Shannon Svingen-Jones, fabUplus Magazine, Port Coquitlam
Shannon Svingen-Jones wants to empower women to see their true beauty. She is the founder of fabUplus Magazine dedicated to the plus size community. Unlike a traditional lifestyle magazine that focuses on weight loss and tries to change who women are, fabUplus focuses on teaching women to celebrate and love their uniqueness. It is the world’s only weight neutral, body positive, health, fitness and lifestyle magazine.
Q. What services has Women’s Enterprise Centre provided you and how have these services helped you?
A. Women’s Enterprise Centre has been instrumental in my company’s growth. WEC funds offered me the opportunity to expand my distribution and grow my company in a way that would have taken me at least 3 to 5 years.
Q. What inspired you to take the leap and start your own business?
A. I was tired of reading magazines that told me to lose the belly fat – shrink 10 pounds in 5 days and 10 ways to look younger. I realised that women were ready for a change and I wanted to begin that change.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you learned when starting your business?
A. 1. Be patient – growth doesn’t happen overnight.
2. Have a solid marketing plan with dollars behind it – contrary to popular belief – if you build it they won’t come. You have to tell them about you and where to find you – then they will come.
Q. What are your goals for the business?
A. My goal is to grow my distribution and see fabUplus magazine at every checkout counter in grocery stores all across North America.
Q. What is your greatest strength as an entrepreneur?
A. My greatest strength is my drive and “getter done” attitude. I was also able to identify what my weaknesses were early on and hire people whose strengths overcame those weaknesses.
Q. What personal lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?
A. Take time to make decisions and don’t be afraid to ask for advice and support. You can’t do it all on your own and sometimes you need someone as a sounding board.
Q. What were your major successes? At what point did you know you had achieved success?
A. I knew I had made it when, just 6 months after the publication of our first issue, we won one of the “hottest magazines launches of 2016” by Magazine Industry. That was when we knew we were onto something and to keep plugging away at it.