Last year it was reported that there was an overall decline in print circulation of 5%. The same report conducted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) also stated that there some sectors that bucked the trend.
One such magazine enjoying success in both print and online is House of Coco. If you haven’t heard of the magazine, you will probably know it’s inspirational founder Laura Bartlett.
Laura is the award-winning founding editor and publisher of House of Coco, a magazine for millennials which is sold all over the world as well as in-store at Harrods and Selfridges. Having built this business in her twenties with zero investment from the ground up, Laura is a leading voice for young female entrepreneurs and a larger than life example of failure breeding strength.
From being ridiculed by Peter Jones on Dragons Den at the age of 25, she is now in demand from brands all over the world, living her dream life…. with her loves at the centre: Fashion and Travel. House of Coco is a luxury travel brand, a magazine for the Nomadic adventure seeker, aimed at those who desire connections not just from destinations, but from culture, people, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
We recently chatted to Laura on her adventurous career. Plus she shares her advice for anyone looking to enter the creative industry.
Laura, please give us an insight into your creative/industry background
I have always been a creative, right back when I was 4 years old and had my own typewriter where I used to create stories and spend my nights getting lost in the pages of Enid Blyton’s books.
What was the main influence for starting House Of Coco?
Mainly to provide a platform for my team to live their best lives which, ultimately, encourages our readers to live their best life too. We are lucky enough to work with amazing brands around the world and we constantly receive invites to check out stunning destinations. This week alone we have been invited to Dubai, Mexico, Doha and Florida.
Why does your magazine stand out in among other online and print news outlets?
We don’t focus on anything negative, we’re all about having fun and encouraging our readers to step outside of their comfort zone. Whether that’s by telling them about going on a life-changing trip to find diamonds in Sierra Leone or sharing stories about experiences they can have with their loved ones. We’re the go-to magazine for fun, adventure and soon to be focusing heavily on careers advice. We believe everyone can be, and do, anything they want to and we will be providing the tools and advice to help them turn their dreams into reality.
Describe the most challenging aspects when bringing House of Coco into the industry?
The biggest challenge I have found is finding staff that deliver on what they say they will. I have lost a lot of money from employing the wrong people but it’s all part of the journey and from that, I will always learn.
Are there any challenges the media/publishing industry faces which start-ups should be aware of?
Don’t get caught up in what other people are doing. You will always have the giants like Vogue magazine, but don’t look at or compare yourself to what they are doing. Stick with your plan, create your own voice in the industry and don’t be afraid to change the mould.
What are the key things that’ll we’ll see in the next few years in both online and print media/publishing?
I think print media is well and truly alive. Whilst the noise online increases, people get lost in notifications and apps, there will be a real desire for time out in the form of print magazines. People still do, and always will crave that ‘me time’ where they grab a cup of tea and flick through the pages of their favourite magazine. In a world where there is so much negativity online, we really need more of print.
What advice can you give to aspiring businesswomen looking to enter the creative sector?
Just do it! Reach out to people in the industry you are interested in working in and ask for advice. You’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to help you. When I started out I was the YES girl, I would go to the opening of an envelope just to hand out my business card and spread the message about my business. Look for female networks to join, I will be launching #TeamCocoGang soon so keep an eye out for that. It’s going to be a place for aspiring entrepreneurs to go for advice, exclusive events, money can’t buy opportunities and networking opportunities. It will be everything I wanted when I started out on my own.
What is your hope for the future of the House of Coco?
I want to launch the print magazine in my hometown of Leeds, I want to grow our gang to thousands of members all over the world and ultimately want people to see House of Coco as their go-to magazine for careers and travel.
It’s been an incredible journey over the course of the last four years and I feel like we are only just getting started.