Jul 2 2013
We recently caught up with Features Editor, Katie Searle-Williams, of Kinfolk Magazine and learned they are going digital. Readers are now able to access the quarterly magazines original content online. Their recipes, swoon worthy photography, crafts, to do’s, city guides, videos and photography, etc are now just a click away.
Words and Interview by Jess Hemenway/Photos via Kinfolk Magazine
Jess Hemenway: Tell us about yourself—where do you live? What’s your house like? What do you like to do in your spare time?
Katie Searle-Williams: Nathan and I live outside of Portland in secluded wood. We love being close to the city and office, but having our home ‘removed’ from the hustle ‘n’ bustle gives us a separate space for rejuvenating. Our home is very rustic, some would say primitive. It’s simple, but fits our needs and is the perfect space for us at this time in our lives. We both love the water and the Columbia River flows down the hill-giving us easy access to unlimited swimming!
JH: So many magazines are focusing on going digital right now. We like that rather than going virtual, you’re making it all about experiences and community. What sparked this concept?
KSW: You’ll be shocked, but we JUST brought back a digital platform of Kinfolk! All back issues are now available on the website kinfolk.com. We did this to allow readers who don’t have back issues and the cost prohibitive a way to still take advantage of our resources. That being said, print is still our main focus and we bring that further into fruition with our community events and engagement. We host monthly workshops and dinners, bringing readers and likeminded individuals face to face, to make mutually benefitting connections and conversation. We wanted to provide an environment where what we talked about in the magazine could take place- walk the talk if you will.
JH: Running a small start-up business has its challenges. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in getting Kinfolk off the ground and what advice would you give someone just starting out in the world of editorial?
KSW: Two major obstacles that come to mind are fulfillment of orders and communication. We have fulfilled and mailed our orders up until the last issue and it was the biggest learning curve- I think I could be the best postal worker now. We are such a small team that we all wear many hats, and often are spread quite thin. We hear from so many interesting individuals and work with so many contributors that we’ve really had to learn how to stay on top of those conversations. This is something we are still working on, but would say is one of the most valuable things to stay on top of.
JH: What are your plans/dreams/goals for the next five to 10 years?
KSW: That is not a question I’ve ever found easy to answer. A lot can happen in ten years! But as for the immediate future, we are constantly trying to do better at what’s in front of us- creating a quality reading experience and community. This will happen through outreach, events, partnerships, and other projects. We’re pushing through what’s on our plates right now, trying to stay focused on building up our brand, but hope to be able to spread out to other opportunities early next year.
JH: What has been your favorite dinner or workshop to date?
KSW: The flower potluck was my favorite event to attend so far. It was so hands on and brought together people from all walks of life. It was the best way to celebrate being together and the coming of spring.
Thanks, Katie. Check them out online!