"You started a magazine," I said. "Are you aware of that?"
This was in a conversation with Liz Kalloch and Stefanie Renee, the masterminds behind Mabel, a brand new magazine launched this past spring. I remember when they started brainstorming about the idea, oh, about six months before I held the first issue in my hands. Six months! From the spark of an idea to a magazine. These two don't mess around.
I am, in many ways, a homebody who loves doing things like folding laundry, putting away groceries, and walking our dog. I also happen to be a lover of Big Dreams, and when I see my friends make them real I want the whole world to know about it. How many creative ideas flutter across the landscape of someone's imagination in a day? One? Ten? 48? Whatever the number, how many of those ideas are actually executed? How many of them become real - something tangible, solid, something other people can see and feel and hold? I'm no statistician, but I'd say not many. Despite my inability to accurately quantify the world's ratio of Ideas Had to Ideas Executed, I can say with a fair level of confidence that most people don't just up and decide to start a magazine. Because one doesn't just "start a magazine"; it requires all kinds of tasks and details and organizing. Liz and Stef didn't just come up with the idea and then - spoink! - Mabel popped up, they enlisted their friends and colleagues to join the fun, found a printer, built a website, created a system for sales, ordering and shipping, oh, and figured out things like advertising rates, a launch party, retail pricing, logo design, and submission guidelines.
They did it! And they did it beautifully.
They did it so beautifully they sold out of their first print run. After declaring they'd be happy if they sold 100 copies, they cleared out an inventory of 400. After doing the work to manifest the ideas and intentions they arranged on their first Mabel vision board, they created a magazine I heard described the same way over and over again: "This is EXACTLY the kind of magazine I want to read!" With stories on successes and failures, on joy and melancholy, on bright beginnings and heartbreaking good-byes, it is a magazine that positively glows. It is real. It is thought-provoking. It is something I am incredibly proud to have been involved in.
It is Mabel, and it was created by my friends.
The last few issues of Mabel's premiere issue are about to run out. Hurry and snatch up your copy before it's too late right here! Pre-orders for their November issue will begin SOON.