culture

An Interview with Beloved Magazine x

 Lark Reely- Founder of Beloved

Lark Reely- Founder of Beloved

Hi bb’s! We are so happy to be working with another girl gang in our home city of Norman, Oklahoma.

If you could start by telling us your name, biggest goal in life, age, and (if applicable) major?

Lark: I'm 24 and CEO and founder of Beloved Magazine. My biggest goal in life is to be a mamma, honestly.

Vic: Hi! I'm 22 & the Director of Operations for Beloved. My biggest goal in life is Leandra Medine (luv u Man Repeller).

Mackie: I'm 23, Editor of Beloved, 5th grade teacher through Teach for America (about to begin year 2/2). Goals are to help bring people into themselves through empathy, encouragement, and freedom. 

Mistral: Hello! I'm 22 and Social Media/Marketing Lead for Beloved. My biggest goal in life is to say I accomplished all of my dreams simultaneously, such as stopping injustice and terrorism overseas as well as working in fashion. You think I'm kidding.

 Mistral Salas - Social Media/Marketing Lead for Beloved

Mistral Salas - Social Media/Marketing Lead for Beloved

 

How did Beloved start? What is Beloved?

Lark:  Just an average, ordinary tale of a gang of gals with a hope n' and dream for better days and hotter content.  Haha, just joking. I was in a small group for my church my senior year, and four of my friends and I would get into these long, honest conversations about faith and identity and our brokenness.  And we would talk about these questions and decisions that were ahead of us as we approached graduation and laugh about how many things we didn't even come close to knowing. 

Meanwhile, I had been starting to read magazines again.  I only chose magazines I know I could trust the pages would be free of gossip and negative body talk.  And even though the magazines I was reading weren't shaming, they still weren't filling me up and encouraging me.  I didn't feel like I was even on their radar, actually.  So I prayed out of frustration for a magazine that understand me, encourages me, and really challenges me.  I wanted to read something and have actual solutions to the problems I was having instead of putting it down and 1) not having any better direction and 2) feeling like I had a longer list of more shallow things I needed to cross off list.

So that's when I tried to get my friend, Sheridan Hall, to start the magazine for me.  After she gave it some thought and politely told me that it was my dream, not her own, I decided to ask propel around me if they wanted in.  First Emily Irvin, Kaitie Holland, Mackie Taylor, Kelsi Burdick, Becky Rice, Brooklynn Nichols, ALL OF MY ROOMMATES PAST AND PRESENT, and pretty much anyone I spoke to started to do this thing with me.

And that was almost three years ago! And here we are! 

How many are on your team? What is the hiring process like? 

We currently have 4 lead girls: Lark (Wonder Woman), Victoria (Saving Grace), Mackie (Personal Entertainer), and Mistral (New Girl on tha Block). We also have three wonderful interns right now, and a whole lot of support from amazing mentors. Our hiring process is really focused on bringing people in with the same vision and goals for Beloved, but also with a fresh mindset and new way of thinking. We like to hear ideas and write about things from different points of view.

 Mackenzie Taylor -Editor of Beloved

Mackenzie Taylor -Editor of Beloved

As Oklahoma natives ourselves, is Beloved only OK based? Would you like to grow, and if so where and why?

Right now Beloved is only created out of Oklahoma. We would love to reach a point of growth elsewhere and see the magazine places it would be able to thrive and encourage a whole new audience of women. Here's to the next year!

How do you market your most recent publications? What type of demographic do you find yourself connecting with?

We begin each new magazine issue with a release party to celebrate. We invite our friends and anyone who wants to come to see what we've worked so hard at and what we are proud of. Afterwards, it's a lot of social media marketing as well as word of mouth. Right now, we have a significant college students following, and those friends of friends help us market each issue. We really connect with women like a friendship, and those women are typically between the ages of 18 and 25.

What does it mean to “inspire hope?” 

To inspire hope is to ignite a passion in women that goes beyond today and tomorrow. We want to inspire forward thinking and hope for a bright future. Instead of living in insecurity and striving for unattainable perfection, we want to encourage young women where they are right now.

 Victoria Storm - Director of Operations for Beloved

Victoria Storm - Director of Operations for Beloved

Gold Hand hopes to start a zine within the next six months, what advice would you give to people like us who are hoping to one day start their very own print?

Lark: Surround yourselves, both individually and professionally, with people who are going to commit to keep cheering you on and ask you hard questions.  Also, get many estimates and get them early. Financial planning, distribution agreements set up beforehand, marketing plan, and donor/sponsor/advertiser development planning. 

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

We get inspiration from just about everything. Strong females, music, other magazine publications, books, podcasts, devotionals, friends, and family all inspire us in one way or another. Parents and siblings, Brittany Spears, Man Repeller, and Hillary Clinton all came up at our retreat last night. Creativity sparks creativity. 

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