Atlas Magazine began as a hobby for two students alongside their studies, but by graduation time the fashion magazine had turned into something much bigger. So, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, co-founders Olivia and Megan decided to take Atlas to the next level and build a career from it. We caught up with Olivia to find out more about her journey from student to magazine editor.
Could you give us a bit of background about yourself and Atlas Magazine?
Atlas started when I was 20. I met a girl online, Megan Breukelman, with whom I shared a passion for fashion, photography and magazines. We became close, and decided to start a magazine of our own. It was only meant to be a fun project on the side of uni! We never had any big plans for it, but after two and a half years, we’d amassed quite a large following, and I knew I didn’t want to go into a normal 9-5 job… So I took the plunge and set out to turn Atlas into a full time print and digital magazine.
Image credit: Idenna PR
How would you say your university course helped you get to where you are today?
I definitely think university helped me. Not only in terms of learning about imagery and technique (I studied Fashion Photography in Falmouth), but also in drive and independence. I was surrounded by some seriously talented students, and we all bounced off each creatively.
Why did you decide to set up a Kickstarter for the magazine and how vital was it in realising your vision?
The Kickstarter was essential for Atlas’ transition from purely online to print as well. We’re all very young, and had very little funding that we could put towards the business. The Kickstarter allowed us to raise the money we needed, but also to build on our community, and make the contributors feel really involved in our development.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Motivation, willpower and the ability to stay calm!
What is an average working day like for you?
I work part time three days a week, but the other four days are spent on Atlas. I normally get up at around 7, have a quick breakfast, and then head to my desk
. I’ll do emails and social media for a bit, and then onto all the other tasks. We’re currently building a new website, so that’s taking a lot of my time right now. I’ll work till about 5 and then go to the gym for a bit, and then when I get home I do more emails and more work! Not a second goes by that Atlas isn’t on my mind. I work a lot, but it doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing what you love.
What is the most important piece of advice you’d offer current students with big ideas like yours?
Don’t feel scared or intimidated. If you’ve got an idea, just go for it. If I had spent too much time thinking about how Atlas could go wrong, I would never have pursued it. Try not to overthink things. Most importantly though, have fun!
How would you describe being an entrepreneur in one sentence?
You’ll never consider yourself an entrepreneur; you just work hard, be passionate and do what you love.
To find out more about Atlas Magazine and to read the Atlas Magazine blog, head to their website or read more interviews from our Tomorrow’s Leaders series.