It isn't every day you get to find out what it's like to walk a mile in the shoes of an online magazine editor in Chicago, but Kaitlyn Kirby is no ordinary editor either. As the Founder and Editor in Chief of Mini Magazine (written with the modern parent in mind), Kaitlyn is also working on launching a second publication called Tulle later this year which will be inspiration and style based for the modern bride. And speaking of brides, did I mention that she's also planning her own wedding? (She's got to be a secret superhero and just not telling us about it. It's the only explanation!) From one editor to another, my own site editor Heather got a chance to chat with Kaitlyn about some of her tips on maintaining the ultimate in the work-life balance, why the hardest part of anything is to get started, and what makes Mini Magazine "Vogue for the juicebox crowd."
Heather Taylor: How did you get inspired to create Mini Magazine?
Kaitlyn Kirby: Mini was created to fill the gap after the closing of Cookie Magazine— a magazine I loved and no other parenting publications really seemed to compare. We wanted to give modern parents a place to find the best in style, products, celebrity interviews, and Mini peeks into the lives of other well-known parents. And who doesn't love everything Mini? We like to think of ourselves as Vogue for the juicebox crowd— a glossy with a focus on kids ages 0-10, detailing the latest in Stella McCartney children's ensembles and the latest from Bonpoint, but with bits for mom and dad to enjoy too.
HT: As an editor of an online publication, what’s a typical day in your shoes like and what are some of your tricks to maintaining the work-life balance - especially since you’re also planning a wedding!
KK: Coffee — lots and lots of coffee. A typical day begins around 7 AM when I reach for my iPhone and start scrolling through the emails that have already come through, after which I make myself get up, get dressed, pour my first cup of coffee, and get to work. Throughout the day, I'm answering emails, curating and researching pieces for our next issues, looking through photos for our upcoming weddings publication Tulle launching later this fall, and chatting with my team, going over the endless to-do lists. Since I work from home, it's 100% difficult to maintain the work-life balance, I have to say. I never really know when to turn it off. When I'm feeling really motivated, I'll pretend I have office hours (which I should really start implementing) and have everything wrapped up by 6 PM. But typically, that's not how it goes. I'm often working until 11 PM or later and when I close my computer, I switch to my phone — it's hard to stop when you love what you do. Although I do try to give myself a break on the weekends and when Friday rolls around, it's over. I try not to touch work until Monday - unless we have a deadline and issue launch, of course. Planning a wedding is a lot more fun now that we're launching Tulle and when I set aside time to go over wedding details, I just have to start my work day a little earlier — and drink more coffee.
HT: What’s one of the biggest hurdles you’ve had to overcome in business?
KK: I think building a business from the ground up is the biggest hurdle. There are so many steps and decisions that can break a person before their business is really ready to launch. But when you know your brand and establish your vision, you keep going. The hardest part is getting started and afterward, every other hurdle will just be a stepping stone to a bigger business success.
HT: What kind of shoe are you most like and why?
KK: A pointed pump! I'm really into these Kate Spade Licorice Pumps right now. They're chic and classic on the outside, but oh so sassy and pack a punch. These have been my go-to for years, with denim and pencil skirts, and they're definitely a power girl staple.
HT: What are your three biggest passions in life?
KK: Entrepreneurship— I am such a serial entrepreneur and my fiancé jokes that I think everything is a business. He's totally right, I adore building brands.
Publishing— I have always loved writing and dreamed I would be in magazine publishing. I love every aspect of creating magazines and every issue makes me happier that I made this career for myself.
Fashion— It's why I started a style-based kids publication, it's why I started a chic weddings publication, it's why I'm driving myself crazy making sure every detail of my wedding asks WWCD or What Would Coco (Chanel) Do? Fashion has always and will always be a major part of my life.