Posts in Zines
Utilising Social Media

This post / story / blog is going to be short and sweet as I am super tired for various reasons. 

Some missions have been achieved this week, to date: 

- I have sent off an article to a zine, discussing identity including my own, hopefully it will be good enough for the printed copy. I will not say anymore at this stage in case it doesn’t but fingers crossed, as always. 

- A few alterations to the website have been made that were suggested from my PR meeting last week; such as the social media buttons being put in order of priority. I have change the social media handles to replicate one another for consistency and so it is easier to remember. I wanted them all to be Tania Swift Fashion but Twitter has a limited character count so I opted for Tania Swift Ldn instead, which is fine.

- Also, I have added the lookbook and compressed it. I didn’t realise how big it was until I wanted to add it to the website, it was nearly 70mb, 20 is the limit. Luckily the web has many options to help as the preview compression option was rubbish and rendered the quality useless. Now it is all fine and on the lookbook page as an additional file should anyway wish to peruse it in that format. It has a completely different feel to the page contentent, which I think is an interesting contrast and showcases another professional stance, well in my opinion it does. Some may say it is overkill but it doesn’t take up space and is a click option should someone want to view it. 

- Being more focused on the social media platforms has been a key focal point this week too. Trying to use each one as intended rather than pushing it all through from one to the other. It is interesting how people respond and become more interactive with you once you tweak things. It is hard to not become obsessive though, checking to see if there has been any interaction. Another thing, whilst we are on the subject of obsessiveness, Squarespace have changed the analytics on their phone app and it shows who has engaged in my website, where they are located and the pages they’ve viewed. For some people that is weird but for me it is facinating as it truly shows where people are engaging with the brand and the site as a whole. It is encouraging. Little things keep you going when you are solo. 

- Another challenge I set myself was to move out of my comfort zone by attending a networking event. I had to do an elevator pitch for 30 seconds introducing myself and the brand, which was pretty nerve wracking but with some prior bullet points I think I did well. Then speaking with other business owners afterwards was good because you get to share your experiences and woes but also give each other sound advice. Hopefully more will come from that so watch this space. 

- I sent off some art work to another zine today, which again I hope will be approved and feature in the next zine. Again I am excited for the opportunity to both be involved in another space but to also showcase the brand in another advertising capacity. 

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- Aside from that, I have compiled my email to send with the lookbook, I just want to get some final bits of advice before I do so to check the tone is correct and not too long, as is always the case with me. When that is done I will be sending it out this week hopefully to various magazines and stylists. 

- The only thing is to thing of a Christmas promotion and if it is worth getting involved with a market here or there. Food for thought this week, I did some initial research I need to check costs as it can become quite pricey.  

- The absolute final mission is to buy a calendar so I can plot out my narrative / story telling in more detail. I know I can use ical but I’m an old fashioned girl and like to look at reminders on my wall as it gives me a real sense of achievement when it is ticked off, an element that is absent from technology and honestly my phone is too consuming sometimes so I’m thankful for the separation sometimes - sounds so dramatic. 

Anyway in true fashion I have written way more than what I had initially intended but maybe it is a good sign of positive activity. Let’s hope the momentum continues. 

Small Movements

This week has been somewhat slow but with little footsteps here and there.  

I have heard from a couple of the Zines I had contacted and they are interested in me contributing so that is great. I have started to pen some ideas and sought inspiration from the previous articles I wrote for my magazine, which was helpful. 

I still need to sort out the list of magazines and stylists I want to contact. Time just flies and before you know it is Monday again. Last week was tough as my fatigue was at an all time high.  

The most annoying thing is getting an email from Companies House wanting me to submit my returns again. Honestly speaking there is nothing to submit as I have been concentrating on building the brand in different ways so the online presence is more known. This is the hard part. But accountants cost money so that will be another £500+ for  what? I need to contact them to find out if the company can be put on hold as I’m selling but not enough to cover those types of costs. Oh to win the lottery. Hummmm need to have more realistic dreams. 

Anyway, today will be a mixture of eating, resting, writing and submitting requests to attend free workshops.  

Instagram is so good, bits and bobs just keep popping up I just need to be discerning and remember my mission, which is to carve a more exposure and recognition for the brand. And keeping true to why I started the business, to help shed some more light on equality and diversity in fashion, the art world and any other areas that are fitting. 

Anyway other than that I have been having fun on my drawing tablet and playing about with written statements 

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And researching more digital techniques by way of this great book. I am hoping to learn a lot more about the industry as a whole for the future. 

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ZOTW Exhibition
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Last Thursday was the private view for the Zines of the World (ZOTW) exhibition at The Truman Brewery. The curation enabled the viewer to be completely emersed in the work due to the way it was hung. You weaved yourself amongst the hanging Zines and when one caught your eye you could enjoy its content. 

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There were so many it would be impossible to look at every one of them. But the variety was great both in size and content. Some of the Zines were purely image based whilst others had written content like mine. 

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It is always interesting to see other people’s creative take on the zine format, some were A5, some were newspapers, others were like a mini book. But the beauty is there are no rules or boundaries.

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The content of my zine was to mimic an actual magazine. The title Front Cover, was named so as I believe all women of all ethnicities, sizes, gender identifying etc should grace the covers of all magazines not just the typical model with a certain beauty aesthetic.

Women are tired of being dictated too and told time and time again you should be like this and that. But as time has shown women cannot win no matter what they do... you’re too thin, eat more of this, exercise like that, be more natural looking, wear this makeup, get that plumped - the endless cycle of being bullied mentally about how you do or do not fit into the expected norm, whatever the flavour of the month or year is, is such a snore fest. Here’s a thought, how about celebrating women for what they are, individual beauties in their own right. But that would not fit the capitalist ideal now would it? 

But on the other hand, there is a shift happening.  People, particularly women are becoming tired of that old rhetoric and are creating their own magazines or Zines to share a platform for women to gather either in person or on media forums to share how they feel and become part of a collective. That is what movements are all about, tipping the balance, questioning the perceived norm and challenging it. 

So in a way, my little zine is the start of that. Questioning the representation of women of colour in the fashion world - where are they? Why aren’t there more? Which obviously coincides with my brand and the aesthetic of having women of colour out there more visually. Now to think about what next??? 

I think I want to focus more on Indian (South Asian) women as there is a distinct lack of them in the general media world. And how do you start to raise awareness? By drawing attention to it. So thinking cap on for how to make his happen and in what way.....   

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So back to the Zines from the exhibition, I am not even sure what is going to happen to them after the show, I probably should find out ha ha! Either way it was another great experience to be a part of the exhibition and for my work to have another platform. It has made me think about making another one especially as I have the professional photographs now. But really I need to focus on the lookbook, which in turn could be extended to become a new magazine, let’s see as there are only so many hours in the day.  

So there is a break in my calendar. No more events pencilled in but it has given me the thirst for being part of a collective group. Reaching out more. I am already looking out for more opportunities and have a few I need to contact. It is fun I have to say being part of various events or exhibitions. Let’s hope there will be many more.