Reno Style magazine is the brain baby of Junkee Clothing Exchange owner Jessica Schneider and her staff of fashion fans. The product was launched in October into an industry that has seen a 27 percent plunge in revenue since January, according to statistics gathered by the Magazine Publishers of America.
So why start a free magazine when the magazine industry’s ship is taking on water? To Schneider, it’s a matter of keeping business edgy and taking advantage of opportunity.
“It is about being at the right place at the right time,” she said. “It is an exciting time to be in business. The strong will survive through this. You have to just reinvent yourself.”
Permanent features in the fashion-focused magazine include a sex advice column, an article on a young area entrepreneur and horoscopes. Everything else is as much of a mystery as what Schneider will wear tomorrow morning.
Schneider believes that by giving magazine advertisers a snappy, sassy place to promote their wares, she might catch those who are pulling their ads from other publications.
“I am really trying to make it work for the advertiser,” she said.
The free magazine appears in a smattering of local businesses such as the Chocolate Walrus and Junkee. For its inaugural run, the magazine printed 10,000 copies with Century Publishing in Post Falls, Idaho.
“I really did try to do local (in hiring a printer) but it was so much more here,” Schneider said. “I really believe in small, local business and I try to support that.”
The clothing-store-dame-turned-magazine-publisher has her fingers in several local startup businesses.
In addition to running her funky brick clothing co-op on Virginia Street, Schneider broadcasts her style on the “Reno Style” TV show five times a week on Charter channel 3. She buys her own airtime for the shows, which have been running since 2008. She also owns an antique business that she runs out of the corner of her Virginia Street store. On the side, she dabbles in interior design work – mostly just as favors for friends.
“I guess I am addicted to the startup,” Schneider said. “It’s the chaos of it, the staff meetings, the planning …”
The 34-year-old business owner started her first small business at age 21: a small vintage clothing store in Gardnerville. What followed was a whirlwind of owning a Gardnerville bar, giving that up, moving to Reno, starting an interior design business, then starting up Junkee about a year and a half ago.
“I guess I learn by doing,” she said, adding that it would be the same great adventure with the magazine.
According to the Magazine Publishers of America, 54 magazines folded in 2008. The association’s report also stated that wilting advertising was the single largest factor in these closings. The report was published in August.
“You can’t ever get cocky,” Schneider said. “You have to keep your edge. … I do believe in the paper, in print. That’s part of being in the right place at the right time. I am going to be my own publication and find my own niche. In Portland (Ore.) I am a dime a dozen but here, I have a niche.”
The next issue of Reno Style, due out next month, will feature a story on Reno girls going to Sparks for some fun as well as ways to dress up for holiday cocktail parties and more.