The Girls Arrive February 2017

A new issue of the magazine will be out February 4, 2015. Taking a year off from producing BRINK gave me, as an editor, a greater insight into the publications purpose. I'll be editing with a "less is more" approach and nixing fluff. There are a great deal of magazines that handle reviews, new media releases and gossip. BRINK is going to stick to what BRINK does best and that's highlight people making things happen. More stories, interviews and editorials that have integrity, value and merit and leave you inspired, intrigued and asking questions. 

The new issue is themed "girls." It features all girls and is written and photographed by all girls. It's a concept to provide you with stories and thoughts that leave you wanting more and championing those that are making it happen. You are going to love it. I promise. 

They'll be four issues this year. One each season. The new issues will look a little different compared to past issues. The issue will be available at a few shops in the United States and online - print and digital. I want the issue to be your keepsake, collectors item - something that you can look back on for advice, knowledge and power. It's on sale now for pre-order

Sharing is caring. By sharing this blog or sharing/tagging news on our social media you'll be attracting more eyes on stories that genuinely make a difference. 

If you want to collaborate, write, photograph, draw - email me: editor@brinkmagonline.com. Accepting submissions, chatting and happy to say hello. 

See you soon,

Kyle Menard 
Founding Editor

Four Issues of BRINK in 2015

The past year has given me enough time to reflect on the magazine in 2015. I've learned quite a bit from putting the magazine on hiatus and discovering what others are doing in the industry. I've been inspired and motivated. I've been watching names and looking at people making moves in different industries. Now, it's time to put them into the magazine.

In the new year, the magazine will focus on four seasonal issues. Each will be bigger than any previous issue and each will have more purpose. There will be more of a reason for each interview. The magazine's soul purpose has always been, "how did you do that?" and we'll strengthen that mission. 

We have a fresh new logo and we'll have a new issue out in time for spring. Each issue will be limited edition. Only a certain amount will be ordered. Once they're gone, they're gone. Each issue will have flat rate cost and all forthcoming issues will cost the same. 

I'm excited to share this new vision with you. I hope you feel the shift and it inspires you to live your best life and be the best you can be. 

- Kyle, Founding Editor

BRINK 2.0 Relaunch Set for Q1 2015

A lot of people ask me if I'm bringing the magazine back. I often want to say, "yes! It's coming back!" But the truth is, it's difficult to bring back with one main ingredient. A team.

This year, I wanted to focus on complete and total transparency for not only the intention of he magazine but what goes on to create the magazine. Not only is it a lot of work, but I see much more potential than it ever accomplished in its prime.

The magazine kicked off in 2009 as a local publication for Orlando, Florida.

In August of 2011, the magazine switched gears and went national.

In 2013, the magazine had its own free app and was sold in select NYC newsstands.

By the end of 2013, I was completely burnt out.  

Engagement wasn't where it should have been and overall subscription and want/need for BRINK was too low to keep it moving.

However, I love the idea of BRINKBreaking an act before they break. Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX - we featured many  people before they hit it big. That's the whole idea. To feature talented folks who we know will hit it big, before they hit it big. It's a hard sell. We have to pump up this person and sell the magazine when people don't know who it is most of the time. 

I have direction for 2015, but I can't get there alone. I also can't get there with the old BRINK model. A team consisting of people "helping out" and doing what they can. I need people all in. I need the team to see the vision and want success. I need the team to share issues and create conversations. I need the team to absolutely fall in love with the brand.

Currently, I am so inspired by a few companies that have renewed my purpose in this publication. They give me the strength to provide you with the ins and outs of the magazine and a clearer picture of who's doing what. I want to rid the magazine of vague updates and generic newsletters and add personality.

Here's what I need for a small successful team:

Content Director: You seek out fresh content, respond to leads and work on partnerships with established brands and potential companies to increase our awareness.

Business Director: Someone who knows how to get the team paid. The team always worked for credit or a small fee that personally came from my pocket. That's not the way to run a business. It's not about money, but it's about respecting your team for their effort, time and contributions. A person that knows finances and what money should be going where and how to gain investors and advertisers. Let's talk.

Videographer:  My right hand man or woman. I want BRINK to go in a new direction. Video is the key. I need you. You and me equals best friends. You get what I would be looking for and you love it. You're engaged, excited and have no signs of slowing down.

Photographer: In 2013, I had the opportunity of being introduced to a great LA photographer, Jared Kocka. Jared was an excellent photographer, but even better was that we were both on the same exact page. Jared was hungry and I tried to feed him. The result was that five out of the six covers looked like they came from the same place. That's what I want. I want people to know every time they pick up or download a copy of BRINK, that it's BRINK without even seeing the title.

Social Media Manager: A lot of people think they have this down. They don't. You eat and breathe social media. You're the person that checks your email every ten minutes, so much so that you see the clock change on the bottom of your email client. You check your Instagram so often that no one updates anything. You understand that when an Instagram user has 16k followers and 200 likes on a picture from two weeks ago that nothings what it seems. On top of all this, you love the publication, have no limits on posting news and don't need to be told what to do. Images and text updates are simple, effective and look similar in posts feature. Also, you love life.

Contributors (3-6): Self explanatory, but you're a writer who loves to write and are passionate about people. You're hungry for multiple projects and to have your voice be heard.

Designer: Arguably, you have the toughest job. I designed the magazine the last four years and I just don't do it justice. Unlike me, you know how to design, you love to do it and it gives you great pleasure. You have design inspirations and collect magazine and book clippings.YOU. GET. IT.

The ultimate goal of BRINK is to showcase what one person has done to get to where they are today. This creates an interesting issue, because the person is unknown most of the time. That's why our audience needs to really understand who why are, why they should follow BRINK and why they need it in their life.

I can't do this without the team. I can't do this without people sharing. I want to bring the coolest magazine that has a purpose to enrich your life and make your days brighter.

I have vision. Relaunch for January 2015. Here we go.

Ideas, questions, comments, suggestions? Sound off in the comments!

- Kyle / Editor

Meghan Trainor and her "Bass" Rise to the Top

In the climax of summer, a new song has finally reached the top of the summit on the iTunes chart and it truly feels like the right track for the season. Decoys to the side please, Meghan Trainor and her feel-good, underdog song, "All About That Bass," ousted new contenders from the likes of Nikki Minaj, Jessie J and Ariana Grande. Meghan, if you're reading, it's fair to say we are all about that bass.

Dear BRINK Magazine: Lessons From the Editor 4

This post is in a series of posts that originated here. They consist of Q&A lessons between myself and the editor of AfroElle magazine out of Kenya. The intent is to provide lessons in business form the things I have learned from publishing my own magazine for almost five years. Here is the fourth Q&A, lesson 4.

Happy New Month, Kyle!

I'm late on my weekly email but its here.Thank you for your last response and all the wisdom you poured into it.

I will be implementing the intern idea and reducing the number. A few follow up questions.

1. Do i need to have volunteers sign the non-disclosure agreement?

2. What kind of work did you give your intern assistant or did she do? How long did she serve alongside you?

Now for these weeks questions.

1. If a company were to charge you to make digital their magazine, having done Brink and knowing the amount of work that it takes, how much would you charge them roughly?

2. If you were to start a new magazine, what are some things you would now consider in the start-up that you didn't?

3. How would you make it profitable from the word go? I find its harder to transition to monetizing when a magazine has been available free.

Thank you and lovely week

Hey Patricia!

It's been almost a month! I am so sorry for the delay, I got wrapped up in too many different things. Rest assured, I'm back!

1. Do i need to have volunteers sign the non-disclosure agreement?

Not necessarily. If If the person is just a volunteer for a short amount a time (a day or two), then no, I wouldn't have them sign anything. However, if we are talking about interns, yes! Have every intern sign a non-disclosure.

2. What kind of work did you give your intern assistant or did she do? How long did she serve alongside you?

Based on my last intern, Arielle, she stayed with BRINK for two semesters. She was fantastic. Arielle worked on a variety of different duties for the magazine. She not only helped me with my day to day work and assisted me with any communications to various photographers and beauty personal, but I also had her execute phone interviews and writing assignments. I wanted to make sure that Arielle was indeed helping me, but also gaining something out of the experience. It's like, if she wasn't doing phone interviews and writing assignments, how would she learn? Now, some internships would be different, because they might not care so much about the intern, but I wanted to make sure it was fruitful for all parties. I also trusted (and respected) Arielle a great deal. You have to get to a point where you feel comfortable relinquishing control to someone.

Now for these weeks questions.

1. If a company were to charge you to make digital their magazine, having done Brink and knowing the amount of work that it takes, how much would you charge them roughly?

Are you asking as a freelancer, if someone wanted you to create their magazine, what would you charge? Let me know, because I can directly answer that! if not, rephrase this question, I'm not quite sure what you mean. :)

2. If you were to start a new magazine, what are some things you would now consider in the start-up that you didn't?

Great question! The biggest piece of the puzzle is that I would make sure I had a proper team in place. At least two other people. A photographer and a designer perhaps. People absolutely, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt committed to the project for at least a year. After that, I would make sure there was a clear, clean, mission for the magazine. I would ensure everyone that visited the social media and online pages knew why they were going to the pages and what they were getting into with the publication. I would do more networking and events too.

Not a physical thing, but I would "own" the magazine more. A lot of times I downplayed BRINK, what I did, what it was capable of and the audience. I was on the edge of always acting like it wasn't good enough. I've now realized it really was good enough, especially the last two years...especially that last year. "OWN IT!"

Some things with BRINK, I would keep exactly the same or improve upon. I think our social media was pretty good and options for digital/app was a big help in getting the magazine into hands of readers.

3. How would you make it profitable from the word go? I find its harder to transition to monetizing when a magazine has been available free.

So hard! I don't have the answer for this one. I suppose solidify advertising so much more. Really get a grasp on that one. yes, that's what I would do. I would gather some hardcore advertisers from the onset of the magazine and go from there. Its a hard task, but depending on how much you need, it could work. I would also do a lot more to promote future issues without having the future issue out yet. I keep noticing this magazine, "Hello Mr." and they promote the hell out of a future third issue, but there's no set date. I kind of like that and it shows somethings coming, but vaguely - which could work independently.

I have a question for you! How have things been these last couple months? Any changes implemented? Anything smoothing out?

Dear BRINK Magazine: Lessons From the Editor 3

This post is in a series of posts that originated here. They consist of Q&A lessons between myself and the editor of AfroElle magazine out of Kenya. The intent is to provide lessons in business form the things I have learned from publishing my own magazine for almost five years. Here is the third Q&A, lesson 3.

Hi Kyle,

I'm probably going to be saying thank you with every email- so bare with me. I was just thinking the other day while processing your email- this is the first time ever, in four years someone has told me the truth about this magazine life. The first time! So thank you!!

That last email had alot of gems. So will answer it by the points. This will be a looooooong email  and will probably be all over the place so hope you understand:-)

1. Interns

Is it too late to make a call for Spring interns and does this take 6 months? We don't have Spring here but most of my readers are from US so i need to been on that timing. I was thinking of getting a total of 5 interns according to the current needs- social media, graphic design, public relations and marketing, 2 bloggers. Is there something I'm missing or should i add more. I've wanted to get a social media person for a long time, thing is trust. How sure am i that they won't post anything that does not show the best of my brand or that they won't do something shady? How did that work for you? Did you have any agreement written down? Secondly, when it comes to PR, i realize that people know the brand but don't know the person behind the brand. That's been intentional on my side for a while since i like being the person behind the scenes but i feel like its time people knew more about the editor, so I'm hoping the PR person can secure features and publicity for that.

The kind of internship I'd want for them is one full of experience and something that won't be too stressful to manage on my side. What set apart your interns and how was the application process, what should I look out for, what should they have in terms of experience- blog etc?

Btw, did you ever have an assistant intern? pros and cons? I could really use ALOT of help.

2. Advertising- I hear you! Thank you for your honesty. I will change up the rates and simplify the kit. I've been so scared of put them high and loosing out but then again i realize if the rates are too low then they might think something is wrong. "Advertising is about their brand, their company, their words. They talked, I listened." I'm going to take those words with me everywhere.

In the beginning i used to give free ad space- I hear you on that, I will approach some top fashion brands about that and hope the other small brands will see and reach out

3. Events- I haven't held any events at all. Because I'm the only staff currently in Kenya and the rest scattered around the world and because I work from my small corner of the house, I'm not there yet. But I want to get there, I want to get out of my comfort zone (cos its out of my zone) and get the magazine out there. What i will do for sure is buy some printed copies and walk around with a couple and network. I'm hoping for the 5th anniversary coming up next year, that i will have an event somehow.
Can you kindly elaborate more of getting free sponsors on board for an event.

Side note: Since the magazine covers women's issues. Someone once suggested if i could go the non-profit way, get organizations focused on women to pay for sponsorship. What do you think about that?

4. Relax, Relate, Release (heard that from an episode of A Different World when one of the characters, Whitley was going to see a therapist)

I hear you! I feel like taking a break is what I have never done. Prior to that i only get 5 hrs of sleep the week before and afterwards its scheduling tweets, then emails and then back to the magazine. And i'm going to take your advice seriously. It can wait. I use both tools, were you scheduling tweets before the issue release?

Btw, you had an editorial calender, how ahead of an issue would you work? (i feel like that line is not grammatically correct -_-. I'm currently working two issues ahead to give me more time. I wasn't as organized last year. Actually i'm trying to be better.

5. Magcloud

Every issue, i get people asking for print copies but the magcloud copies are so expensive. Is it something worth exploring. Would you buy directly from Magcloud and resell at a slightly higher price? What percentage of your readers bought print?

Please feel free to share the Q&A on your blog, believe you me, every editor starting out or in the beginning stages needs to hear your advice. I say that with all honesty, I feel like I'm in class -learning every time you communicate.

Btw, did you ever take Journalism in school? What are you currently doing now that you are on break from the magazine? I would like to pursue a MA in magazine journalism not sure if its worth it on not.

You are a blessing, thanks Kyle!

Talk soon and have a great week ahead. I've just remember after hitting send- under internship, what did you use to manage your team? You mentioned having Brink time for each where you discussed their work, so how long before evaluation? what tools did you use to manage the team- Google calendar? In other words, how do you manage a virtual internship and virtual team?

Morning!

I'm so glad your finding something from these emails, even if it's just support. I have two screens open and now I'm going to go through your list.

1. Interns - Remember, this is YOUR company, YOUR brand. You don't have to play by any rules but the rules you create. So while most students will have a classic "spring, summer, fall" schedule, some might not. So definitely look for those interns now. You'll probably find summer interns ready to go now and who will sign up for credit and will also be willing to start early. It will probably only take a few weeks, not six months. If it takes six months, that's not worth your time.

Also, five interns might be a lot. I'm speaking form experience. One summer I had five interns and it was too many. In hindsight, what I should've down was had one or two and given them more responsibility. Not all interns will be like you and you might end up spending some good time educating them on the role they play. The design intern might be really hard to find and a diamond in the rough. But you could lump marketing, social media and pr together. Have that one person work every Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday is marketing and Thursday is pr and both days are social media days.

I 100% understand the trust thing with social media, but the thing is, if you want to move forward and relinquish some of the control, you're going to have to lay it out on the line. However, be smart about it. Don't give them all social media passwords, just twitter and Instagram. Give them rules and consequences. Don't mince words and let them know what your expectation of them is. Also, think of this, I interned at MTV and Sony music back in the day and they gave me all their passwords for everything. So why, as a very small business, are we not letting some people in? We don't have too much to lose, but everything to gain. You're never going to be totally sure that they will post the right thing, but you'll need to monitor. That's what you're there for and I wouldn't be surprised if you're on Twitter and Instagram all the time anyway. Also, I would have my interns set up tweets in Hootsuite or another twitter management tool (do you use these tools? I think you do. If not, start nowww!) and they wouldn't have access to the official Twitter. Then, I could go in and look at the posts before they were sent out. Sometimes, I would just have them "live tweet" awards shows or things that made sense for the brand too. So I knew they were on at a particular time.

In terms of documents, I had all my interns sign a non-disclosure. This was just to be buttoned up that BRINK business was BRINK business and not their business. if you don't have one, Google "simple non-disclosure form" and alter it to make it right for you. Save it and then give this to your intern after they are hired and before they start. You must get a signed copy back. If they screw up, they're warned or fired. They don't get college credit and will need to answer to their college adviser.

You're right about the PR for the Editor. Give the intern some instruction on finding news outlets and publications that highlight what you're doing, what your goal is and what the intention of the magazine is.

My last intern was more like an Intern assistant. She was AWESOME! This is who you want. She was by my side (electronically) and she helped more than she knew. The thing was she was eager to do the work and jumped at opportunities. As I would! So someone like that is who you need and they are out there. That one person might be all you need too.

Intern management: bi weekly calls, almost daily emails. That was about it. They were always on call on the days they were designated to work. They had to be responsible for those days. You don't want the intern as your fiene, because they want them to respect you, but you need a good relationship, so they're like, your "buddy." An in-between.

2. Awesome about advertising, I'm glad that helped a bit, just as support. This is your hardest part and probably the part you like the least, so just do the best you can and always look for someone who knows more than you on this subject. When you find them, recruit them!!

3. Events. Hmm. I don't know about the non-profit thing, I don't think that's the best idea.

However, you could do events without even having a physical event. You could have an Instagram event where people tag their pictures with whatever theme you're looking for and promote and you'll publish three of your favorites. Promote it like an event, give a deadline date. People want to be published. Or, every other day on Instagram you publish/repost an image from a reader. They have to tag you or do a social hashtag and you select the one you like best and that fits with the brand. "Today's AfroElle pic comes from @soandso who demonstrates their girl power in Canada! We love this @soandso, keep it up!" Or whatever you want to see. It casts a wide net for your brand and people get excited about that. The thing is to be consistent with this kind of idea though. For examples on Instagram, look at SanDiego_CA, they do a good job.

Sponsors. This is as simple as being prepared and having a plan. Approach potential sponsors for what you need for any event. Cast a widddddde net, because many will say no. You need a venue, food, drink and a few other things. Find a local venue and let them know you're looking for space and have a next-to-nothing budget. Let them know you're willing to give them premium ad space and social media love. See what you can work out from there. Then repeat for your your other needs. You will need to be epically charismatic and outgoing and enthusiastic about the people that will be coming to THEIR venue. It's all about them and what's in it for them. But it's really about you and the magazine, but to THEM, its about THEM. I don't mean it to sound so deceitful, but everyone wants something for them and what they will get out of it. Who wouldn't?

4. Love the A Different World quote, used to watch that all the time! I think you sound as far ahead in your schedule as you can be. You're not Vogue, BRINK is not Vogue, we can't schedule too far in advance and often have to fly by the seat of our pants. I would have ideas laid out for future issues and ATTEMPT to be one issue head.

5. MagCloud. This is my favorite publishing tool and DEFINITELY changed the game for me, the magazine and how far I could take the magazine. At one point, I did have the magazine and all the issues on the BRINK website and marked up a little bit and then resold. This was a good and bad idea. The good was that the buyer didn't need to deal with a MagCloud account or feel committed to MagCloud. They could simply buy a copy from BRINK, very easily. It was bad because it was a TON of work and became a costly game. At this point, I would say just link up to MagCloud and have that be it. At least for now and at this stage. Don't give away copies for free.

Awesome about the blog posts. I'll start posting for people soon! Thank you for the kind words!

I did not take journalism in school, but I do like to write a bit. I studied marketing in school and any job I've had always had something to do with that field. Since I stopped the magazine in January, everything has been pretty awesome. I think stopping and regrouping was the best thing I could have done. This year, I've had a lot of moments, like these emails to you, come to me. I feel like that stands for something and makes me feel good about what the magazine represented. I started a personal blog in January and just talk about life and the things I'm up to, you can find it here. On April 20th, I was supposed to take five months and start hiking thru the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, but some circumstances have halted that dream and I'm going to hold onto it for next year. Despite many challenges, this year has been a really great so far, so I'm going with the flow. It still blows my mind how many people email BRINK looking to get published and many people continue to join our social media platforms even though its not operating. It also solidifies that people just want something for themselves and their work and have no real connection or concern for the publication. Like, I literally say, "the magazine is on hiatus with no definite plans to restart" and their response is, "let me know when we can work on something together for the magazine!" #SideEye! Ha! It's like, too funny.

Okay, until next time. I think we have a good weekly going here!

Dear BRINK Magazine: Lessons From the Editor 2

This post is in a series of posts that originated here. They consist of Q&A lessons between myself and the editor of AfroElle magazine out of Kenya. The intent is to provide lessons in business form the things I have learned from publishing my own magazine for almost five years. Here is the second Q&A, lesson 2.

Hi Kyle,

Good Morning from Kenya! Hope your week has started well. Last week was a
little busy with releasing a new issue and now onto the next one.  Thank
you for your insight. I've already started implementing what you mentioned
in your last email. When i read it i was like 'why didn't i meet you
sooner'. Your advise is solid!

I'll be making a call for interns in about a week and i'm excited about
this and committed to making it work.Like you, I've been keeping the behind
the scenes movements a mystery even to the contributors but now, I used to
feel like i also want them to get the suspense on every issue and to feel
excited about it. Now i've already initiated conversations about what
really goes on behind the scenes and the amount of work and I hope with
this transparency they will still be committed. I don't know how long it
will take to make it absolutely profitable.

Which brings me to another dynamic of the magazine - Advertising. I've
never sent more cold emails in my life. :-) Rejection is painful but out of
the 20 i send in a day or two, at least i get a response from one or get an
advertiser from one. So the more emails i get, the more chances of getting
a client. I've been giving myself targets every month and this is
motivating me to try harder and look for different avenues.

How did you go about with advertising? What worked for you and what didn't? My
problem is, how do i retain them after they've advertised the first time?
How do i attract them to keep advertising with us? Currently, i offer free
ad designing to the advertisers and a little social media advise. Most of
the advertisers are new business owners with upcoming brands and are
looking to get a presence on social media. I love this group of advertisers
because I can create a lasting relationship. But how do I do that? Advice?

Ive attached pieces of our Media kit for your commenting and or correction.
What do you think of the packages? What can I change or add? What other
avenues should I pursue?

Btw, How did you stay motivated between the issues? I find that after i've
released an issue, i experience burn out, yet its the time I'm supposed to
get the word out on Social media and rave about the new issue. What i used
to do is tweet as many people as I can about it, but was afraid of being
marked as spam. Thats a whole topic for another email.</em>

Thanks again, Kyle.

Talk soon!

Patricia M.

Hi Patricia!

Good morning from Florida! I have to check out your new issue. In my
opinion, that always seemed to be the most exciting time of the
publication. I'm glad my advice helped a bit. It can be hard to be
transparent about your brand when you're trying to develop it as it's own
entity. However, I think when you show more "you" in your brand, it will
come though, shine a light and bring the audience you deserve. Check out
these brands here on social media. I love their originality and the way
click and they way it feels authentic. I should along more, they're
inspiring...

Hello Mr. / http://instagram.com/hellomrmag
The Gentlewoman - Facebook / https://www.facebook.com/thegentlewoman

The intern thing is the way to go. Let me know if you need any advice on
anything with that has to do with the process. I've had some not so great
interns and some amazing interns and I think I figured out what set them
apart.

Advertising was the hardest section of the magazine for me and the
publication. Honestly, I never quite figured it out. I had a tough time
gaining advertisers, keeping advertisers and with advertising in general. I
did have some success, so let me touch on what worked for me and the pub.

One word. *Networking*. It was all about who I knew, how I knew them and
what I was going to do for them. It was about them, not me, not the
magazine. It was about their brand, their company, their words. They
talked, I listened. A majority of the advertising that BRINK ever received
was from people I had a relationship with or people *who knew people* that
took out advertising.

(Side note from the future: I wrote this email *and then *looked at your
images, so I see you have social media perks. The below might be redundant,
but I'm going to leave it in. Okay, carry on reading!)

1. Events. Go to events. Bring a copy of your magazine. (Side note:
Patrica, if you're ordering magazines from MagCloud - I know that can be
expensive - you do not need to let the consumer keep the magazine. Simply
let them know that that's the only copy you have on hand for the networking
and take their email and let them know you'll follow up with them about
getting a magazine. Then, follow up with them and take it from there. You
might be able to shoot them over a nice link to get their own copy. It's
business. You're not their friend. I gave away wayyyyyyy too many magazines
and probably lost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to only get
nothing in return, not even gratitude. Once again, it's *business*. Tha
Biz-ness.) Okay, so you go to events, you have your magazine on hand and *you
are the most charismatic person in the room*. People want to know who you
are, look at you and are intrigued by you. In conversation, open up about
the magazine, what part you play and if they have a brand that has *needs*.
Mention that you have advertising and it includes some special social media
perks. I think social media perks are much bigger than you (or whoever)
designing the ad. If they don''t see the value in social media, that's
their loss.

That brings us to the next topic. Designing the ad for the client is fine,
but 9 times out of ten, they will have an ad ready to go. If not, offer the
design, I think that's cool, but it takes more time away form you, away
form Patrica. And you need some Patrica time, so you don't go crazy. What
you can do, which is easy for you, is to set up some social media perks. If
they take out an ad, then they get four tweets a month, two Instagram image
updates and two Facebook posts about their brand. They'll be tagged and *you'll
expand their reach with your brand*. In rare cases, if they don't have
social media, well, that's a problem right there and let them know you'll
do freelance social media work for them! (Not really kidding!) There's
other things you could do besides social media perks, but I think that's
the easiest for you and the best for them.

2. Go *to *the business. This is a tough one because it could be
*solicitation*. But you could visit the business and make up a cheap, quick
one sheet magazine card and give it to them. This actually worked for me
with small businesses.

3. All other communication methods (phone/email/etc.). Along with your
phone calls, follow up with emails and then follow up with another phone
call a couple weeks later. Honestly, being aggressive and overbearing works
in some cases. Some people will get angry and nasty and say nasty things,
but if you can get past these people, you'll find some diamonds in the
mine.

4. Prices. *Hike those prices up! *They are too low. Unless you're getting
great advertisers now, hike the rates up. I think the images (now that I
viewed, forgive me!) for the kit are a little two confusing. Simplify
everything. Have your different rate plans for different ad sizes and under
those ad sizes are plans. What they get with each plan, then delete all the
other stuff. And your prices are too low. If you ordered magazines on
MagCloud, you could only order like....three or four! Haha! Get rid of the
1/4 page if you want. I ended up only doing full or half page ads for
people, after that, there were no other options. I just liked the way it
looked and people never said anything otherwise.

5. Give big brands FREE ad space. I used to work at Warner Records (B.o.B.,
Marina and the Diamonds, etc...) and so I reached out to them and told them
to send me some ads and I'd put them in for free. They loved it and always
sent along ads when I followed up with an email. I knew they would never
pay my little independent magazine ad dollars, but having them in the a
magazine looked good. So once again, *who do you know? *What's your network
look like?

I had the hardest time with advertising. Remember, it's all about who you
know and networking. Getting out there will be the best for your business.
Have you had any events for your magazine yet?

That's goes into the next question you asked. You mentioned how to keep
things fresh and not feeling burned out. Sometimes, you need to do things*
for you*. An event can be something for you. YOU get the chance to do
something for other people which is gratifying and then you also get to
enjoy yourself a bit. People compliment the magazine (because, hello, they
are there *for *the magazine!) and shower it with affection. And you know
what feels good Patrica? VALIDATION. Nothing compares to hearing people
tell you they like something you did. Also, your contributors get take a
little glory, which is a great morale booster for them.

Don't over think the event thing. Keep. It. Simple. You can often get free
food and drinks from sponsors (I can elaborate more on this if you need it)
and in some cases get a free small venue for trade with ad placement. Boom.
360 degree experience. You now have new ads in the magazine and new
consumers from your event.

I might be rambling now. -_-

I could talk this topic forever. Also, after a magazine debuts, take a
break. Shut yourself off from the magazine for a good five days. If the
magazine always comes out on Tuesdays, shut yourself down form Thursday to
the following Tuesday. It can wait. Everything can wait. It will all be
there when you get back. Set up a vacation responder on your email. "I am
currently away form my desk, I will be sure to return your message as soon
as I get back..." Your well-being is light years more important than the
magazine and it will shine through to the magazine when you are well taken
care of.

Do you have social media posts set up for the future? Like using HootSuite
and the Facebook calendar? Let me know and we'll dive into this next if
you'd like.

This email is going on way long and I'm afraid I will lose you, so I'll
stop here. Let me know what else you need and how I can help. I want to see
you succeed, I love your magazine.

Also, would you mind if I posted our Q&amp;A's on the BRINK blog and/or my
personal blog? I started thinking these might help others in the same
position - right? Let me know if you're comfortable with that. It would
expose your magazine a bit too! ;)

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Best,

Kyle Menard
BRINK Magazine | Editor in Chief
 

Dear BRINK Magazine: Lessons From the Editor 1

Note: My intention for this BRINK blog was to post twice a month and reveal some tips and strategies from the nearly five years of the publications run. In order to maintains a balanced life, I put this blog on the back burner. In the meantime, something really wonderful came out of it and it's this email that I'm sharing with you now and in the future. This post was originally on my personal blog, so if some of the conversation sounds awkward, that might be why. Hope you enjoy and if you find this useful, please comment. Much more to come and waiting in the wings.

Quick story. Half a decade ago I decided I would start my own lifestyle magazine. Originally, I wanted to open a magazine newsstand and have a small cafe inside too. Alas, a magazine newsstand in Orlando in 2009 was ultimately a horrific idea and I backpedaled a bit. I thought, what can I do to realize this vision I have in my head? I took all the things I liked about magazines and added the entrepreneurial aspect of what I wanted to originally do, tossed these ideas into a blender and out popped a magazine.

First off, I had zero clue what I was doing with the magazine, especially with the design. I just knew I had to get this publication out, had a vision in my head and that there had to be an audience for the same things that I was feeling, thinking and doing. I was 29 years old and I wanted more. I came up with the name "BRINK" to stand for being on the edge of something amazing for any individual, brand or business. The magazine was localized to Orlando (where I live) and essentially pop culture meets business. I consider the magazine to have had three stages in its nearly five-year lifetime.

Stage one was the messy 'zine period which lasted from inception to February 2010. The magazine was a cluttered, chaotic mess and I was taking any contributions to have content mildly related to the theme. Stage two was the redesign period and that was February 2010 to August 2011. That August/September 2011 issue featured Nadia G from Cooking Channel's "Bitchin' Kitchen" and kicked open a door to a whole new, bigger, wider audience. I realized that by keeping the magazine localized, I was limiting the types of content and potential features. So with that issue, it all changed and went national. Stage three was the last overhaul and everything started to look more cohesive and blend much nicer. I started to really get to know the Adobe InDesign program I was using to create the magazine and started to get a feel of how to deal with my contributors and my small team. That stage was from August 2011 to December 2013. The 2013 year for the magazine was very good and the features, writing and photography was really getting to a point that I genuinely liked. It's not that I didn't like anything before 2013, but it was just not how I envisioned it and 2013 was much closer to the vision in my head.

Also going on in my head was a whirlwind of craziness from being the sole person to churn out issue after issue and be the creative director, editor, salesman, graphic designer, social media manager and so on. I was the "everything." I got burned on a regular basis, had a hard time saying "no" to anyone and ultimately became a slave to the magazine. I was dealing with people that felt very entitled and their ego was out of control. Not only inside the magazine (some contributors), but outside the magazine with particular partnerships. If any acquaintance wonders why we're not friends on Facebook any longer or why we stopped talking, it's because I cut you out and removed myself from your negative situation. I stepped back to not get involved with your messy personality. I am talking about particular people here - obvi. Ain't nobody got time for dat.

From day one I said "this is supposed to be fun." I had to remind myself of that too many times and decided, finally, in December 2013 to put the magazine on hold. I'm so glad I did because my life became a complete mess in late 2013/early 2014 and with so many changes I don't even know how I would've found the time to turn out a magazine. I think about it now how I don't even know how I would turn out a magazine like I once did - I have no idea how I balanced it. My quick story is turning into a long story. Saw-wee.

So, the magazine stopped and my life is slowly being taken off the respirator. A few great things happened when I stopped publishing the magazine. One of which this post is about - finally, I know. I had the magazine on several different platforms, one being MagCloud, which is a self-publishing tool. A young independent publisher out of Kenya recently emailed me in reference to my one and only blog post on the BRINK magazine blog this year and that she originally found BRINK via MagCloud. (I told myself I would do a couple posts a month on the BRINK blog to reveal some secrets and knowledge, but I haven't followed through and only did that one sole post.) In that one blog post I spoke on the troubles with the magazine and what I would do differently. Well, this spoke to the reader and she emailed me about her and her magazine, AfroElle and we've been a having a great dialogue about independent publishing and what she could learn from what I have done. There's only one person that truly understands what it was like for me to churn out issue after issue and what it did to me and my life. It's not all bad, but it's not all good. So when Patricia (reader) emailed me, I had no problem emailing her back some honest answers and maybe truths from the future. I want her to know we share a bond.

Below are the beginnings of our dialogue. I asked Patrica if it would be okay if I posted these and she said yes. The first two are the initial emails. I am posting these because I think Patrica's originally email has a lot of class and anyone could learn from her for any initial email you initially want to send....initially. Then, the first Q&A is below that initial email. I'm unsure if I'll continue posting these here or only on the BRINK blog, so if you like it, let me know and I'll post more here too...without all the text above.

Dear Kyle,

Hope you are well. This is Patricia, from Nairobi, Kenya. I'm the founder and editor-in-chief of AfroElle - a digital magazine for women of African heritage.

I came across Brink a year back through Magcloud blog. I must have been researching on how to start producing print issues. I read a couple of articles in different issues and loved your work.I wanted to write in last year around December to ask for magazine related advice but finally decided to write in after i read your last post yesterday on tips to build this team/ retrospect.

Your post was the most honest I've ever read about this magazine world. My magazine was initially a blog and it morphed into a digital mag just 3 years ago. Starting out there was nobody to give me honest advice on what to expect. Considering that it was the first digital magazine for women in East Africa, I've had to learn a lot from my mistakes. Like how to manage a virtual team, how to juggle everything with a 9-5 job.

Its been a great journey, but recently I woke up feeling like is it worth it. I thought about calling it quits. I don't earn any money from the magazine yet, there's so much - ad sales, trying to get a team on board who are equally passionate about the vision etc. Your post described every bit of what my life as an editor has been.Long story short, I know you are taking a break from Brink but I would like if you can consider mentoring/ advising me with my journey. I'm sure there's a whole lot i can learn from you.

Let me know.

Regards

Patricia M.
Blog: Coffee and Conversations with Patricia
Editor-in-chief
AfroElle Magazine

Patricia,

Wow, I am floored by your email. I am so grateful you took the time to write this out and respond to that post. I'm also completely flattered that you would ask me to consider being an adviser/mentor. It's funny because I wanted to update that blog more frequently with the magazine being on hiatus, but I thought maybe it was a waste of time. But one email like this makes it worth it and inspires me to tell more stories form the front lines of what I've experience with BRINK. Additionally, I rarely check this email and happened to check it today and I'm so glad I did.

I love your magazine! I just went over to your website and checked it out and I think its wonderful! I looked over the current issue and think it's fantastic. Your Ed letter was very smart and filled with so much insight. The quote at the end of that letter was fantastic and I'm definitely going to use that somewhere soon.

I can definitely hear you when you speak on the challenges. It's tough. And it's difficult when there's no money coming in and all your working on is passion and validation. But I think you have a great product (and brand) that is in demand and is needed in the world today. Hats off to you!

I would be happy to offer some insight form time to time, advice or opinions on the issue or anything at all. Please feel free to reach out any time and I'd be happy to lend my voice,

Thank you so much Patricia, so glad you wrote this email! And kudos on such a great job with AfroElle!

Best,

Kyle Menard
BRINK Magazine | Editor in Chief

Hi Kyle,

Thank you for your response, for your kind words and for agreeing to take me on as a mentee. I'm so grateful and I'm looking forward to learning and growing in the process. I'm not sure how mentorship looks like, but I was hoping I can ask questions according to the various facets of the magazine work; I will pose certain questions and you can share your insights and advice but also I would like if you can possibly challenge me, so if there's any assignment you'd like for me to do, I'm open to that too. I want to be respectful of your time and other priorities so if you have suggestions- im also open to that.

 1. Team + Interns + Compensation

Over the 4 years, I've worked with a group of contributors but it reaches a point, they either want compensation or start asking when the magazine will be profitable. Right now, I'm running the magazine with only two contributors. I had to reduce the number of pages in the magazine because of the work load. One of the contributors has been with the team since it started and the other one joined late last year. They are really enthusiastic about the work and go above and beyond for the magazine.

I truly hope they don't tire in volunteering. Question is, what ways can i compensate them for their work? How can i invest in them and thei talents? How can i show them that i'm grateful for their work beyond the 'thank you' notes?

Secondly, I think i've reached a point where i don't want to take in any more contributors because of that very fact you mentioned 'they have to be fully committed' . Plus I'm just exhausted creating relationships and sharing the vision but people pulling out half way. So, i was wondering if i should take in a group of interns? What do you think? I've worked with volunteers in the past and i must admit- i failed in managing them. It was just too much at that time and all the contributors and volunteers are based in different countries.

I loved how you had your interns blog their experience. Did you have a physical office? How did you manage it and them? How do I make that process efficient, the work challenging, the experience WORTH it and gauge their thirst for work?

Thanks again, Kyle!

Talk soon,

Patricia M.

Hi Patricia,

Apologies for the delay. I got sidetracked and wanted to send you a thoughtful response and not something rushed. And yes, please, ask any questions you want. If I cant answer them or don't have an adequate answer, I'll let you know up front.

This question is so tough. For me, and the problem with contributors, was that my ego was too big. I wanted to really keep everything a mystery to make things seem more glossy, fun and cool. Looking back, I believe that was a huge downfall for the magazine as a whole. What I should've done was be more honest about how much work I was doing for the magazine and let the contributors in on more of the day to day activity. I let a lot of contributors go over the years for a few reasons. Either their commitment started to disappear, they did something to inflict trouble on the magazine or they were never really feeling it from the beginning.

Now the people that aren't feeling it - let them go. The truth is, they are never going to "get" how much you're doing and it just comes down to apples and oranges. Two completely things.

If anyone ever cause any trouble for the magazine or you have a gut feeling something is off, cut them out asap. The time and energy spent will not be worth it.

And if their commitment starts to disappear, but you like them and they do good work, well then you just need to have a frank talk with them about their role within the magazine.

Now, giving the contributors compensation was tough. I actually started paying out of my own pocket for certain things. Id give contributor $15 or $25 depending on word count and Id give the main photographer $50. I think this was a mistake and bad business. I believe this is another instance where it should really be a conversation between you and the contributors and how you want to build your brand.

My opinion is that if you haven't already, you should have a frank talk with your contributors. I have a hunch they don't know exactly whats going on with the magazine and how much you're doing. I think it would be wise to tell them that if sales were to come through, then you would compensate them, but right now, you have to continue with credit and any perks. If you follow any of my flaws, i think it would be a great detriment to your business.

So be honest and let them in to whats going on and your vision. Paint them a picture so to speak. Be real and tell them what you want.

BRINK did not have an office and the interns would blog on their own time, but I have them structure. I told them they had to pick one day where I could call them between any time around 9-5 and they would be on the BRINK clock, This worked fairly well. They loved doing the blog because it really made them feel like a part of the magazine. And then they would tweet about it and it would cast a wider net for the magazine. I would also give them a lot of duties. i would publish their work (because it was good too) in the magazine. They got hands on experience speaking with actual talent. In return, I gave them college credit or signed off on college credit. ONLY do the intern thing if its for college credit. Otherwise, they become unhinged and get disinterested fast. As matter of fact, you could get a few interns and have them do a majority of the written work to free up time for you. But remember, every six months you need to train new interns. It depends on how you feel about that.

Everything you do for your magazine has to do something to bring in new eyes. So the interns were a great extension of the brand.

Did that help shed any light? If not, let's continue the conversation...what else?

Best,

Kyle Menard

Top Tipz To Build This Team/Retrospect

BRINK Magazine as we know it, is gone.

OMG, was that too much? Well here's the thing. I decided in November right before the Nick Wechsler issue/No. 30 that I would be putting the magazine on indefinite hiatus. So why a hiatus and not just fold the magazine. Well for one, we're not big enough to "fold." There's no shuttering and no pink slips to hand out. Another reason is that I put four years of heart and soul into this and I don't think I can just let it go. So a hiatus seemed to be the most logical reason. Plus, I don't know if a year from now I would want to pick it up again and give it another go. If I do "give it another go" we need to come clean about something first. And I'm sure their are tons of other small publications, brands and entrepreneurs that are doing their business this way too. But here's the thing. This may be a secret. It may not be a secret, it may just be a "taboo topic." Side note: love the word "taboo." So, what is this taboo topic?

It is me doing everything in the magazine. Moi.

Not a surprise to those in "the know" but maybe more of an a-ha moment to those that didn't know. There is no "we" or "us" or even that much of a team.

With some exceptions. But all the creative direction, social media, graphic design (any design!), public relations, email marketing, *breathe*, image release requests, answering multiple email accounts, writing and *breathe* so on and so so so on...yeah, that's me. The exceptions being that I manage and select my small team of contributors on writing assignments and imagery. If a contributor doesn't pick up a assignment, well then, I write it. Also, my trusty sidekick Jackie was down for Copy Writing for well over a year, which helped a lot.

This became exxxxxxxxhausting. Over four years of answering emails of agents/etc wanting to know how to get PDF's, reps wanting their clients to be seen, ensuring all the initials from interviews were deleted from the final PDF version, getting hi-res imagery, working with contributors to pull out their very best and ultimately ensure the tone of BRINK was consistent - all this and more for one person, many a night were spent sobbing. Not really. Ok, really. And you know, the thing was, I really tried to stay ahead of the game. I would have those PDF's ready for agents, I would try to reach out to every single rep that reached out and I would work with the contributors to help them create their very best, but at the time time, this was all chipping away at me piece by piece.

The other thing is that the magazine never made any money. None. Not a dollar. If you bought an issue, that money would be the cost of your issue and any shipping accrued. If there were even pennies left over, well that money could go to the monthly website fee or domain fee or something else attributed to helping the magazine run.

More on all the above another time, let's cut to the chase here. What I learned from all of this is what I need from a team to make this publication successful if it does indeed resurrect form the great beyond. Taking experiences from previous work at VH1, vitaminwater and Warner Records and combining that with any new media tips from bloggers, social media whiz kids and brands that were thriving were what I put in the melting pot to get this pub revved up.

The magazine ultimately ended because I could no longer do it all on my own. There was a never a time where anyone wanted to fully contribute to the publication - I'm talking full -ly. This isn't a 50% of the time thing, it's an all the time thing. A few people tried, but after several months they would taper off or become hostile and that's not what any part of the magazine is about - it should be fun. The magazine couldn't afford to compensate anyone, but we couldn't get to compensation until any type of help was on the way. I could not be everywhere all the time. Do you see what I'm saying? Ok, here's what would've been great. In order of most important. I think.

1. Ad Sales

Number one with a bullet. We needed to sell the space to generate income for the magazine, print issues (small quantity of fine until more of  a demand picked up) and compensate those who need to be compensated the most. I was paying photographers and contributors from time to time, but that money was coming from me personally. Honestly (sorry guys), big mistake. Especially considering some trials and tribulations I've had the last few months.

This person or team would need to be sharks. They know how to talk to people, work with people, negotiate and ultimately land the deal. Too many people thought they knew what they were doing when they "tried" at doing ad sales for the magazine, but it was almost laughable. I'm the only person in four years who ever landed any form of advertising of the magazine.

2. Social Media

I was doing all the social media across all platforms and trying to create relationships and start conversations with posts, images, memes and more, but it was too much. At times I would lost the brand because I became too confused. At times, I would wonder of a post was "Kyle" or "BRINK"? Also, do you know how difficult it was to come up with halfway witty stuff on all these accounts all the time? Wow, that was a struggle! And get you, the reader, to click a link - tough. I mean, I was tracking links, I know which ones were clicked most. Interesting stuff.

I would want this person - or team - to be on all the networks and work with videographers for short videos/gifs and engaging content that inspires the readers. Keep a human component and be on all the time.

3a. Editor

I never really wanted to be Editor, but obviously when you start something, you need to see it though. But I would like a very knowledgeable person to come in or someone smart and eager to learn and to have that person led the team with my guidance to a quality piece of work.

This person needs to know how to talk to people, how to "read" people and how to work with people. It's all about communications and Interpersonal skills.

3b. Editorial Team

Once again a group of highly committed writers and journalists who are thirsty for assignments and can stick to writing guidelines and word counts. Seriously. I don't know how many times I gave a written word count and would come back nearly quadruple what I said to turn in. Edit that please. My god. Its almost directorial to me! Seriously.

This group would be young, hungry and don't say "sure." They say "absolutely!" They say, "you got it!" They say, "what can I do next?!" Exclamations points, give 'em to me.

4. Graphic Designer

My lord. I had never done graphic design a day in my life. From the first issue to the last, anyone can see major changes. It would actually crack me up when I would read comments on Instagram and someone would say, "I love the design work!" I was like, holy s***. There are a few points in the magazine where you see major shifts. The beginning to Feb/March 2011 is one era, then that issue to August/September 2011 is another era and then that issue to Dec 2012/Jan 2013 is another era and that issue ultimately is the final look of the magazine that gets tweaked and manicured. Went through four stages, but really started to find an identity that worked and clicked, but I know that there is so much greater to be had! I know that magazine has much deeper potential and I know there is someone out there is itching to be that person.

This person or group needs to be nerds. Plan and simple. You live, eat, breathe design. You like pop culture and you get off on geometric lines. You are skilled, savvy and know how to work with various programs.

So if these things were in place at any given time (with minimum staff support)...

Ad Sales (1-3 people)

Social Media (1-3 people)

Editor (1 person)

Editorial Staff (5-7 people)

Graphic Designer (2-3 people)

...I would bring back the magazine. Lets re-up the logo, let's clean up the vibe and let's get the message out there, plain and simple That we can do anything we want if we just start.

- Kyle

Note: This post became verrrrrry long winded and long in general than I originally intended, so tell me, do you like this post? More like it? Comment and let me know. Coming up next, secrets behind the last issue and what went into making it happen.

 

#TBT BRINK uncapped: Oct/Nov 2011 Issue

In the late spring of 2011, I started to put together an event with the marketing manager of vitaminwater. The event, BRINK uncapped was a fashion design competition that set the tone for the way the magazine would be represented for any issue that followed. More to come on this later today!

How do you get "uncapped"?

Time of her Life: Jacqueline M. Wood (Uncut Version)

Interview by Arielle Ozery

The original version of this story is in our November/December 2013 issue, here.

From partying on Roberto Cavalli’s yacht to partying in the most lavish, VIP places all around the world, Jacqueline M. Wood is certainly living the dream, and she knows it! In her newest E! series, Party On, Jacqui takes us along on her adventures behind the velvet ropes of some of the world’s most famous party spots. I got the chance to chat with Jacqui, and she gave us a little sneak peek of what we’ll see when Party On premieres this December!

Arielle Ozery: Hi! How are you?

Jacqueline M. Wood: Very well, how are you doing?

I’m good!

Awesome!

Okay, so you wanna just jump right into it?

Yeah, sure! Whatever you would like.

Perfect! Sounds good to me! First off, congratulations on landing this awesome job with E!

Thank you so much!

You’re welcome! It’s so cool!

Yeah, yeah, I was ecstatic when I found out because obviously I was a huge fan of “Wild On.” Knowing they were kind of revamping it and switching it up and calling it “Party On,” I was ecstatic!

That’s awesome! Can you tell me a little bit about what you went through to get the job?

Well, I was approached a few months ago about “Wild On,” and I got a phone call from my agent who said they were revamping “Wild On,” and they want to take a meeting with you, and I immediately wanted to jump on board. And I met with the people over at the E! network, and, you know, it was one of those things where we kind of hit it off. I loved where the show was going, what their ideas for the show were, you know, traveling to each country, each city for 48 hours and, you know, seeing what kind of mischief I could get up to.

[laughs]

[laughs] So, you know, it was more myself — obviously I’m a traveler — I’m very spontaneous. I can — in a heartbeat — just pick up and go. I can easily go by myself; I can go with friends or just go with people I just met. It’s always been who I am, and that’s always been my lifestyle, so it was something that I wanted to do, and I just thought the ideas of going behind the velvet rope and getting an inside perspective of all these insane beach parties and VIP clubs and spectacular villas and high-end shopping — like, who wouldn’t want to do that?! [laughs]

So, after a few meetings, one thing led to another, and I got the phone call that they wanted me to be the host, and then we just took off and went to Europe! [laughs]

That’s so fun! Is there anything, in specific, that you’re looking forward to with this job?

You mean all the things that I’m looking forward to after or all the things that I’ve done?

The things that you looked forward to with your experience hosting “Party On.”

Well, just to see it come into fruition. I’m really excited to see the show, because, like I said, it is a VIP look inside the clubs, you know. This is like a millionaire’s playground of opulence. Like, all of these places that I’ve gone to — it’s all about luxury, all about money. It’s these billionaires that go to all of these beautiful places around the Mediterranean just to spend money and to do it and be in it and meet these amazing people and go with some of my friends — like Jonathan Cheban — and just go with your friends and meet these people and party on the yachts, it’s fun to know that it comes out on December 5th and that I get to see it. And I think everybody has that feeling when you travel — you always tell yourself and tell your friends ‘wouldn’t this be so great if someone was filming this!?’

Yeah, definitely!

[laughs] Like, ‘what happened last night? God I wish someone was filming this!’ It’s cool to really get to see it come into fruition and really watch the craziness unfold and watch the kind of mischief that I’ve gotten up to. [laughs]

A lot of champagne — I can tell you that! [laughs]

That sounds like so much fun!

Oh, my goodness it was! I couldn’t even tell you the stories — there’s just so many. And each episode is going to have something different. You know, it’s “Party On.” It is the crazy parties, but you also get to see the different sides of these cities and these places like the culture — you get to take in everything.

That’s awesome!

Yeah! It’s what anyone would want to do! Like, if you could just be plopped down, by yourself, in each country, what would you do? If you had, like, endless amounts of money and you were there for 48 hours, what would you do? And you didn’t give a shit, basically.

That’s so cool!

Yeah!

OK, so you’ve been on a bunch of different television shows; how do you think that this hosting job is going to be different from, you know, your role on “The Bold and the Beautiful” or something like that?

Well, I think with this show, like in “The Bold and the Beautiful,” I was playing a character, you know. I was playing a character, like there’s obviously pieces of me within each character, I think all actors do that, but, you know, this is me as Jacqui M. Wood. This is me when I travel. This is what you see is what you get, and this is completely different because it’s not like ‘OK, here’s a script, and you have to memorize this, and here are the lines, you know, cut, take, action.’ This is just me traveling around and letting you know one thing lead to another but you get to see me. You get to see myself, what I do in these moments, what I do when I travel. Like I said, I travel all the time. I jet set all the time, I’ve always done that. I could easily pick up and go. You know, I got a phone call not too long ago, obviously before I was filming, and they said, ‘Hey, do you want to go to the South of France? You gotta leave now,’ and I left within two hours.

Wow.

Yeah, so it’s that kind of lifestyle that’s always been me. So, I’ve always tweeted about it, you see it on my Instagram pictures throughout the years, but this is what the fans get to see. This is me, this is what I’ve been talking about for so long. You guys get to come along with me and enjoy the ride.

That’s awesome, so this is really just authentic you?

Yeah! You know, obviously everybody has a version to themselves — this is crazy, fun, me! This is me when I’m with my friends. This is me. Absolutely. It’s like anything — it’s like anybody when you’re going to travel, like what are you like when you travel? I’m sure there’s your LA self, your New York self. Like when you travel and go away, everyone exudes something else, you know — the spontaneity, the ‘I’m going to act a little crazier than I usually am.’ This is what us as humans are like when we travel. We’re freaking crazy!

That’s good though!

Yeah! It’s true, because like I said, everyone can watch this and say, ‘These are the things that I would love to do,’ or some can watch and be like, ‘Oh my God I would do that, I’ve been there.’ Yeah, we’ve all kind of been in some kind of these scenarios.

Yeah, definitely [laughs]. Alright, while you were filming, did any guys approach you, and were they any different than American guys?

Yeah, you know, I met a lot of Australians and guys from Spain — everyone is kind of different. Obviously I don’t want to make a general statement of Australian guys, but the guys that I met were all so sweet, and, you know, there was a cutie along the way — I have to say that there were gorgeous guys everywhere, but there’s one guy for like a hot minute — that I was like, ‘Wow, he’s cute, let’s hang out!’ So, that’s what I did. It’s like I met people. Let’s say you basically touch down in Croatia, and I would tweet.

[laughs]

[laughs] Let’s just say! [laughs] I would touchdown in Croatia, and I use social media, and I would tweet out a few things and would get invites from other people, like where to go, what the cool hot spot is, and I end up meeting some people at a local bar and one thing kind of led to another, but I gotta say, the guys that I met were so sweet and so nice. Everyone had that party mode; everyone wanted to party. So you’re definitely going to catch that along the way. You’re going to see the hot guys from all different places: America, Canada, Australia, Spain! You pick, we have it all on “Party on!”

There’s a lot of hot eye candy, I can tell you that! There’s a lot of eye candy in each episode.

That’s great! I’m excited for that one!

Definitely!

OK, well, you’ve been talking about how much fun you have at all the parties and everything, was there one drink that you could say that you loved the most — that you’ve been served?

Oooh God! That’s a good question!

Oh man, hmmmm, one drink. There was a drink, it was earlier on in filming, and it was in Croatia, I wish I could remember the name! Actually, it’s called something with an ‘H,’ and it’s in Ibiza. They say, on the island, because before the raging party animals came to Ibiza there was more of a hippie vibe, and they had this drink that when you would have one sip of it, it would knock your socks off, and people would have it in the morning or at night. They say it’s a cleanse; they say it’s supposed to calm you; it’s good for the soul; it’s good to have before eating, after eating; they basically say just drink it all the time, and it’s supposedly good for you.

It’s an interesting taste. It kind of has that absinthe kind of, you know, the black licorice taste, which I’m not too fond of, but obviously I grew to love it in my time in Ibiza. And, it was good! It kind of feels like it settles your stomach. It was the drink! Every place that I went to, this Catamaran party to before the night clubs to a hotel party, that’s what people were drinking at the beginning. God, I wish I could remember…I mean, if you easily typed in ‘Ibiza drink’ … [laughs]

[laughs]

… like, it would come up on Google!

I’ll do that!

Yes! Definitely.

OK, one of the places you filmed was Mykonos in Greece where the Kardashians recently traveled to. While you were there, did you by any chance put on your Kardashian face and go out and party like they did or were you like, ‘Hell no, I’m not doing any of that’?

[laughs] I’ve watched that episode twice, and it was actually right before I left to Mykonos. Oh, by the way, that drink is called Hierbas — just letting you know!

Perfect!

Like I said, I watched that episode twice, right before I left to Mykonos, and it was on right when I got back from my travels, so it was interesting to get a really good look of what they saw in comparison to what we did and seeing the places that they went. What I did in Mykonos was I basically got off a boat, and I immediately went to a beach club, so there’s obviously no? time to get glammed up — you know, put on the heels. But, it’s more go, go, go, whereas I don’t think I had any spare? time there, but I met people from this one club, Paradise, and from there, they told me to go to this club, and you know, from going onto these crazy speedboats, it was one thing after the next. There was only one moment where I got to go back to my hotel, and I said, ‘OK, take a breather, shower, change and then go again.’ So it wasn’t a lot of lying by the pool and hanging out; it was dinner, drinks, activities and meeting people and going to these great clubs — and, actually, a friend of mine was DJing that night that you’ll get to see. So, it’s great with Twitter and social media because you get to tweet out, and you get to find out who’s there, and it’s always great, you know, you get to meet up with them and that’s what I did. A lot of my friends were actually in town, and I got to meet with them, and they were on the show with me. Going from Namos beach, which is one of the sexiest beaches in Mykonos — it’s like gorgeous guys, gorgeous women, the food’s incredible, all fusion, and it’s right on the beach, which is crystal clear — and you just see all the beautiful yachts that are parked and you just get on a little boat and go to one of the yachts, so it was definitely a nonstop of Mykonos; there wasn’t really a moment to breathe. Which was great! That’s exactly how I wanted to see Mykonos!

That’s so awesome! So you pretty much just immersed yourself into everything that you did! Did you pretty much do the same thing when you went to places like St. Tropez where they have topless beaches? Were you all about that or were you kind of like, ‘No, this is too much for me’?

You know, if it’s a topless beach, I don’t care, I’m not one to judge, you know, obviously I’ve been at a topless beach before. But, in St. Tropez, it was a completely different thing that we did; it was more of the taking in what the rich people do when they go for sports there. You’ll see me playing polo, and there’s obviously beach parties, I mean you’re obviously going to see people, like you’re in St. Tropez, people go with their tops off at the beach; it’s not a big thing there. The sexiest thing about St. Tropez is the people all shapes and sizes, all ages, you know — they just own it. They’re not self-conscious, they’re confident, they’re comfortable with who they are, and you can see, like, there are women like seven years old with a tiny little bikini, and she just owns it. And I just found that extremely sexy, you know, to have women and guys where there’s no judgment. You can see why people go topless around there because there’s no one criticizing, no one’s going, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s like a different lifestyle.

Yeah, OK. Do you think that there was one person in specific that you can say is the most interesting and awesome person that you met while filming?

Hm! While filming? Ooh goodness! [laughs]

Jeez, I don’t even know. That’s a good question! I met so many people!

I would say there was one guy in Croatia — his name was Wolf — and there’s plenty of other people that I’ve met, but he’s the only one that just speaks up to me right now. He’s an older man who basically runs a bar in Croatia. He’s the guy who has a family, two kids, but like he just lives the life. Like, his kids are over at the beach club, which is like the biggest beach club in Croatia, and he tells you stories of life, and you just wonder when he turns off because this is his life, like nightclub, party scene. Like, he has stories from Studio 54!

Wow.

So you can tell, like, I just thought when meeting him, ‘Wow, this guy must have so many stories!’ Because he just knew all the spots. He knew all the people, you know. When I met him, he probably didn’t go to bed till like 5 o’clock in the morning. It was one of those interesting people. But, there’s so many! I really couldn’t pick just one. Wolf, I guess, stands out, but there’s so many people that I met, everyone has an interesting story in each episode.

That’s really, really cool! OK, before you filmed this show, what would you say is the most awesome party that you had been to?

Before I filmed the show? Actually, that one I was telling you about, where my friends called me up and said, ‘Hey do you want to jump on a flight and come to Cannes?’ and I was in LA, I was free, so I said, ‘Yeah, OK!’ I have to say, the best party is when I spontaneously got a flight, took a red-eye out to NYC connecting to Cannes, France. It was a group of my friends, and we had a place in Antibes, and we ended up throwing a party at our house, but it led to a yacht party right on the harbor of Cannes, and it ended up being Roberto Cavalli’s yacht.

Oh my God! Wow.

Yeah, it was for film festival, so it was the who’s who, VIP exclusive party with every celebrity you can name. All of the beautiful, gorgeous models all in Cavalli, and obviously Roberto Cavalli was there — the sweetest, nicest man. But, yeah, that was a fun night where we ended up at Cavalli’s yacht, and we were there until the wee hours of the morning.

Wow, that’s insane.

It was fun! To be that spontaneous and to pick up all your stuff and just go — it seems exhausting. It seems like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I want to do this, I’m only going to be there for a few days,’ but those are the stories in life that you’ll have, and you’ll always have in life those memories. And my thing is, create memories. You know, have memories, not things. It’s great to have both, but memories [are] what matter, and you can look back and say, ‘I remember that I was exhausted, but I still went and did it, and it was exhausting, but I had the time of my life, and I’ll always remember that!’

Yeah. That’s a really great philosophy to live by — that’s a good one!

Yeah!

Alright, well if you could meet any host or any person that does anything with the E! network, who would it be?

Who would it be? Well, I met Giuliana Rancic!

That’s who I was hoping you’d say! I love her.

[laughs] Yeah, I met her years ago, and she lived up to everything I had thought. She seemed like the nicest, sweetest person — so strong — and you know, obviously, with her stories and everything she just really touches me and watching her true life on E! and letting yourself open up to the world about all her stories and cancer and trying to have a child, I think she’s such a strong woman for that, and I commend her for all that she’s done, and I’ve always kind of looked up to her, she just seems like a true, honest, down to earth woman. Like I said, when I met her, it was everything I ever thought. It was great — she was so kind. She’s one of those people who remembers your name, even if it’s quick. She’s meeting people all the time, but when she talks to you, she’s in the moment, she’s there with you. I did an interview with her back when I did “Final Destination,” and she was so sweet.

It’s really good that she’s really like that in real life.

Yeah, I would also love to meet Brooke Burke! [laughs]

I want to know about her story when she was doing “Wild On.” That would be another one!

That’s a good one! OK, now I have some questions that some of your fans wrote in to us on Twitter and on Facebook — if you have time.

 Yeah, absolutely! Totally fine.

@anitacsegraves asks: “Are you coming back to ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ anytime soon?”

It’s still up in the air. I could possibly be going back. Like I said, I’ve always been open, and if my schedule is free, absolutely. Right now I don’t have a contract with them, but I’m very close with Brad Bell, and I’m very close with all the people on “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Like, I’m not one to say that I would never come back because I absolutely love the crew, I love the actors, I love everybody on that show, so if scheduling works, I will definitely be back — for a few episodes.

For a few episodes?

Well, yeah. I’m not on contract right now, but to go back and forth, I would never say that I won’t do that again. People who do a soap and then walk away from it, they started my career, so I’m always grateful for that.

OK, @linehopemoore asks if you want to visit Sweden?

Absolutely! I would love to visit Sweden! That’s one place that I have not checked out and obviously I would love that. Obviously, my friends who are Swedish and who grew up there are gorgeous. Bitches. [laughs]

And they’re so sweet. They’re great people, and I hear the nightlife in Sweden is pretty crazy, so I would love to check that out!

OK, that’s really cool! @deedeedyn0mite asks: “What was your favorite place to eat?”

Ooh, that’s a good one! Well, obviously I loved Italian food, so for me, it was great. But I have to say that when I was in St. Tropez, we partied at a very, very cool, very exclusive supper club, and it looks like a jungle when you go in there, and people are wearing costumes, and there’s a back room where you can put on whatever you want, and I think the more you dress up, the crazier people become. But before that, you eat dinner, and the food was spectacular! I had a truffle pizza that night that was just unreal. So, Villa Romana supper club in St. Tropez was one of my favorites!

Wow, now I’m hungry [laughs].

[laughs] Me too!

OK, @x14june wants to know when you will return to Milan.

I was just in Milan! [laughs] I did a quick stop for fashion week, but I don’t know, Milan is one of my favorite cities. I’ve been there a few times — and for shopping, it’s the spot! So I guess when I need another Versace dress, I’ll be coming that way.

That’s a good excuse to definitely go that way.

Yeah!

OK, last question from your fans. @tami2205 wants to know what your next project will be, after “Party On.”

Once I got back from “Party On,” I literally slept for a week, and now I’m doing the whole detox thing, so I think that’s what I’m focused on right now and just gearing up and still doing the final touches for “Party On.” But right now, I’m more focused on the premiere date.

That’s awesome! Well, that is all I have for you — from both me and your fans.

[laughs] Well thank you so, so much!

Thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to me!

My Experience at BRINK

From the second that I was offered an internship with BRINK I knew that this whole experience wasn’t going to be like any other internship that I’ve had. And now, two semesters later, I can confidently say that it most definitely was a very different internship experience. Usually, interns are not trusted to do much ‘real work’; but BRINK was something completely different.

While at BRINK, I was able to really practice and work on all of the things that I want to do for the rest of my life, as a career while also learning and actually doing a few things that were completely new to me. I was able to really practice and become confident in my phone interviewing skills as at the very beginning of my internship I was a complete interviewing mess. I was also able to go to my very first press event with BRINK, obviously I was nervous at the very beginning but after a little while of loosening up and talking to a few people I ended up having a fantastic time! At BRINK, I was also in charge of writing this blog weekly which was great for me, I was able to let out the real ‘me’ and have people read it and even get some feedback.

It’s really rare for a person to find so much and gain so much within an internship so I can say that I am truly grateful for everything BRINK has given me and allowed me to do. It’s really something special to have a boss that becomes more of a mentor to you and really believes in you and pushes you to your full potential so for that, I am also extremely grateful. I really hope that after BRINK’s hiatus, I can be able to once again call myself a part of this team!

Thank you for tuning in each week and reading the blogs!

Until Next Time,

Arielle Ozery

Letter from the Editor - November/December 2013

There comes a time when all good things must come to an end. However, this might not be the right time. Rather than an end, how about an intermission. Right now, in this moment, this will be the last issue of BRINK. I won’t say forever, because forever feels too long. I won’t say forever, because I can’t imagine letting something I create fade away into the background of life. I won’t say forever, because this publication was meant to be a guide book, for you. A guide book with stories and imagery that inspires you and motivates you to be the best you can be and achieve anything you want. Because we can do anything we want. 

Doing anything we want is why I won’t say goodbye. This magazine, under my direction, doesn’t need to say goodbye. So we’ll take this intermission with ease, hope and a little bit of triumph. But why the intermission, right? The magazine has been treading water financially since inception and without having viable backers or advertisers to ensure we continue our efforts, the risk to stall is minimal. The partnerships I’ve nurtured and massaged over the past years are the ones with the greatest risk. The teeny-tiny staff at BRINK donate their time and contributions and in some rare cases receive a small financial token to keep motivation strong though each publication. But with such a small token, I would like to think that what really keeps this team coming back is passion.

When I first started this magazine, I said every issue will have passion. And that’s exactly what has been delivered. From entrepreneurs like Tammy Jo Fashion to movie stars like Alexa Vega, we’ve learned why they do what they do and how they keep moving ahead. With photo journals that encapsulate sexy, glossy, style spreads to photo journals that encapsulate raw, gritty, real world events, we’ve given these photographers a platform to share their work. From India to Australia to the United Kingdom to the United States, we’ve featured some of the great unknown and undiscovered talent. You, the fans of BRINK, have continued to submit, say positive things and comment on social media. And that’s what keeps it going.

The one thing I’ve discovered in the past four years, doing this magazine, has one common theme. Every person I speak to, every email received, every photo shoot executed has one similarity. To quote Oprah on her last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, “They all wanted validation. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?’”. In some form or another, it never needs to be direct and it never needs to be indirect, but everyone has wanted to be seen. And this is coming from a guy that puts a brave face on, but is relatively insecure. But what I want to tell you, through the good, through the bad, through it all – I have seen everything you’ve done. I’ve seen every email. I’ve read every email. If you submitted to the magazine, I’ve kept up with your every move. If you’ve bought the magazine and follow us on social media, I’ve checked out what you’re up to today. I see you.

I’ve had two instances in my life, that I can clearly remember, when someone told me not to be myself. One was when I was a College Representative for Warner Music and at the end of my contract I told my manager I might want to work in LA (currently living in Florida) and she told me, “well you can’t do that unless you live here [in LA].” And she wouldn’t hear another word. And, another time, I was applying for a job and on my second interview, the recruiter said, “Some advice, tone down your personality and try not to laugh so much.” Those two things crushed my spirit, but you know what, in the long run, I’m better off without either one of them. Because if I had stayed with one of those opportunities, I wouldn’t be here today to tell all the BRINK online readers, iPad readers and print readers that you can do anything you want.

I don’t need to tell you about this issue of BRINK you hold in your hands, you’ll see soon enough. But I do believe that it’s our strongest issue to date. The most stories, the most imagery and the highest spirit ever in the pages of this publication. Check out our features with Nick Wechsler from ABC”s “Revenge.” Shot in LA by Jared Kocker and story by McManus Woodend. Look into our holiday guide curated by Taissa Rebroff and features ten bloggers and their favorite gifts. Taissa came up with this idea and I love it so much because I always think of BRINK as a collaboration between us and readers. Look into our photo journals and note the names that executed these features. All the names in this publication are of people that are leaders. And they might not even know it. I’ve held on to some of these people for so long, because I believe in every single thing they do. I believe in their words, I believe in their foundation and I believe in what they do. With that said, enjoy our fourth anniversary issue.

As for me, what I am going to do with this time? I’m going to go for a very long hike.  But before I do, remember:

Be human. Do your best. Never settle. Do you.

Kyle M Menard
Editor in Chief
editor@brinkmagonline.com

Becoming a Phone Interviewing Professional

Becoming a phone interviewing professional

If you’ve read my first blog about my first foray into phone interviews you probably wouldn’t believe me when I tell you that not only have I become accustomed to phone interviewing but that I actually do enjoy it! For the newest edition of BRINK, I did not one but two phone interviews and here are some of the things that I’ve learned from them!

First and foremost, it is NEVER a good idea to over think anything. This obviously doesn’t just go for the phone interviews but pretty much in every area of your life…don’t over think things. It’s bad news. Before you actually conduct a phone interview…or any interview, it is always a good idea to start by researching the person you’ll be talking to. Sometimes, if you look to into the celebrity’s experiences and the awesome things that they’ve done, you might get a little bit intimidated and become super closed off and completely change the tone for the interview. I learned this the somewhat difficult way. when doing my first phone interview, I got so caught up in all of the cool things the actor had done and all of the awesome people that he had worked with that I was really focused on trying to keep my cool for parts of the interview that I sounded mildly awkward. As I continued  to conduct phone interviews, I learned that I will definitely not sound ‘cool’ if I’m focused on actually keeping my cool but if I just glance at my questions and go with the flow the interview will flow much more smoothly.

Second, celebrities are people too! Maybe not all of them (…Miley Cyrus) but the ones that I have interviewed definitely are! If you talk to them like they are holier than thou they won’t respond well and your interview will just sound and read very awkwardly. I found that the best thing to do was pretend like you were talking to a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. You know, that kind of friend that when you talk to them you’re instantaneously best friends again…that works! That worked extremely well for the second interview I did for this issue with Jacqueline M. Wood! I just got on the phone with her and I genuinely felt like we hit it off, if she wasn’t famous I’m sure we’d be BFFs! When doing my first interview, with Aaron Yoo, we chatted away for almost an hour and a half! Definitely like catching up with an old friend. Also, if the celebrity feels comfortable with you, they are more likely to tell you more personal stories and that’s exactly what you want!

The third and most cliché tip that I can give is to be yourself! Yeah, I know, how lame is that? But, it works! I believe that if the celebrity can see that you’re being yourself and you’re comfortable and confident in what you’re doing, you both will have a much more fun time during the interview. If they feel like you’re trying to impress them or whatever, you’ll most likely have a super awkward chat and you’ll be sweating balls and really uncomfortable the whole time. Don’t do that. Just be yourself…and hey, if that fails just think that they’re famous and you will most likely never have to have contact with them again.

Happy interviewing!

Until Next Time,

Arielle Ozery

Why Being Married to Jonas is the Greatest Thing Ever

I’ve been watching one too many Married to Jonas reruns, and I have to say…I am not ashamed; I am emotionally invested in the marriage between Kevin and Danielle Jonas. I watch their television show like it’s my job and I love every second of it…even when I’m in tears due to the inevitably beautiful things that occur in their relationship.

While watching the show, I have noticed many different reasons why being married to Kevin Jonas would definitely be the bomb…but I’ll only give you five in the hopes that you’ll watch the show for yourself to figure the rest out.

1) You get a glass slipper delivered to you on the day of your wedding. Okay, I know that all women say that they feel like Cinderella on their wedding day but they don’t even know what that feels like unless they get a glass slipper delivered to them from their soon to be hubby.

2) You live in a large, beautiful house that your husband pays for. Let’s be honest, no one really knows what Danielle Jonas does, or ever did, for a living. The only thing we’re almost positive about is that she is not paying for that ginormously beautiful house.

3) You can kick your husband while he’s down and still get an apology. During one of the episodes we watch Kevin and Dani have their first ‘real fight’. This pretty much consists of Kevin having a really rough day and sitting around the house waiting for hours for Dani to come home and comfort him while he told her about his day. Dani waltzes in and makes it perfectly clear that she is not in the mood to talk to Kevin about his feelings, she needs to take some time to go to her room and change into ‘comfy clothes’. She finally emerges from her bedroom, in the same uncomfortable clothing she was wearing before, and Kevin apologizes for not being considerate to her. He’s perfect.

4) Your entire family gets a free trip to Italy. In one of the most recent episodes, Kevin takes Dani’s family camping and at the end of the trip he and Dani tell the family that they have purchased tickets for everybody to go to Italy together. Obviously this isn’t just any trip to Italy, this is one where they take tours of wineries and stay in the nicest suites at the Four Seasons hotel. So, really, don’t be selfish; if you love your family, marry a Jonas.

5) You know your man is pure. This one is pretty self-explanatory; every woman loves the comfort of knowing that her husband has never been with another woman, it always puts us at ease.

Well, there you go, only five of the reasons why Kevin Jonas is the perfect husband and why you should all watch the show and then proceed to find out where the other Jonas brothers are and then make your moves…I’ll see you there. 

Until Next Time,

Arielle Ozery