Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

10/02/2008

Sighted

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Underwired Magazine
Louisville, Kentucky Women's Magazine
October 2008
The Reveal Issue

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Who would guess? My first international feature would be in a Women's Magazine in Kentucky. The magazine does seem promising - it's very feminine and has a definite personality. It is also a free publication whose circulation model runs entirely on advertisements.

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More below from Pittsburgh Business Times

Friday, October 3, 2008

Underwired to double distribution, move to Starks Building
Business First of Louisville
by Sarah Jeffords Pister Staff Writer


Be Media LLC, a Louisville firm that publishes Underwired magazine and hosts a variety of events, is set to expand its operations.

Underwired publisher Laura Grinstead said she is securing additional distribution sites that will allow the company to double circulation of its free publication, which is aimed at women.

About 10,000 copies currently are distributed each month through more than 200 locations, the majority of which are downtown and in the East End of Louisville.

By the end of the year, she said, about 20,000 copies of Underwired will be distributed each month. The bulk of the new distribution sites will be in West and South Louisville as well as Southern Indiana.

Be Media also has plans to relocate from home offices to 1,900 square feet of leased space in the Starks Building downtown. Renovations of the sixth-floor space are under way, and the company is slated to move in November.

Revenue growing sharply


The physical expansion follows a steady rise in revenue for the 2-year-old company.

Underwired is on track to generate about $350,000 in revenue this year, double the $155,000 generated in 2007. Projections for 2009 call for about $720,000 in revenue.

Grinstead said the growth indicates that there was a “hole” in the local market for this type of publication.

She said advertisers like the fact that it is such a targeted demographic — 71 percent of Underwired’s readers are women age 35 and older.

Amber Turner, marketing coordinator of Imaage, a plastic surgery center and medi-spa located on New La Grange Road, said the female readership is what prompted Imaage officials to advertise in the publication. About 90 percent of Imaage’s clientele are women.

Not an easy endeavor

Although advertising revenue is fueling Underwired’s growth, it was difficult to attract advertisers in the beginning.

Grinstead, who was a teacher and then a stay-at-home mother before launching the publication, said one of her biggest challenges was navigating the advertising world.

Many companies wanted to wait until Underwired passed the one-year mark, and the low circulation levels also made it a hard sell.

At the same time, Grinstead could not obtain bank financing. So she funded the venture with credit cards, spending about $25,000 on equipment and then charging the printing bill for the first several months.

Long-term goal is to expand geographically

The company now is profitable. And Grinstead said she has been approached by communications companies and private investors who are interested in taking the concept to other cities.

She said she eventually would like to branch into other markets.

But for now, she remains focused on building the brand in Louisville.

“Always in my mind, I’m thinking of how we can make it better,” Grinstead said. “I’m always looking at the next step.”
BE Media LLC

Description: Publishes Underwired, a free monthly magazine aimed at women, and hosts a series of social, business and life-planning events
Owner: Laura Grinstead
Employees: Six full time; the company also works with two free-lance photographers
Web site: www.underwiredmagazine.com

In the pages: Each issue of Underwired magazine centers around a different theme — PMS, power, temptation, taking chances, breakups and the number “2” in honor of the publication’s second birthday.

The theme is conveyed in mini-profiles of local women as well as submitted content, including the cover art and personal essays.

Other content includes columns, product features, book reviews and a spotlight on local eateries

Send comments to spister@bizjournals.com

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