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Friends quit jobs to become their own editors

By Fiona Reid
Friends quit jobs to become their own editors

HARRIET STEELE took the ultimate leap of faith when she quit her job and moved on to her friend’s couch in order to create her own magazine.

Ex Lockerbie Academy student Harriet, 24, and her friend Julia Martin, both RSAMD graduates, quit their jobs last year to start IN BLOOM and become the ultimate girl bosses.

Harriet said:  “On paper it would seem mad that we would want to leave the lifestyle that we had but it’s the creative curse.

“So in April 2014 we quit our jobs, I moved on to a friend’s couch in Glasgow and we started to make the magazine.”

The pair pitched the idea very early on in the magazine’s creative stage and successfully received a grant from Glasgow based Beyond the Finish Line.

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GIRL BOSSES . . . Harriet Steele and Julia Martin with issue 2 of IN BLOOM

Discussing their inspiration to create their own Glasgow based magazine, Harriet said: “The main purpose behind us creating our own magazine was that we noticed a severe lack of opportunity for Scottish creative talent and especially for people trying for the first time to break into the industry.

“There was basically nothing showing Scotland’s creative scene at an international level.

“We wanted to break down the concept that if you wanted to work in print you had to go down to London and work for free, who can afford that any way?

“The reaction we got in the first month from telling people about the idea really proved that this is a major problem, so many people wanted to be involved.”

For Harriet the magazine industry has always had a special appeal.

She said: “Since I was really young I have had an interest in high-end fashion magazines like Vogue but also independent magazines like Lula and Dazed and Confused.”

The small town girl added: “I think the thing that I felt reading Vogue, coming from a small town, was that there was this whole exciting world out there where women dressed powerfully and no one conformed to the high street trends.

“The pricing of the outfits as well made me realise that a woman can be so successful, enough to make a Prada dress a reality.”

However, there have been teething problems with the bi-annual publication.

Harriet said: “I think that having to sell your own product is always hard and we have had to learn to network and talk at conferences, which I still find really difficult, but it’s important to make connections and market yourself and your product.

“Working out how we are going to cover print costs is always a nightmare as well but each time we somehow manage to pull it out of the bag.”

But she says every moment of panic and pain is worth it to see the finished project.

She said: “It’s like giving birth, it’s super painful and difficult and you think it’s never going to end then suddenly we have a beautiful baby in our hands.

“It’s always a really proud moment.”

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WORLD WIDE . . . IN BLOOM on sale in a Malaysian store 

Looking to the future, she added: “I keep reading all these scary things saying print is dead and magazine culture is dying away and I really hope that isn’t true.

“If it is I wouldn’t want IN BLOOM to just be an online app, I’m not interested in that at all.

“So hopefully we will be able to continue printing and selling and becoming bigger and better at what we do.”

IN BLOOM is sold all over the world from Asia to Australia and South America.

Harriet said: “When we first started getting tweets about the magazine from customers it was amazing because we didn’t even know some of the places in Asia and these people where getting excited about it.

“One girl in Australia tweeted us a picture of her room covered in pull-outs of the magazine.

“With social media we can connect in seconds to customers all over the world.”

Describing the magazine’s style, Harriet said: “We are aimed towards magazine lovers, people who want to know what’s going on internationally in the creative scene be that in music, fashion or opinion.

“We feature all sorts of different things – we have had interviews with Paulo Nutini, Prides, Frightened Rabbit so lots of music and up and coming bands.

“We have opinion pieces on topics like feminism and what it means to be an artist in 2015.

“Alongside every fashion editorial we also include interviews with the creative, this is something that is unique and I think it’s also really important.

“We want any young person reading the magazine to see the amazing work, be inspired and to come away with more knowledge on how that photographer became a photographer.

“We want to inspire a new generation.”

To purchase a copy of IN BLOOM visit