The success of Lonny, the online-only shelter magazine created by a bunch of out-of-work Domino staffers after the magazine closed, is well-documented.
Undoubtedly inspired by Lonny, college friends and co-founders Katie Armour and Jane Lilly Warren decided to launch Matchbook–www.matchbookmag.com–a online lifestyle mag geared toward the girl who listens to She and Him, wears Kate Spade sparkly flats and desperately, desperately misses Blueprint magazine.
Katie, the editorial director, is the lovely blogger behind The Neo-Traditionalist and has also contributed to Lonny. Jane, the creative director, spent the last two years on the creative team at J.P. Morgan’s private bank.
We recently chatted with Matchbook‘s masterminds on the who, what, and why of this particular mag.
Fashionista: How do you two know each other, and what made you decide to start an online magazine?
Katie and Jane: We attended college together in the small, picturesque town of Lugano, Switzerland. Fast friends, we took a day trips to Pucci in Milan, spent weeks traveling throughout in Bosnia, Sarajevo and Croatia, and enjoyed many an art history course together. This experience abroad cultivated our mutual love of everything from timeless fashion and international cuisine to stately interiors. By founding Matchbook, our goal is to create a platform for people to uninhibitedly indulge their interest in the charmed life.
Online magazines are so different from blogs or portals. Can you explain to us how you measure readership, and also how advertising works?
From fashion to interiors, we seek to partner with companies whose ads will flow seamlessly between our editorial content. Advertising on the pages of Matchbook allows for direct point-to-purchase technology, tracked click-throughs, and by eliminating the overhead of print, we are able to offer rates at a much lower price point for a comparable number of impressions.
Who is your reader?
The Matchbook girl immerses herself in beauty, fashion, culture and interiors. She celebrates the classics, yet is up on the trends, and has a soft spot for history.
The web allows those of us in publishing to reach a niche audience without the overhead a print publication requires. How many of you are working on the “book” at once, and how long did it take for you to put the first issue together?
We work with a small team, which allows us to oversee every aspect of the work and assure that it is on brand. In addition to our core team, we had five editorial contributors. The first issue of course allowed for more lead time than our consecutive monthly issues will, and we are constantly assessing how to best grow moving forward, while maintaining our tight-knit team and distinct voice.
What’s up next for Matchbook?
We look forward to consistently bringing our readers fresh content on a monthly basis, and producing rich, modest sized publications. Branding is integral to the growth of Matchbook, and we are always seeking new ways for our readers to get to know the Matchbook girl. From our custom designed matchbooks to our checklist of 50 classics for every closet, we hope to provide our readers with more than a magazine, but tangible tools for living a charmed life. While growing our readership, we also hope to explore more ways to incorporate multimedia, expand our blog, create photo galleries and much more.
What’s your favorite feature from the first issue?
We had the great fortune to interview several of our favorite tastemakers, as well as up-and-coming designers for our premier issue. It is nearly impossible to pinpoint a favorite feature, as this combination of the new and the established is integral to the mission of Matchbook. We were incredibly pleased with the response to the Haley Boyd feature, of Marais USA, as her effortless style provides a contemporary twist on the classics, a core Matchbook creed.