Full name: Nicole Danielle Marchant
Current title/company: Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Georgette Magazine; Founder & Editor of Diamonds & Dust, a personal blog by Nicole Danielle Marchant, Freelance Fashion Stylist
Educational background: Matric
Current city: Cape Town, South Africa
On the 4th of December 2010, Nicole Danielle Marchant launched one of South Africa’s first online magazines! Formerly known as Vintage Lifestyle Magazine, Georgette Magazine is a portal for unique editorials, interviews and luxury apparel. Below, Nicole gives us an endearing account of how she started her magazine as well as combining creativity with business acumen…
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
I actually took a gap year after I graduated from High School. I chose the road less-traveled. This was a big step for me though (all of my friends told me I was crazy), but I have never regretted it, not in the slightest, and my family was incredibly supportive of my decision. During my Matric year at High School, I was very passionate about business as well as fashion, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to study Fashion Design or Business Management after I graduated. So in 2010 I took a gap year. I first started a blog, which I called Diamonds & Dust, then I travelled to the UK for a while. After I started the blog an entire online world opened up to me – I read so many other fashion blogs and websites, and I signed up to Twitter where I was able to follow a lot of interesting people. But it didn’t just end there….I wanted something more. I wanted to start my own online magazine. And by the end of my gap year, I did.
In 2010, you founded Vintage Lifestyle Magazine, an independent online women’s fashion magazine which was later rebranded to Georgette Magazine – what inspired you to launch your very own magazine? Is there a particular reason you chose to go online as opposed to print publication?
The idea of starting an online magazine was so exciting to me because it was something very different at the time. I had absolutely no clue of where to start, but after doing months of research and putting the first issue together, I found it was possible. (I love to be busy. I can never sit around and do nothing!) My Mom and I would sit for hours brainstorming different ideas too, which inspired me a lot. We are both very big dreamers!
I am fascinated by technology, and so is my husband, Luke, who is always showing me new ideas for the magazine. Technology is ever-changing and it’s extremely important for us to always be that one step ahead. The reason why I decided to start an online magazine was because there was a gap in the market as South Africans were slowly but surely opening up to the idea of reading content online instead of buying a print publication. The content we provide is unique, original, timeless – and free – which is very appealing to readers. I chose to go online because I had a feeling that it would perhaps be the future of all publications. I personally never ever buy monthly print magazines, however, print is still relevant in some instances – there are some amazing bi-annual print magazines that are like fashion inspiration books, almost like an investment, a collector’s item.
As the Founding Editor of the magazine, tell us about your responsibilities in this role?
At the moment I oversee everything, but I am very privileged to work with young creatives in South Africa that freelance for the magazine. From writers to photographers, models, fashion designers and artists. They inspire me!
Compiling a single issue requires plenty of time, labour, creativity and revenue. Could you give us a glimpse into the link between business, aesthetics and creativity?
It’s extremely important to plan ahead. From what’s going into the next issue, to budgets and time schedules. It’s one thing having an awesome idea, but it’s another thing to execute it. You have to be very disciplined. But like I said, I am very lucky to work with very talented people – nothing would be possible without them!
How did you ultimately determine the type of career you were most passionate about?
I love beautiful clothes that are made exceptionally well and I have always admired someone that has style. I’ve wanted to be in the fashion industry since forever: I wanted to be everything to do with fashion – designer, buyer, fashion editor, or a stylist… I never thought I’d end up starting my own fashion magazine though! I enjoy what I do so much that I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
The fashion and magazine industry is known to be fickle. What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your career as an Editor and how were you able to overcome them?
It can be fickle. There will always be people that don’t share the same vision as you do, so it’s very important to stay positive. For me, my biggest challenge for Georgette Magazine is to have as many like-minded readers as possible. It’s an on-going process, especially because the web is booming with fashion blogs and magazines. Because I run the magazine on my own, I sometimes do feel a bit overwhelmed with all the workload, but I have learnt to not put so much pressure on myself.
What is a typical work day like for you?
I usually wake up quite early and check my Twitter and Facebook (sometimes Instagram and Pinterest too) in bed to catch up on all the latest news before I start my day. By 08:30am I’m already in my studio working on my laptop. I’ll blog on georgettemagazine.com first and share the latest posts on Facebook and Twitter. Then I’ll answer emails, which is usually liaising with writers, fashion teams, brands, guest bloggers, people we’re going to interview in the next issue, etc. After this, it can be anything from putting the actual magazine layout together, to editing, preparing for a fashion shoot, researching, writing, working on a new project for the website, preparing interview questions, meetings, and blogging on Diamonds & Dust. Each day is different and fun.
What is most fulfilling about being your own boss?
I can get carried away with my creativity, ideas, dreams, visions, and goals in life. Seeing something you’ve created grow into something you’re proud of is a wonderful experience.
Advice for aspiring editors?
I saw this poster somewhere once:
I’ve personally added “Quality vs Quantity” to this. I live by it!
Morning or night?
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and what would you order?
I was going to say Angela Ahrendts or Natalie Massenet, but I absolutely adore Grace Coddington. It would be an honour to have lunch with her. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, so I would ask her about her first years of working at Vogue. And we’d order sushi of course!
I wish I knew how to: Speak French fluently. (I’m getting there. Slowly but surely.)
African women are…
Brave and Beautiful!
South Africa is…
A country that I am proud to call my home.
Worst money mistake…
Paying someone a lot of money to build a website for me, when I could have basically done it on my own. It can be as simple as buying a WordPress theme and customizing it!
My MacBook Pro, iPhone, and Canon 550D camera.
Motivation in 3 words…
Never give up!
You may read Georgette Magazine on http://georgettemagazine.com
Images provided by Nicole Danielle Marchant. Fashion Editorials taken by Ashley Marie and Anika Molnar.