Come September 16, there'll be a new girl town — town being the online-only world of shelter publications and the girl being Rue Magazine. Formed by a foursome of passionate design bloggers (Crystal Gentilello, Anne Sage, Alain Kaczmarski, and Caitlin Flemming), the magazine is proof of the power of the Internet. Not only will it live exclusively in cyberspace, joining the ranks of favorites like Lonny and Nesting Newbies, but the ladies "all met through the wonderful world of blogging," as cofounder and editor in chief Gentilello says. They decided that with a lot of hard work and their shared knowledge, experience, and love for interior design, they could bypass the velvet ropes of the publishing industry and simply . . . launch their own magazine!
Rue has been kind enough to share these exclusive images of the upcoming premiere issue with us as a sneak peek. From the looks of it, it will be chic to the core and full of inspiration for design fanatics like me. I'm seriously swooning over that perfectly styled and accessorized bookcase and anxious to see more of the home it belongs to.
Gentilello also happily obliged to answer some questions about the magazine. Check out my interview below!
CasaSugar: Can you tell me a little about what prompted you to launch Rue?
Crystal Gentilello: In a moment in time when I felt a need for the next big thing in my life, the idea for the magazine came to me last April and on my 27th birthday. It was as if a light turned on in me and there was no stopping me from there! The team formed very naturally soon after that and Rue Magazine began to quickly take shape! In general terms, the idea was just the obvious marriage of two lifelong loves of mine: interior design and writing. On a more specific level, the magazine world can be so sequestered, and we wanted to bring the all-inclusive mentality of design blogging to a shelter publication.
CS: The magazine is a team effort between you, Anne Sage, Alaina Kaczmarski, and Caitlin Flemming. Who plays what role?
CG: I am so proud of the team we've built at Rue! I'm impressed each and every day by these ladies' intelligence, business savvy, creativity, and collaborative attitude. All us have such different professional backgrounds and strengths, but are brought together by an enormous enthusiasm for design and a love of magazines. Anne (cofounder, executive editor) is the most brilliant writer I've ever known and has a knack for producing the most stunning shoots I've ever seen. Alaina (managing editor) has an incredible editorial instinct, vast knowledge of magazines, and a common-sense way about getting to the heart of the matter. And Caitlin's (market editor) eye for picking up on trends before they happen and bringing them together in a way that really tells a story is uncanny.
Continue reading for the rest of our interview and find out what we'll see in the first issue!
CS: With two of you living in Chicago and two in San Francisco, how have you managed to put everything together? And how did you find each other?
CG: We are a true product of our digital age — we do everything via email, Gchat, and Skype conference calls with much success! Anne and I also have weekly Monday night phone dates so we can map out our game plan for the week and catch each other up on what we're working on. She and I also see each other in person about once a month when we meet on location for photo shoots, which is always so much fun! Of course, Alaina and I get to hang out often here in Chicago, as do Anne and Caitlin in SF. The fact that we're in different cities really works to our benefit. We can attend different industry events, stay privy to what's going on in different parts of the US, and bring a fresh perspective to the table when we meet. As for how we found each other? We all met through the wonderful world of blogging! In fact, Anne and I worked on fleshing out the magazine together for two months before ever even meeting in person. When we finally did meet, we hit it off so quickly we were finishing each others' sentences by the end of the day. It's a true partnership made in heaven!
CS: There are more and more online-only decorating magazines debuting today. What sets Rue apart?
CG: First and foremost, we are truly honored to be amongst such an amazing group of online-only shelter magazines. It's so exciting to be part of this wave of change as the world of publishing continues to evolve. In addition to content that touches all areas of lifestyle, with Rue people will find that we've really maximized our online platform. Apart from the linkability that allows consumers and vendors to have instant contact, we'll be providing a full multimedia experience for our readers; from videos to downloadable items, we'll have it all! Also, what we uniquely bring to the table is our shared beginnings as bloggers. People ask if we'll stop blogging now that we have the magazine and the short answer is hell no! We feel intimately connected to the blog community. We wouldn't be here today without their support, friendship, inspiration, and encouragement. And for that, we are so grateful.
CS: What do you think the world of shelter publishing is missing?
CG: With so many incredible blogs exposing readers to different styles each day, readers care less about sticking to one particular genre of design; for a lot of us, labels like modern traditional no longer apply. Today's readers appreciate the merits of many styles, and they pull favorite elements from each to tell their own life stories. At Rue we'll honor that self-made approach to design. We'll provide readers with a broad representation of interiors from around the world, and we'll play the role of encouraging guide as they find what they love and make it their own.
CS: What can we expect to see in the first issue? Where have you traveled to shoot the issue?
CG: Let me just say that we are working really hard to impress with the premiere issue!! We've traveled to New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dallas to capture the very best for our readers! I think what will most surprise people though is the versatility of our shoots and content. We have those pure, unadulterated home tours that are at the heart of every good shelter publication, but we also have some fun surprises that take living a life with style to a whole new level!
CS: What are your goals for Rue? How many issues will you have each year?
CG: For now, Rue is a bimonthly digital magazine, so we'll have six issues per year. Our mission is simple: we want to help inspire people to live a life they love. We want to contribute to our community by providing people with the resources, imagination, and tools they need to create a life and look that truly reflects who they are.
CS: Now that you've wrapped the first issue, what have you learned that will help you with the next issue?
CG: This is such a great question! I have a feeling that our education will never end, even 50 issues into Rue! But what I have learned from the last few months is that our community is endlessly supportive, that people are generous with their time and resources, that lasting friendships can be forged in a day, that a team you can count on is worth everything in the end, and above all, that starting a magazine is the most fun you'll ever have!