainly been a steep learning curve, it's not as bad as if I hadn't had some past connection to the magazine industry.
5. How much support did you receive when you first started out?
Some people were incredibly supportive, such as my mom, husband and best friend. But I also met with quite a bit of resistance from people who were worried I was making a big mistake. They counseled me to go back to the safety of a full-time position, etc. But looking back – and even now – It seems that whenever I spoke a need, a few days later out of the blue someone would show up and volunteer to help or otherwise solve the problem. So, in that sense – from proofreaders to writing and photography, etc. -- the raw community has been extremely supportive.
6. Did you always envision you business growing to be sold in major stores like Whole Foods?
Yes. I remember standing there at the checkout line visualizing the cover in the magazine rack. It was only a short time after I did that, Whole Foods e-mailed me with a distribution contract to look over. I would love to see Purely Delicious in every airport and Borders too, but we’re not quite there yet. Baby steps.
7. Is there anything that you wish you would have done or handled differently?
Life is just too short to waste on regret, but I probably would have sought more outside funding earlier in the process and asked for help earlier.
8. What was your biggest hurdle in developing your business?
I think that would have to be the tendency of spreading myself too thin by not delegating and by working on too many projects and ideas at once. Even now, I have three to four binders of back-burner projects I’m just itching to work on.
Finding advertisers in such a down market is a hurdle too. We launched exactly when everyone was cutting back on their advertising budgets. Luckily, businesses are booking space now, especially now that we are in Whole Foods Markets and have received recognition as “Best Raw Magazine of 2009.”
9. How did you stay motivated or what kept you motivated whenever you hit a bump/pothole in the road or a difficult time?
My motivation came – and continues to come – from friends, family, my husband and lots of prayer. The funny thing is that just when I may think, "OK, that’s it – I’m quitting,” I'll receive a lovely and encouraging e-mail or phone call from a subscriber telling me how much the magazine has helped them or how a friend or family member picked it up and started reading it. That’s what keeps me going. I actually created a little mailbox where I place all of the nice e-mails. I need to put a label on it that says “Break glass in case of motivational emergency!”
10. What advice would you give to women who are seeking to do what you are doing?
Don’t make business decisions until you have developed a tight, one- to two-line mission statement defining your goals and values. Then pass every single decision you make through that mission statement to see if it fits. If it doesn’t fit, don’t do it.
Our mission statement is, “We make the raw food and eco-lifestyle understandable and doable for the masses in a fun, creative and upscale way. We give to charity and seek to bring joy and health to mind, body and spirit.” Also, don't be in anything solely for the money. Follow your passion, and the money will present itself
11. Is there anything new & exciting that we can expect from your Purely Delicious magazine in the future?
Absolutely! Some things are still under wraps because they are in development, but we are looking forward to unveiling a new and improved Web site and an online version of the magazine in the very near future.
**A note for Rebecca**
Rebecca, I cannot express to you how much I appreciate your time for this interview. I highly respect your work and am in love with your magazine. I am convinced that the work you do is bringing healthy and conscious living to the awareness of more and more people each day. I wish you great and continued success in your present and future.
Peace and blessings,
You can connect with Rebecca at:
Purely Delicious blog
**open to U.S. and Canadian residents only**
I'm sure that there are many of you out there who have no idea what the raw foods lifestyle is about. Or you wonder if its really for you. Or you're just plain curious about it. Maybe you're looking into living a healthier life and you'd like to learn more about it. Well, I am positive that reading Purely Delicious magazine will give you the answers you seek and more.
Thanks to the kind and lovely Rebecca Carlson, one person will win a 1-year subscription of Purely Delicious magazine. All that is asked of you is to leave a comment about your desire to embrace a healthier lifestyle and why. You have until Tuesday, May 13th at midnight EST. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on Wednesday, May 14th.
I wish you all the best!!
**The top heroine photo is the Marvel comics character, Elektra**