How “Kate Spade Magazine” turned into “Future Boss Lady”

Sara Cummins Photography

Future Boss Lady came to me in a daydream. I used to go on road trips with my family growing up, so I spent a lot of time looking out the window thinking about ideas and scenarios to keep myself busy. This particular time I was deep into my Kate Spade phase, I had just got done reading every single book and spending way too much time looking at merchandise I couldn’t afford. I was thinking about ways I could work for that company I loved so much, and I was struck with the idea of Kate Spade Magazine, where I could talk about lifestyle and fashion, and inspire others the way the brand had inspired me.

I mulled over that idea for a while. I designed a cover, thought about different story ideas, as well as the design and layout. It occupied most of my free time thoughts for about four months.

Then I got my first internship at a wedding magazine, and with every tedious job, and pitch that was shot down, that idea changed.

If I was going to do something like this, I was going to do it my way, and I wasn’t going to have a team of people above me blocking and changing every idea. From that came Anna Clarice Magazine, which (at the time) would be a very classy, feminine, and relatable publication with different categories like career, lifestyle, health and fitness, and home. The colors would be bright and fresh, and the content would reflect exactly what I was going through in college as a millennial woman. This is when I got to work and started actually writing.

Anna Clarice Magazine was fairly dominant in my plans for a while. I loved the idea of producing content every month and getting to change design and topics consistently. However, I kept running into the problem that there were basic needs that couldn’t get lost in the first issue, such as basic budgeting, interview fashion, and a guide for renting your first apartment. This left me thinking about a

stand-alone issue that would simply contain the brand and concept introduction, and the basics.

In the same season of life I was going through journalism school, internships, and working full time. I was changing with every new experience, and I grew away from the shy, daydreaming girl that only cared about good grades and graces.

The woman I was becoming became more defiant with every person that walked over her, grew tired of living on other people’s terms and became scared of watching her dreams slip away.

I think it was the fear that drove me to write well into the night, day after day.

As the content came into fruition and I could start seeing actual components come together, I really started thinking about maybe starting with a book, and then having spin-off magazines. Being in journalism school I was watching the industry change before my eyes, and I saw how powerful companies like Amazon were, and how 90% of my education and entertainment was coming from my phone and computer. Articles are fleeting and are constantly being replaced, yet my content was evergreen, which is why I thought that the first round of information should be between a cover. Keep in mind that these ideas and thoughts stretched over weeks, if not months, and it was all just in my head. However, the more I thought about it, changed things, and nurtured the brain baby, abundant possibilities came with it.

Once I decided that Anna Clarice Magazine was actually going to be a book, I was off to the races. I couldn’t stop. It occupied my lunch breaks, I was sneaking work while I was on the clock, and during class and lectures. I filled notebooks with different ideas and layouts. For the first time, I truly stopped caring about what my parents wanted, or what I should be doing. It became my passion and my comfort, and I felt so fulfilled when I was working on it.

On the side, I was also reading books regarding self-improvement and career preparation. I started following Instagram accounts that were business oriented, and I was ingesting a lot of content regarding what it means to be a “boss”.

  • Dress sharp and professional.

  • Don’t get emotional.

  • Do what it takes to win.

  • It’s not personal, it’s just business.

  • Do what you have to in order to make money.

When comparing this content with my all time favorites from Kate Spade and Lauren Conrad, regarding lifestyle and entertainment, it started to become two separate worlds for me. At work, I was sharp, professional, and driven. At home, I was bubbly, creative, and very feminine. This got me thinking about wanting to marry the two worlds, and how being a “boss” isn’t just for men in suits. I felt like there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t be a boss and also love making cheese plates and wear bright colored dresses.

Here is when I started wanting to change the image of what a “boss” was. I wanted to express that a boss could also be a lady, and women shouldn’t have to choose power and authority over femininity. I am naturally a very feminine person, and I spent my entire working career in the gymnastic and bridal industry, constantly working with women. I couldn’t reside to the idea that this trait would hinder me from ever being able to inspire people on a large scale or be a leader.

I also knew that the content I was writing and experiencing was relevant to a younger reader. For the woman that wants to become a leader or achieve big dreams, but is just starting out and needs to handle the obstacles that are in front of her now. Not the obstacles that she will face after the fact.

These conclusions are what factored into the title and brand: Future Boss Lady.

Future: it defines that there is a goal in place.

Boss: it holds a sense of power and authority, and relates to success.

Lady: it represents femininity and maturity.

Altogether, “Future Boss Lady” reflects a goal, inspiration, and support. I wanted to create exactly what I needed when I was just starting out in all of this, and provide that sense of comfort and care to other women like myself.

At first Future Boss Lady looked like a hot pink cover, dark, bold fonts, and an Instagram account full of quotes. I struggled with figuring out whether or not I should be allowed to swear or touch on controversial topics. It was just writing a series of mini-articles and lists. Then I discovered the Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher, and everything changed.

Before discovering her I really didn’t know much about women in business. I always just thought that CEOs were just men in suits who drove fancy cars. After discovering Jenna I saw that CEOs could also look like women who spend their days in yoga pants and take month-long sabbaticals in Hawaii. For the first time in my life, I had a role model who looked and talked and acted like me. Jenna in particular even had the gymnastics background and career in bridal. Which was truly a game changer, because it gave me the justification to really make this a thing.

Within a year, post-graduation, Future Boss Lady went from a rough skeleton to a full-fledged book and brand. I bathed my brain in content every single day, trying to learn everything I possibly could, and I worked 40+ hours a week on FBL in addition to my full-time job.

Set up at my kitchen table, with my fiancé playing video games in the bedroom, he stayed up with me until 3 am nearly every night. At first, it was extremely overwhelming, thinking about all of the content I had to write and design, I was also trying to do things that I had absolutely no experience doing, like designing a website and running a professional Instagram account. Then there was, of course, the worry of whether or not people would even want it.

This experience was not without stress, frustrations, exhaustion, and many tears. What started as just a little daydream of an idea turned into my life. To this day it’s completely mind-boggling to me, and I am very aware that just one small decision could have changed everything.

People have asked me how I wrote an entire book, and here it is. I had an idea and I ran with it, nurtured it, and let it live. I treated it like a job, and I gave it value in my life. I’m not exceptional or brilliant, I’ve always been one to score averagely, but what I do have is the will to try and work hard. Something that literally everyone on earth can do, it just takes the desire to do so.

Off the top of your head, right now, write down an idea you have and see if it could turn into your next big “thing”. #FBL

Sara Cummins Photography:

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