i was thrilled that stephanie, the editor and founder of n.e.e.t. magazine, agreed to take part in the “taking the leap” interview series. i came across the magazine last year…and have been obsessed ever since. (i literally spent hours that day browsing through all the back issues!). it’s always chock full of beautiful items, cool designs and great features like their diy tutorials. plus, it’s pure eye candy – i love the styling – and you can click right on the page to pull up the shop to buy what you see!
and to keep gushing…did i mention it’s free? how cool is that?!
so, i couldn’t wait to hear her advice and how she got started…and now i’m even more amazed by her! not only does she run the magazine, but she also does web design work and she’s committed to getting people interested in independent design. (btw, love her answer to her perfect day…don’t you want to join her?!)
can you share a bit about yourself…what’s your background? how did you get started?
N.E.E.T. came about in 2005 as an online publication dedicated to showcasing independent talent – design, art, and general fantastic originality. N.E.E.T. is the first of its kind, online, free and packed with everyone from a crafter creating from their kitchen table, to a fashion design graduate straight out of college, to a team of people doing it for the love of it. i hope and feel that i have in some way brought independent creativity to those who may not have had a prior interest in it. i think that as long as there are people who create without needing (or wanting) the backing of a multi-million pound corporation (and there have been people doing just that since the beginning of time) there will always be an interest in things like N.E.E.T.! N.E.E.T. magazine is an eco-friendly, grassroots style bible for the digital age.
N.E.E.T. is so-called because it’s actually a UK government classification meaning “Not Engaged in Employment, Education or Training” – which I wasn’t when i started the magazine – i’d dropped out of art school, and was generally discouraged with life and art, so took the time out and started N.E.E.T. the term ‘NEET’ has a somewhat derogatory meaning, referring to young people who aren’t employed or doing anything really worthwhile - i took the term and gave it to the magazine to show that there are many people who are self-employed, or doing many different things – not just working in one career or in an office.
where do you get your inspiration from?
the internet is an endless source of inspiration – it enables people from all over the world to communicate and display their fashion and art. blogs – my favourites are those which incorporate fashion, design, photography and personal style. on a more ~whimsical~ note: the seasons, pattern, colour and music.
i’m always fascinated by those who are able to take the leap…what hurdles, if any, did you have to overcome? are you able to pursue your dream full-time?
yes, i run N.E.E.T. fulltime, along with my webdesign work over at design by stephanie j. it can be hard to stay committed when you’re self-employed, but few other jobs would give me the freedom N.E.E.T. affords me, or allow me to be as creative and in control.
can you give us an idea of what a typical day is like for you?
blogging on the N.E.E.T. blog, answering emails, organising advertising, or working on the next issue of the magazine.
creating and running a small business can be time consuming, can you share how you manage to balance home/work life?
i work to my own schedule, which is mainly good! i’m not a morning person, i’m often nocturnal, so i can work when i feel inspired. i live with my boyfriend, so he’s always there, and i can take time off when and if i need it.
what one piece of advice can you share with other aspiring biz owners…and artists trying to get noticed?
the best piece of advice is to do what you love, and what you’re good at. when you’re at school, it’s no coicidence you’re better at the subjects you enjoy, and if you can incorporate that into your work, then you’re more likely to succeed. on the practical side of things (and this is a bugbear of mine!!) – your shop or site is the first port of call when potential buyers/magazine editors/bloggers see you. put time and care into showcasing yourself, and it will pay off.
just for fun…what’s your idea of a perfect day?
hot sun, sitting in a pub garden with my friends, and having nothing to do except laugh!
most glamorous part of running a business/creating a magazine?
it’s not as glamorous as you might think! i’m hardly anna wintour. but the creativity of the magazine is what makes it worthwhile.
sitting in my pyjamas at 3am finishing an issue!
what are some of your favorite blogs or shops/websites?
my favorite blogs include: creature comforts / heysusy / bleubird vintage
shops and websites: pixie market / pret a portobello / fred flare
any guilty pleasures?
shoes and lager!
thanks stephanie for stopping by one sydney road and sharing with us!
you can find stephanie here: neet magazine/ blog / design by stephanie j