Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathryn Schuyler.
Kathryn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
If I had the chance to encounter 2016, senior-in-college version of myself, I probably would have sent my young self a meme. And that meme would say, “One does not simply start a magazine.” Senior-in-college Kathryn though, she didn’t think so.
I was in that stage we all endure at the start of our careers where there are too many options and not enough options at the same time. I vaguely wanted to go into editorial work, or marketing, or academia. I spent hours on the floor of my friend Betsy’s dorm room complaining about how impossible it felt to find that first job, and how overwhelmed we felt about the indomitable hill of decisions we would have to make in our 20s. How every entry-level job seemed to want 4 years of experience, and how scant our portfolios seemed in the face of interviews. Then ,Betsy proposed an idea.
She was a graphic design student flirting with publication design, and I was an English major flirting with publication. We would collab on a big portfolio piece – a magazine – to really wow those recruiters. The topic? Exactly what we couldn’t stop talking about – the maze of young adulthood. We gathered a handful of our English and Art department pals and the first issue of Mazing hit the internet in October 2016.
What we thought would be a one-time thing turned into a sacred space for us. A mission to dump our leftover passion and creativity into when we came home from those first grueling entry-level jobs. So then, came a second issue, and a third. Now, I’m shoulder-deep in preparation for our fourth issue, in print, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it this summer!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m not sure about starting something new, like really new, even has the capacity to be smooth. Like most of us, Mazing’s biggest source of beauty is also its most dramatic flaw: collaboration. I did not predict how difficult it would be to just get people to agree to deadlines. To communicate my vision and see it through another person’s art. To know when to compromise and call it a day, when to apologize for standing firm or when to stand firm boldly and without regret. I am a yes person, a do-person. But I discovered, especially working with artist-types like writers and photographers, that time and creative energy are fickle things. Human beings, it turns out, can’t say yes all the time and mean it all the time – not even me.
The lesson in all this was having grace. At some point, I had to decide how the worth of the magazine compared to the worth of some of my relationships. In most cases ladies, you can have both your dream and your relationships. But there are times these things will be at odds and it takes reconciling yourself with whatever decision you’ve made to come out satisfied on the other end. For me, I decided it was more important to me to stay on good terms with my friends and contributors that have a perfect product. And I cut myself slack over that. You can’t have it all, do it all, be it all, all the time. I know that’s tough to swallow, but once you do, it actually leaves your dream with a lot more potential to succeed, just with a little more practicality this time.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mazing Magazine – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am so immensely proud of Mazing for being about exactly what I’m not good at – including other people. In some ways, it’s just one massive group project. Like, everyone hates group projects, but for some reason, we have chosen to do one, and I love the corporate sense of energy that comes out of that. The pride that comes out of a completed issue, multiplied when you can hold the issue in your hands.
And I love, along with those lines, the mission of Mazing. Essentially, we’re trying to work through the uncharted madness of young adulthood – all the decisions and priorities and deadlines (on a limited budget) – and we’re trying to do it together. To give advice and take it. To inspire and accept inspiration. I think that’s what makes us, us. The fact that there is such a significant buy-in from our contributors, who believe in what they’re doing enough to donate their time to a giant group project for no other reason than to see a handful of pages bound together. It’s exhilarating.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
On a really practical level, I couldn’t survive without my organizational apps. I’m talking calendars, Mint for budgeting, UNUM for planning Instagram content, MyFitnessPal for exercise. Beyond that, I think it’s really important for me to tap into stories that help me empathize with other people. I listen to audiobooks and cry in the car, TED Radio Hour for true stories, and as cheesy as it sounds (forgive me) occasionally Oprah’s Super Soul podcast. Sometimes, with the amount of busy I keep myself, I start to feel robotically efficient and just as robotically isolated. It takes intentionally seeking out that human soul-feeding time to bring me back to life.
- $18 to Pre-Order Mazing Issue 4!
- [depending on when this will be posted] $20 to Purchase Mazing Issue 4
- Website: mazingmag.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @mazingmag
Cuba Photo By: Tiffany Lambert