Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Style Sample Magazine

The Satorialist revealed his much anticipated book on his blog and let me tell you the support he received from fellow bloggers was overwhelming. When the self named book is released in a few weeks I am sure it will gallop into the bestsellers list. The power of the blogger has grown immensely over the last few years with us gaining access to VIP events, being featured in glossy magazines while a few of us have even been taken on as consultants for hip brands. The growth in bloggers has created a community which inspires one another hence the Independent Fashion Bloggers aka IFB which is one of the largest blogger networks in the world. IFB was introduced by Jennine Tamm in 2007 and is a wonderful online forum for fashion bloggers to meet, exchange ideas and offer each other gain support.

Now that practice has been taken offline in the shape of Style Sample Magazine which is written by bloggers for bloggers. I stumbled across Style Sample a few weeks back when I was just browsing and was riveted by what I saw. The publication features articles about a wide variety of bloggers across the world. It was set up by Tamia Stimson earlier this year and already amassed an impressive following. I decided it was time to catch up with Tamia and find out what the deal was with Style Sample.

How did you come up with the name Style Sample?
I did an event a few years ago called Sample Designer Collective, and decided I wanted to stick with the Sample name. I also wanted my blog's initials--TSS--to be the same as my initials. Since the magazine was sort of a spin-off of the blog, I kept the name.

Is the magazine available in hard copy?
Yes, Style Sample Magazine is available online at MagCloud, an online print on demand service and you can order as many copies as you'd like. Currently, MagCloud only ships to the US, UK, and Canada, but they plan to offer shipping to other countries soon.

The digital format is an exciting one – what made you decide to use it?
The idea of digital publishing really appealed to me because I'm a bit of a geek and tend to spend a lot of time online. I became aware of the flash-based flip magazine format a few years ago and knew I wanted to take advantage of the technology some day--obviously the magazine presented the perfect opportunity to do so.

How many people are involved in the production of the magazine?
I believe there were 25 bloggers who contributed to the June/July issue. All of the content--from writing, to editing, to photography and illustrations--is produced by the wonderful bloggers who are featured as writers, editors, and subjects in the magazine. I do the design and layout, proofread all of the articles, find and edit additional content and images, and write whatever is still needed after the contributors do their part.

Reading the magazine I can see that you have featured an interesting range of bloggers; how do you decide which blogger to feature?
I look at a number of variables, the most important being quality content. Bloggers with a clearly defined personal style and sharp writing tend to be able to express themselves well in articles and interviews. Since fashion is aesthetically driven, the look and layout of a blog is also important as it helps draw readers in. I try to include a variety of styles and personalities and feature bloggers from diverse locations in each issue to mix things up, so hopefully there's something for everyone.

How long have you been blogging and what made you start?
I created a site called Coquette Style back in 2004 or so, before I even knew what blogging was. I posted pictures of my outfits, inspiration...pretty much the same things I post about today, now that I think about it. That lasted about two months because updating was really tedious. I started TheStyleSample.com in November of 2008 because I missed having that creative outlet and wanted to get back in the game, so to speak.

What is your day job?
I work in marketing for a biopharmaceutical company.

Describe a day in the life of Tamia Stinson.
I get up and go to work. I spend way too much time picking out clothes, but I usually head out the door around 7:45am and walk to the office--it's only a few blocks and I hate driving. During the course of the day I try to engage in social media via Twitter and various blogs I follow, check and respond to my email regularly, and keep up with the latest tech news--I'm a bit of a geek in that respect. After work, I head to the gym to work out or straight home if I have a lot of work to do. I try to knock out a blog post or two, take some pictures with my boyfriend (he's my main photographer and is very patient, thank God!), work on the magazine, do some social networking on Facebook, Chictopia, TheFashionSpot or one of the many other sites I frequent, or catch up on my list of "read later" items. If I'm in the mood to cook I'll make dinner, and if not I'll go out and grab a bite or get something when I'm out at a meeting or event--I usually have something I have to attend at least once a week. I make my to-do list for the next day, take care of my cat, hop in the shower, and get in bed with a magazine for stylish dreams...

Name your top five blogs
chrisbrogan.com - He just seems like such a nice guy and has great ideas and insights into the world of social media strategy.
jasonsantamaria.com - A graphic designer who does the kinds of amazingly creative work I like to think I'd do if I was a "real" designer.
jezebel - Alternately snarky and socially conscious girl-talk for hipsters.
smashingmagazine - Useful and inspiring web design tips, tricks and techniques.
The Cut - New York's mag's blog has a cleverly twisted take on fashion news and info

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
I subscribe to Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Fashion Mini, and Lucky right now. I love treating myself to overseas mags like Russh Australia, L'Officiel Paris, ViVi (Japanese mag), and Jalouse when I can afford it.

If a blogger would like to be featured in Style Sample, how would they go about it?
Fashion bloggers are welcome to sign up to contribute at Style Sample, all they need to do is click here. All submissions are reviewed and contributors are determined according to the criteria above.

7 cool comments:

Kwana said...

Great interview and what a good idea. Digital publishing cannot be ignored today.

Anonymous said...

A well-crafted and edited interview. An interesting concept too, I wish them much success!

WendyB said...

I was just in touch with Tamia recently! Great interview.

And we should all have a shrine to the lovely and proactive Jennine.

Mik Harewam said...

Hi Ondo Lady. This is The Blog About Nothing from Yahoo 360. Nice to find you here. :)

Sheena said...

That is a great interview! I love reading Style Sample mag and it's great hearing how the magazine comes together.

Anonymous said...

Wow how inspiring. Even more so, as this wonderful woman works in biopharmaceuticals for a day job - and I am a marketing assistant in Pharma myself. Such an aspiration!

Eyeliah said...

Very cool, I will check it out. Thanks.