Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business.This week we chat with Brianna Carlisle, Director and Managing Editor for Fig Kennett, a guide to all of the fabulous shopping, dining, arts, and events in and around the town of Kennett Square. With a brand new holiday edition just recently launched, Brianna shares with us everything from her favorite parts of the job to her aspirations for the magazine.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I am the Director and Managing Editor for Fig Kennett. Prior to this role I spent several years in corporate marketing, several years at home with my babies, and several years as a portrait photographer and blogger. I love that new seasons of life bring new opportunities and I am currently in my dream job where I can apply all my previous skills and passions into one role. I am also a wife, mom and lover of the small town life.
2. What is the mission behind Fig Magazine?
The mission of the magazine is to help people fall in love with all things local. We like to say that we cover all things fresh, fashionable and flavorful! But it’s more than that. The goal is to lift up small businesses, encourage economic sustainability and create collaborative communities. We do this by featuring hyper local businesses and business owners who make our town so special. My job is to make sure each brand that appears in our magazine is represented well and that their unique goods and services are given great respect and attention. I take this job very seriously.
3. What is a typical work day like for you?
A typical day starts by putting my kids on the bus and then heading in to work at my downtown office. I’ll work on content creation, advertising proposals, design approvals, and meet with my advertisers. And everyday includes a walk around town to chat with business owners, grab something to eat, and snap a few photos for social media. I like to end my work day by making a list of to-do’s for the next morning. My Kate spade planner is a lifesaver.
4. As a managing editor for Fig Kennett, I can imagine you are a busy lady. What is your favorite part of the job?
I love the collaborative aspect of photoshoots. The advertiser has ideas, I have ideas and my photographer and designers have ideas. Together, we find creative ways to visually represent a brand. Sometimes you go into a shoot thinking you have a specific plan and it ends up evolving into something completely different. I’m not a strict planner by nature, so the spontaneity of the photoshoot days keeps things fun for me.
5. Can you describe the process that goes into producing just one issue of the magazine?
Each issue follows a seasonal cycle of curation of content, photography, design and then publication (both in print and digitally.) So I am constantly working with my creative team to ensure that each and every page is perfect. A large part of the process involves dreaming and visualizing. But there’s also a lot of strategic planning and scheduling that takes place in order to create the beautiful end product. The production process from start to finish is art in itself.
6. What have you found to be your biggest challenge with magazine editing?
I would say the biggest challenge for me is sticking to those tight publication deadlines. Often we are doing photoshoots entire seasons before you see them in the pages of the magazine. Most of the photoshoots for the Holiday issue were done on an 80 degree day in September. So you constantly think a season ahead.
7. Where do you hope to see the magazine in 5 or so years?
The magazine grows as Kennett Square grows. And that’s the really exciting part. In five years I see many new business and residents flocking to our small town of Kennett Square, and thriving. As that happens, Fig will be here to cover it all. We want to continue to be the premier guide for shopping, dining, art and events around town. The name of the magazine, Fig, was chosen because it’s a very historical fruit that represents abundance and prosperity. That’s always our hope for this community and I believe our magazine helps to creatively communicate that messge.
8. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you?
I am always inspired by Lara Casey, who is the Editor-in- Chief of Southern Weddings Magazine, and the Founder of the ‘Making Things Happen Workshop’ & paper planners. She has built a stunning magazine and succesful business, all while staying fiercely devoted to her family and faith. She is a very inclusive person who genuinely wants all women to succeed in whatever career or path they feel led to. I find that I relate very much to that. And I also loved that she is not afraid to share her business and personal struggles openly. Because no #bosslady is perfect and it’s refreshing to be honest about the obstacles we face as women to keep all those balls in the air.