“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Samantha Christian is the founder of LOIS., which is Tasmania’s free magazine for women, by women. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of this project since the debut issue, as the Beauty Contributor, and I’m proud to share that LOIS. has soft launched into Melbourne with Issue 2, with outlets being realised in Melbourne come Issue 3.
I’ve always been in awe of Samantha’s vision and creativity and with the popularity of magazines like Collective Hub, entrepreneurship has never been more exciting, so if you too wish to create your own start up – Samantha may just give you that inspiration to go for it!
Have you always been one to follow your dreams, and try new things business-related, Samantha? I am lucky to have come from a family and home environment that was incredibly supportive, I was taught from a young age that I could be whatever I wanted to be when I “grew up”. The problem for me was that I didn’t really know what I wanted to be and then when I did “grow up” I still didn’t know the answer. I had no outside pressure placed on me to make a decision about my career however the pressure I placed on myself was immense so I jumped straight back into learning and failed. I tried University and hated it, I wanted to be a journalist but I just wasn’t learning in that environment. I deferred my degree twice before I dropped out so I’m a University drop-out, but that doesn’t define me. I worked in hospitality waiting tables and clearing glasses, a job I actually enjoyed. I love people and serving people, and hospitality was just another way to do that. I am a person who has always been willing to try new things, so when I was encouraged to join the Navy Reserves in 2009 I took a leap and jumped straight in, 8 years later and I still perform reserve service. When it comes to business I take a more measured approach. Having worked in my family business for 6.5 years in varying roles, mostly in sales and management. I was given a great testing ground to feel my way through business. I was able to see how a business operated daily from the inside out and that has been an incredible blessing. It has allowed me to launch my business (thought still under the family publishing banner Temperate Zone Tasmania) in a way that I wanted with minimal risk. My entire life has lead me to this point and I am incredibly pleased to say that now at 28 years of age I am immensely happy with the direction my career is taking. I am still learning, growing and feeling my way through it but I am the editor and creative director of a statewide publication and that feels pretty f**king cool.
What gave you the push to create LOIS. and when did you know it was the right time? My mum, Gaye played a huge role in the creation of LOIS., as we devised the concept together. We even came to each other with the same name during a late night telephone call, which was just bizarre. We actually decided to add another publication to the fold before we decided what it would be. LOIS. was the bi-product of many conversations about what was missing in the Tasmanian media landscape, after that it snowballed and we realised LOIS. really had legs, not only on a Tasmanian level but on a National level. We softly moved into the Melbourne market with another Tasmanian based business Makers Nest, a pop-up store supporting Tasmanian makers and creators.
What’s been the most exciting moment of the LOIS. journey? The most exciting moment so far has been securing our first “celebrity” cover. And for me, personally this celebrity couldn’t be any bigger. We are remaining a little hush on just who it is (for now) however we will be giving our tribe a sneak peek in the coming weeks so follow our social handle @loismag on Instagram and Facebook.
Samantha, what’s the hardest part about being the ‘boss’ and leading a team? Well I can’t say that I ever really considered myself to be a “boss”. I manage a great team of freelance writers and draw a lot of inspiration from them. For the most part it’s about collaboration and moving towards a common direction. I do a lot of the work in house from graphic design, publication compilation and advertisement design to sales, consulting and managing client relationships. We have a wonderful team of people who have volunteered their time, resources and skills to help get this publication up off the ground and I can honestly say that without these people creating LOIS. would have been almost impossible. It is my dream that we can grow our team to hire its first full time staff member in the first 3 years (or sooner). I’m incredibly passionate about our state and I’m here to prove that you don’t need to leave the island to make a career for yourself. There are so many talented people running global businesses from our beautiful island home and we want LOIS. to grow to be one of them.
If you were to create something new, what’s something you would do different next time around? Hahaha hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wouldn’t have launched LOIS. during building our first home. At times the stress of managing both projects has been crippling – ps. we still aren’t in our new home! I also would have started by drawing up a business plan before launching. Don’t feel like you need a clear 12 month plan, we all know life is unpredictable at the best of times. So give yourself 3 months worth of planning to work from. Have clear direction of where you would like to see your business 3 in months and if something deviates you from that plan adjust, it really is that simple.
What advice would you give others looking to go after their dreams and create their ideal business? My advice is to really know your target market, consider your position in the market place and be sure that your product has a point of difference. It’s all very well to start a business but you want to ‘start smart’. Be lead by your heart and trust your intuition. Businesses and organisations that are heart-focussed come from a place of authenticity and integrity and consumers identify with that. Be true to yourself, true to your cause and find something that helps you sit in a space of positivity. For me that’s meditation and yoga for you it may be something completely different.
One other point is don’t believe the social hype surrounding entrepreneurship. So many people paint being an entrepreneur as a glamorous and fulfilling experience and to put it plainly that image is bullshit. It’s hard work, it’s tears and anxiety and panic attacks and sleepless nights. You will have days where you feel like giving up, you will feel like it’s simply not worth it and that’s the truth of being in business. Some days you feel crazy and other days you feel like you completely have your shit together. It’s not easy, it’s incredibly hard. For me, at the end of the day it is worth the mental shit storm to create something beautiful, purposeful and meaningful. To create for myself and to create for others, for me that’s living the dream.