Shannon Svingen-Jones, fabUplus Magazine, Port Coquitlam
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.
Shannon’s venture was borne from her own frustrations as an active woman who didn’t see herself reflected in the fitness magazines on the shelf. She wanted women to embrace the other benefits of living a healthy lifestyle at any size, instead of focusing on the need to change their bodies.
Shannon reached out to a body-positive Facebook group to see if other women felt the same way, and was met with overwhelming support for the publication. She launched the magazine in 2016, and has continuously grown her magazine following.
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 three to five 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 realized 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 “get ‘er 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.
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