Style Kingdom is a fashion forward magazine that celebrated its 1st year anniversary in November. Dougie Boxen is the man behind the magazine and he has a lot to share about the past year and what’s to come.
I sat down with Dougie to talk about his hiring process for models, how well readership has been, advertising and his future plans for Style Kingdom.
Interview with Dougie Boxen
Lanai: Hi Dougie, congratulations on your anniversary! Can you believe it has already been a year since your first issue? How has this year been?
Dougie: Hi Lanai! Looking back on this past year, I’m really glad for all the “crap” thrown at me. The journey wasn’t easy, certainly not smooth sailing all the way but it has definitely made me a stronger person with a clear direction on how I want Style Kingdom to move.
Lanai: That is the attitude to have in this industry! What do you have planned in November to celebrate this milestone?
Dougie: Due to the thanksgiving holiday, I’ll be planning two parties to celebrate. One with the general public consisting of the readers & supporters and another private party for the staff & models of Style Kingdom.
Lanai: Sounds like fun. I know the world of media and it can be so unpredictable. What are some of the things that surprised you in the last year?
Dougie: Honestly, the thing which surprised me the most was how well received Style Kingdom became. I never expected the readership to reach our present level and that Style Kingdom has become a magazine models would request to be part of. Every week I get note cards dropped into my inventory by certified models requesting to join my official model’s team. It’s really humbling.
Lanai:That’s fabulous. You do a fantastic job so I am not really suprized by how well it is being received. It can be a bit of a learning curve when things are constantly changing and new ideas need to be approached? How do you keep up?
Dougie: Lanai, you’re spot on when saying this! I have been struggling this past year to think up interesting themes to place in the magazine. Ultimately, after a relaxing day at the beach with some beer and wonderful sun, I came to this conclusion that even though Style Kingdom is a Second Life magazine, I still want it to be full of life, where readers are able to relate it to real life. Therefore you can observe many themes are directly related to real life and it brings that special connection to the reader.
Lanai:I like the real life connection associated with Second Life because it brings both worlds together. Let’s talk about Models and what you look for when seeking out the ones perfect for Style Kingdom. What qualities do you look for and what is your hiring procedure?
Dougie: Lanai, I wouldn’t use the word perfect. Humans are imperfect to being with and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what looks good to me may not be true to another. What I look for when hiring models most importantly, they need to have GREAT working attitude and love to stay active even if the tasks given weren’t print jobs. I will always ask enquire around about models who request to join. Models who have consistent negative feedback will definitely not be accepted.
Lanai: Well said. You have a valid point. Do you foresee any new developments in the process?
Dougie: I’ve planned a lot of new things for Style Kingdom, other than just the magazine itself. Coming December 2013, Style Kingdom will be doing its very own runway show for a down-to-earth designer. I’m in charge of planning it and have coordinated with the staff of the club we’ll be using to showcase the designer’s clothes. This will be one of many runway shows we’ll be hosting in the future.
I’ve also introduced having exclusive MESH group gifts made for Style Kingdom readers, scheduled to be given out early December 2013. All they need to do is join the in-world group to get the gifts via group notices. Group gifts will be a once in 2 month thing and they aren’t those mesh templates sold on marketplace.
Lanai: Those are some great incentives for being a group member. Advertising is a big deal in popular magazines too, especially in Second Life Fashion. What are your Ad policies?
Dougie: Store owners will be glad to know that even though Style Kingdom has a group of awesome photographers to produce the quality spreads we publish in each magazine vol, advertising is given free to all stores/contest organizers/schools.
Another new development for Style Kingdom is that advertisements of real life companies will also be shown. This idea came from Jett and I thought it would be great to add that in the magazine. Doing cross advertising for both worlds will be beneficial to all. In the 1st yr anniversary magazine, you can see an advertisement for a real world photography company, a special discount coupon is attached to the ad for Style Kingdom readers to use if they wish to purchase their services.
Lanai:I like to do cross advertising too and agree it is beneficial to all. In order to increase advertising, people want to know how visible their ads will be. How has Style Kingdom’s readership been since debuting a year ago?
Dougie: Style Kingdom’s readership has been very consistent this past year. Every main volume has reached a minimum of 3000 reads (not impressions) and our first mini special (which we were very hush about it and didn’t do any teasers) came up to over 1500 reads. Style Kingdom is published using ISSUU and those who know ISSUU well know the disadvantage about their current statistic history is only able to show reads in the past 6 months.
However, I’ve been requesting ISSUU to come up with a statistics platform that shows the total number of reads (not impressions) for every magazine since the time they were uploaded to present. I’m glad that the staff of ISSUU has finally given me a firm reply that they have been working on this feature to be available to everyone who uses ISSUU to publish magazines.
Lanai: Nice, that is very proactive of you to consult with ISSUU in that way and I am sure it will be useful to many others using the service. So what are your plans for the New Year and beyond?
Dougie: In real life, I’ll be travelling a lot more in 2014 but it won’t affect my plans for Style Kingdom. I’ll just be carrying out what I mentioned for the above questions.
Lanai: It sounds like you have all your ducks in order. Thank you for sharing this exciting news about Style Kingdom. I wish you all the best!
1st Year Anniversary Magazine - http://issuu.com/style_kingdom/docs/stylekingdom-nov2013-vol5