Friday 20 June 2014

2Inspire Business Profile: Deborah Marie, The Founding Editor of AFRONOIRE Magazine

In this inspirational interview we meet Deborah Marie, the Founding Editor of AFRONOIRE Magazine, who is inspiring a generation with her hard work and dedication to the media.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
A typical business day for me sees me starting my day at 10am. Emails are always the first thing on the agenda, when I get into the office, which is in Camden. Most of the liaising with the contributors is conducted over email – with meetings scheduled 2 to 3 three times a week (in the afternoon preferably) to go over any projects. During my day, I edit, write, research and plan editorials. I sometimes design necessary literature and try to keep up with social media!

 What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
AFRONOIRE first began as a personal project, which then extended into a full magazine when I came to realise that there were many women like myself in the UK who needed a publication of its kind. The idea came to me in the middle of night. I remember clearly, the date time and everything. I jumped out of bed, wrote a 2-page business plan, contacted a web designer the next day and fast forward months later, here we are!
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
It’s too early for me to say so but the website has been running for over a year! That’s an accomplishment! It’s so easy to give up when starting something! But the response from the audience has been great. It reinforces in the publication and all the plans I’ve got for it. I’m very much aware of the sentimental effect AFRONOIRE has and has had on individuals and myself even! That’s one of the many things that keep me going. I want to continue to acknowledge people, their accomplishment and be a safe platform via which their thoughts, fears and excellence is expressed, shared and celebrated!

 What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
The biggest challenge thus far has been maintaining my integrity and standards. Being in the publishing/media industry does come with a lot of pressure because it’s a very competitive industry. Many publications focus on the moneymaking blueprint of celebrity culture, hair and entertainment news. My aim is to tell stories and have a positive influence in how black culture – black women specifically are represented. Doing that requires selection, patience, and pep talks then and there!

What are your future plans for the business?
To grow internationally, firstly in Francophone countries.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Patience, I would have waited a while longer, collected a year’s worth of material before launching. 

What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?
AFRONOIRE looks ‘prestige, luxurious and high quality’. It’s ‘needed’ and that it’s going to ‘be big’ – that’s humbling! It warms my heart and cheeks from happiness and from smiling so hard! It’s nice to know that you’re on the right track of accomplishing what you have set out to do.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Dreaming is sweet but living out your dreams is even sweeter! With setting out to do what you want to do, you take control of your life and destiny as it relates to your career and that to me is bliss and happiness even at the lowest points of our journey because you are doing what most people aren’t brave to do because of fear. But as FDR said, fear is paralysing and that if one should fear anything, it should be fear itself!

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Know what you want to do! Set your standards…do not copy! Have your mission, aims and objectives be clear! Compromise is a must-sometimes but you shouldn’t always have to compromise when it comes to fulfilling your integrity. Integrity is everything! Learn the basics of media law and that goes for any photographers, designers, writers, etc.

What or who inspires you in business and why?  
AFRONOIRE is inspired by love, creativity, my desperation to see change as it relates to the perception of black women in this country and globally. Black history inspires AFRONOIRE because we live in a day and age where we have the means to tell our stories so I want to be part of that legacy for generations to come. Though I’m one to often preach that I am a human being before I am a woman then my race, it’s important that I focus of portraying the black female race as honestly as possible. My hope is that this will contribute to the acceptance of each other and our comfort with each other and other races and cultures.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it’


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