Sunday, 10 January 2010

Ten Questions with Stephanie J, Editor In Chief of N.E.E.T Magazine

For this edition of Ten Questions I've been joined by Stephanie J, the Editor In Chief over at N.E.E.T Magazine, somewhere you may have heard me mention before...
I love making lists of my favourite things, things I'd love to achieve, and on that latter piece of procrastination is, pretty near the top the fact that N.E.E.T is the online magazine I'd most love to write for in the world, and looking at the layouts and killer format and content I hope you can see why! So it is a great honour for me to be doing this interview so thanks Stephanie & N.E.E.T, and to all my readers - enjoy! You can read the magazine, check out the back issues and hit up the magazine's blog HERE!
So to start up, introduce yourself and your magazine...
N.E.E.T. began in December 2005 as a quarterly, online publication, laid out in a magazine format - as a showcase for grassroots creativity. 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. N.E.E.T. Magazine is an eco-friendly, grassroots style bible for the digital age. I organise, lay out and design everything in the magazine, so it's really a one-woman-band!
Doesn't N.E.E.T stand for "Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training" on all those government tax forms? Isn't that a bit of a depressing thing to name a magazine, or did you name it after something else?
Yes, that's where the name came from! I was 'NEET' at the time of starting the magazine, and you're right, it has a somewhat derogatory meaning, referring to young people who aren't employed or doing anything considered "worthwhile" - I took the term and gave it to the magazine to show that there are many people who are working for themselves, or doing many different things - not just working in one career path or in a 9 to 5 job in an office.
How long have you been the Editor of N.E.E.T for? What did you do before that?
I started the magazine in 2005, and I had just quit a Fine Art degree, feeling the rigidity and often falseness of the artworld wasn't for me. I still felt I needed a creative outlet, and that's how N.E.E.T. began.

Why independent and grassroots fashion?
Having been part of many communities on the internet (Livejournal, Flickr, Deviantart, even Myspace) I knew there was a large community of people out there who were creating, designing and making, because they had a desire to. They weren't backed by big business, and they didn't need to be. That's the beauty of the internet - everyone can have a voice. And the best fashion, the most innovative and immediate style and design, comes from us, the people.
Have you always wanted to work in fashion, or is it something you just fell into? Do you see yourself continuing in this field?
I have always been interested in fashion, from wearing humungous clip on earrings at five, some serious fashion faux-pas in the 90s as a teenager, and it was a natural extension of my interests.
You also run your own web and graphic design service, Design by Stephanie J. How did that come about? Was that always the plan?
I got into designing websites for myself, when every teenage girl seemed to have a personal site, before the explosion of blogs. Friends needed sites or graphic design work, and they came to me.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get going in the fashion industry, or even start their own magazine?
There has been a massive growth in the number of online magazines since N.E.E.T. began five years ago - from one-man-teams to major publications going digital. The best advice to someone wanting to start an online magazine is to have a unique selling point. N.E.E.T.'s is that it features independent fashion - including vintage, fairtrade, eco-friendly and organic. There are so many print and digital mags churning out the same haute couture or the same highstreet fashion, and N.E.E.T. brings something new to the table.
What do you enjoy doing asides from running the magazine and your design services?
Shopping, and going to the pub!

Describe a day in your life...
When I'm working on the magazine, it often doesn't feel like I'm working! I get to read a 1000 blogs, researching shops and artists, answering emails and organising advertising. I also research for the N.E.E.T. Blog ( which features designers and artists from past issues of the magazine. I'm a nightowl so I stay up until the early hours working and watching trashy tv!
So what's next for both N.E.E.T and Stephanie?
The blog's been a great addition to the magazine, and I plan to continue and grow that. I'd also like to get involved with other sites related to independent fashion and design. I have plans for a N.E.E.T. book and even a N.E.E.T. shop!

Thanks so much again for the interview. You can also find Stephanie's web design services HERE!

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