Liz Schaffer


CulturallyOurs Podcast Liz Schaffer Publishing Entrepreneur

Liz Schaffer

Show Details

In this episode, we explore Travel and Entrepreneurship as I chat with Liz Schaffer the founder and editor of Lodestar Anthology, a travel magazine based out of London. Liz is from Australia but moved to London because she really wanted to be in the heart of the creative movement in London. It is exciting, invigorating with a great sense of community and that is where Liz got the idea to start a travel magazine dedicated to one country at a time.

Liz attributes a lot of her success to that insatiable drive to make it work. She said that the day she is not excited to do it anymore and feels like she is just following a formula is when she will quit. Lodestar Anthology which stated as just a way to showcase one or two country is now up to its 11th issue and Liz has throughly enjoyed the entrepreneurial journey so far. 

Show Notes

Karthika interviews Liz Schaffer the founder and editor of Lodestar Anthology, a travel magazine based out of London. Having worked in writing and photography, Liz recognized a gap in the travel space for a magazine that really dug deep into a particular country – documenting narratives about people, places and food. This led Liz to dive headfirst into creating a travel magazine something that she did not know much about. But asking for help and realizing that it was a community effort helped Liz make her dream into a reality.

The Transcript

Karthika: Welcome, Liz. thank you so much for joining me on CulturallyOurs today. I’m really excited to be chatting with you and I cannot wait to dig into your story and your entrepreneurial journey.

Liz: Thank you for having me. Thrilled to be here.

Karthika: Absolutely. So before we begin, can you just tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from, just to kind of set the stage a little bit for this conversation?

Liz: I am the editor and creative director of Lodestars Anthology, which is a London based travel magazine that focuses on one country, every issue. But my voice sort of gives it away. I am an Australian. I moved to London eight years ago, and I started out as a travel writer and photographer. So, it’s always been a part of me  that is who I am.

Karthika: That’s wonderful. And, travel is, gosh, something that I think almost everybody enjoys. Is it something you went to school for or you kind of always knew you would get into or how did it all come about?

Liz: It’s so funny when you look back at life, your decisions, you’re like, of course it all make sense. It was a plan. But at the time it is just sort of madness and chaos that seems to sometimes work out. No, I spent most of my sort of teens desperately wanting to be an actress and I actually went to drama school for a year and I sort of realized that might be a slightly difficult challenging career and I also might not have the talent that you needed to get ahead. So around the same time I managed to have the work published and I realized I got the same rush from seeing my name in print as I got being on a stage, which you know, says a lot about my vanity. So exciting to realize there was something that made me equally passionate. So I ended up doing a journalism degree back in Australia and then moved over to the UK to sort of see if I could pursue that because it seemed like everything print and journalistic and traveling, it was happening here. So yes in retrospect, pretty seamless transition. But at the time quite quite dramatic.

Karthika: Oh, for sure. From acting to writing and photography. Was there something that sparked that interest or did you just happen to always enjoyed writing and taking pictures and were kind of doing both in parallel.

Liz: I’d always just adored magazines and travel magazines in particular. The way they told stories, the, the freedom and the personalities that were sort of captured in these pages. There’s just always captivating and I think sort of storytelling and being performer there was always that crossover. So yeah, I always had a journal, and had a disposable camera, I always loved it. I just didn’t really realize you could make a career out of it.

Karthika: Yeah, for sure. Now you enjoy writing, photography. What made you actually decide to put that in a book? I mean you said you’ve always enjoyed it, but going from enjoying to actually owning your own magazine, I’m sure there’s a story there.

Liz: Again, it’s the whole chaos thing at the time. It’s all sort of a single decision leading to another one. Whereas looking back now, oh yeah, that was a plan. But no, I’d freelance in the UK for about four years and that was for any sort of work I can get. But it was primarily written and I was getting slightly frustrated that a lot of the stories I was doing, I was sort of, you know, capturing these amazing countries and these amazing people in not a huge amount of space. And I was so desperate for a format to exist where you could really spend time doing a deep dive into a country, really tell stories, really find people, really captured the essence of place. And so I thought on a whim, I was in my mid twenties I had no dependents. That was sort of scorers moment of freedom that maybe I should try making my own. Maybe there really was a gap in the market. So I thought I’d make a couple and see how they went. And I never planned on doing more than three. And then suddenly this project took off and people responded, both contributors and readers and tourism boards who are really passionate about it. And it just got this life of its own. And so it’s kind of been Lodestars leading me and leading Lodestars sort of hand in hand since then.

Karthika: Wow, that’s incredible. No, a print magazine in today’s sort of digital age seems a bit of a contradiction now. Don’t get me wrong, I love print. I mean I, if I had some time, you would find me sitting down with a book or a magazine. There’s something so grounding about in actually flipping the pages. But a lot of people don’t think like that. So how do you sort of overcoming a little bit of that mindset? And my second question is like, how is this space, this indie publishing magazine space where you are?

Liz: Oh, I love these questions. I think one of the biggest concerns for me before starting the magazine was the assumption that print was dead. And that was very much a narrative that I was fed at university. That it’s not the right medium to go into. You don’t want to independence, you want news, you want PR because print was going nowhere. And what has been most astounding as that’s just not the case. I think a certain type of publication isn’t lasting. I think it’s a publication that doesn’t give the readers a quality content, doesn’t give the readers a chance to get completely lost in the pages. I think there’s a whole new generation of these amazing magazines that focus on the useful words and beautiful photographs and true escapism and they are coming out and they are staying out with just something magazines weren’t doing a decade ago. So I think the landscape has actually changed. I think it’s been such a subtle change and it has been led by good content and I think, you know, touched on it as well. You said that you would find yourself reading and a chair. And I think more people seek that form. And also the people who do see that form of escape where they’re passionate and they know how freeing and restorative that experience can be. And they’re the ones who go out and they will buy every magazine there is because everyone offers a different take on the world, a different slant on content, a different nuance. So we’re not really in competition with each other because we are all so different, which is actually really amazing because you know, you’re not competitive but you are coming into a landscape that can be quite challenging because so much of the print world is still geared towards larger magazines, the glosses that have much larger print runs.

Liz: So we are quite small and quite supportive of each other. So there’s a huge sense of community and networking and people will ask questions and get help from other editors because it helps for us to all be out there together right now.

Karthika: I love it. You said pure escapism and I love that phrase because you’re writing good content. And content is king even more than anything else like that. But again, that feeling of getting lost in those pages, in those images, transporting yourself just even if it’s mentally I think is very important and it’s a great way to escape.

Liz: Oh, totally.

Karthika: How many years have you been in business? And, you touched on this a little bit, but how has the ride been so far for you?

Liz: So I think the idea for Lodestars, I really started putting it into action five years ago. Since then we’ve done 10 issues. We’re working on our 11th issue now and we printed our first issue as well as a book with a Swedish publisher called new heroes and pioneers. It’s been interesting. I think something I’m asked a lot is that of are you at where you’re aware of the challenges going into it and would you do things differently? I think I was very fortunate that I had no idea how difficult it was going today. I remember sort of coming up with the idea of Lodestars, coming up with the idea of doing one country every issue and just giving it space and being terrified that somebody else was going to take that idea and, and bring out this magazine before I had a chance to. And that was such a big motivator to really sort of get the first issue out into the world because then it would be mine. So I think from idea to publishing was less than eight months and it was a tough eight months because you have no idea how challenging it’s going to be, how many obstacles they were going to be, how many mistakes you’re going to make, you know. They cost you money and they cost you time and their cost to your mental health sometimes. And I think if I’d known that I might’ve been more reluctant to get into it. So I am very grateful that I didn’t think I would go back and not do those mistakes again because I think everything that went wrong, everything that was longer than it should have been, that was slightly challenging, has meant that the magazine is at the point that it’s at now and I wouldn’t want to change that.

Karthika: Absolutely. Now I feel like as a people, as a culture, sometimes we don’t really celebrate successes in life, especially as entrepreneurs. Like you said, you know, it’s one thing after another, it’s one task after another. What’s next? Sort of mindset. So before we go any further, perhaps you can share with us some of your proudest accomplishments, not just as Lodestar, but also Liz.

Liz: Oh, it’s actually a challenging one. You’re right. You don’t stop. You sort of, it’s so funny with the magazines, you put so much time and energy into making an issue and, it’s everything and it’s all that you care about and know and then it goes to the printer and it’s so stressful and then it comes back and you see it at all. The pages are in the right order and then you don’t care anymore. It’s done. It’s finished and you move on to the next one. But, I think the thing that I’m most passionate about, the part of the thing that I feel just fills me with joy is a sense of community. I’ve managed to grow through the magazine and that’s connecting with readers. It’s connecting with, you know, the people whose stories you’re allowed to tell. But it’s primarily the contributors and the idea that we’re all in this together. We’re all supporting each other’s work and that I’m giving people a platform and you know, you have a relationship off the back of that you have the professional relationship, but you also have the relationship as friends because we’re all makers. We’re all creators. We’re all working in a world where being together, being supportive. So I think the feeling that I have that they’re feeling that this world exists around me, it’s really wonderful.

Karthika: That is amazing. You’re right. It is at the end of the day about the community, not just the community of readers but also contributors and just people supporting you. They might not buy a single issue but still you know that they have your back.

Liz: And with those contributors it’s so wonderful because every day that you get a bit overwhelmed or dark and gloomy or sort of go out and meet a photographer, or an illustrator and they are so passionate and so keen to create and keen to collaborate and you leave these meetings just feeling lighter because there are other people out there like you and madness is catching on.

Karthika: For sure. Now just like anything in life we have ups and we have downs. So can you share what some of your challenges have been and I think more importantly, how do you overcome them?

Liz: Oh, every single day there is a new and fun and unexpected challenge and part of me loves that because you wake up not knowing that anything’s going to go wrong and it’s always surprising and it’s always a new problem to solve. But I think the way get through that is sort of the same way that I got, you know, got the magazine up in the first place. And that is sort of acknowledging that you’re scared, acknowledging you are terrified, acknowledging that there is a lot at stake and doing it anyway. I think there are so many reasons not to embark on a creative project or to delay doing something or to feel like you’re not the right person to do it. You don’t have the right voice and you just have to do it anyway. Yeah, there’s a phrase done is better than perfect and I think as creatives, as entrepreneurs, sometimes we are so focused, it has to be the perfect version that you can ever create. But that sort of stops you from moving forward.

Karthika: Yes, Trust me, I’m there as well. A lot of times when I’m like, Nope, I’m not ready and I’m like, just be done with it. It’s two voices in my head. I mean few things compete with the idea that you’ve put something out into the world but wasn’t there before and you know, and that is scary and it’s just ignoring that fear or doing it regardless of getting a little bit sick, but it’s worth it for sure. Now you talked about community. You talked about this amazing sort of collective that you’re part of and you are surrounded by. Can you share how sort of the entrepreneurial landscape is where you are? You’re based in London, right? How is it from a governance standpoint, from a non for profit standpoint? Is there a lot of support? Or do you just go and you form these circles on your own?

Liz: I think it’s a little bit hard to gauge. For me, I feel like I know my own sort of indie publishing world for a while. But beyond that it’s all a bit of a challenge and I’m still desperate to learn about that. I mean for me, growing up in Australia, it just made sense to be at the time in the UK because it seemed much more connected to the rest of the world hair. There seem to be much more going on. There was more history and more experience, so it made sense that if you wanted to start something or make something, you would do it here as opposed to Australia. And I think, you know, that may have just been a 22 year old’s way of looking at things. But I do feel like it’s still the case. It’s all a bit interesting and up in the air at the moment.But there is a buzz in London that I haven’t experienced anywhere else and it is the buzz of possibility. And I do think whatever happens this year, creativity will still be forever tied with London. There’s such a history of it. It’s been at the epicenter for so long that that is going to be the one thing that really keeps going.

Karthika: Now what about mentors and people who kind of reach out and help you, especially coming from, like you said, a different country and also into an industry that perhaps you didn’t know much about. How did you navigate sort of that?

Liz: I was very lucky and then I had a lot of questions and because I’d worked as a freelancer, I knew enough editors and publishers that I could ask them. And sort of the one piece of advice I have to people, there’s no matter how silly it sounds in your head, ask those questions because it might not be as strange you think it is. The question might be the one thing that’s holding you back and it could be resolved in a couple of sentences. But the other thing I’ve continued to learn, so as the magazine has sort of taken more shape and I’ve gotten more confident in what I’m doing, is learning to still ask those questions. With the idea that they might show a bit of weakness and insecurity. I think for a long time as a writer, I was scared to say that I was worried that my voice wasn’t unique or any number of concerns. And I started saying this to other writers and realizing like, Oh, everybody thinks at some point this idea isn’t unique to me. This is a profession wide fear. So I think asking questions, but being incredibly candid is really beneficial because people will respond to your honesty and openness with honesty and openness.

Karthika: Yeah for sure. I think a lot of times it’s just for whatever reason it’s a little bit of that fear in us. I have reached out to so many people and nine times out of 10, I get a yes to my question or yes, I want to help. And that one time that maybe the person doesn’t respond sort of holds us back a lot. Very good friend of mine told me this, which I thought was brilliant. No, doesn’t mean never. It just means not now. So the fear of no shouldn’t stop us from never asking that question. Now through your magazines you really sort of dig deep into a country – people, cultures, narratives. What are some of the common themes, if I could call it that, that you find from these narratives you’ve had?

Liz:  Oh, I think the magazine’s focus has always been on creativity and people who are driven by passion and a desire to really capture and promote their country. I think a growing trend for us, I wasn’t expecting this to happen because my background isn’t in food, but a growing trend has been food because I think so much of the culture is reveal through what people eat and the flavors. So I’m currently actually editing the Portugal issue, which will be out in April and that is so driven by food. And you know, food isn’t necessarily a thing you equate with Portugal and great cuisine, but because this was a nation of explorers and pioneers, so much of what you eat there and what we eat elsewhere in the world is because of Portuguese exploration and travel and ingenuity. What I try to do is I try with each issue have its own focus and quite often it might be a subconscious choice, but quite often I feel like I don’t know where that focus isn’t until I get those first layouts back in the design. And I like it when that focus surprises me. So we did a France issue and of course I was thinking that was going to be cheese and wine instead of quaint villages. But it was wilderness, it was green spaces, it was getting out into nature, which was quite surprising. England, which is such a tiny island was this ode to diversity and how much you can fit into a small country. Of course, you know, Italy was also food that Sweden was the idea of nature and space. And I hadn’t thought about that. So it’s always quite a surprise when these magazines come back and you’re like, oh, not only is there a theme that I didn’t really expect to happen. There’s also a color palette and a tone of voice. Its always quite surprising.

Karthika: Yeah. That’s fascinating. So do you have a favorite country?

Liz: Oh, that’s a tough question. It’s like I was saying before, I think so much of your thought in your creativity and your energy is put into the country that you are currently working on. So right now it’s Portugal all the way that, you know, it’s like for the themes, every country has something to offer. And on certain days you might crave a little bit of Japan and other days you might need some Canada. It’s whatever you wake up in the mood for.

Karthika: True. Let’s talk motivation, mindset, growth. Unlike corporate where somebody else is in charge and you don’t make the decisions, as an entrepreneur it is all of you. So how do you keep yourself motivated? How do you keep yourself excited about the future?

Liz: I think it’s going with the idea that you have an idea and you are desperate to make that work. Thats what keeps you going. And you know, with Lodestars it was that sense of I love this idea. I think it’s unique. Oh Gosh, let’s do it before  somebody else does it. And so walking really quickly to make sure you are the first one with it. And I think it’s the idea of a challenge. It’s you want to engage your brain, you want to connect, you want to do everything you can and put in everything you can to make this project. So it is the idea that anything can go wrong and anything could go right in anything as possible. You need to be excited to be at your desk. And I’ve always said with Lodestars if there is a day that I wake up and I think that it’s easy or I’m following a formula is the day I have to stop because it won’t be a drive anymore. It will be a job. But also I think most entrepreneurs, I think especially sort of in industries like mine, you are alone. And it might be a small team and a desk, but it is you having to turn off at a certain time. And I do think when you sort of do that in your twenties it can require a bit of training. So the first year I was very careful not to give up my freelancing jobs because I thought that just in case I sort of was to realize this was not for me I would at least have freelancing stuff that I had to do to keep me going. And I’ve since stopped doing that because you can get chained to your desk very quickly.

Karthika: And that’s sort of leads me to my next question. You own a magazine, you write, you photograph, you at one point did freelancing. How do you balance all these things in your life? I mean, life and business and the magazine deadlines. What’s the formula?

Liz: Does anyone balance it? I have no idea. We didn’t. I’m sure you’re the same. You do worry that you’re doing it wrong or you’re giving too much weight to one thing. I think that’s very tricky. I think I have to be conscious of it. I think especially in the world of writing and in a world where you can be quite solitary, you have to be very aware of mental health and you have to be very aware of things going wrong, and all of what you do to keep everything good and level. So it is sort of that sense of balance. I’m very fortunate with my job that I’m on. I’m on the road half the year, so it’s never boring. It’s always exciting and sort of that gives me the chance to have the office time and the out in the wild time. I think it’s just working out what you need and doing your best to value that. And also when it is your own business knowing that it is okay to have time off as well. Holiday should still exist to you, right? It’s getting out of the mindset that everything would fall apart if you’re not there. I am terrible at that. I always wonder if things will fall apart if I step away. You have to be tough on yourself to take time off.

Karthika: Yeah. You hit the nail on the head when you said mental health and mental health doesn’t mean only what we associate with health. It is emotional health, physical health and everything in between. It’s being conscious of the fact that you need to take care of yourself above anything else because if you fall apart, everything falls apart.

Liz: Yes. And it can be so simple that can be spending half an hour everyday doing something just for you. So in summer that’s sort of going for a walk or doing a yoga session in winter when it’s miserable, it’s reading a book. It’s just being aware that you’re worth doing it and you’re not just a machine driving this project. So yeah, you can’t afford to fall apart. And that might mean painting your nails one night or like an extra glass of wine.

Karthika: Yes! Let’s talk specifics for a change just because I think this really helps people who are perhaps in the same situation or looking to kind of do similar things. Whatever you’re comfortable sharing. I’ll just ask a few questions and we can kind of see how it goes. How long have you been in business and how long have those have you been profitable?

Liz: So that the idea happened five years ago. The first magazine happened four and a half years ago. I’m officially not losing money at the moment.

Karthika: Okay. Have you pivoted in what you’ve done in terms of like products and services since you sort of came up with this idea and if you did what does that pivot, that evolution sort of process look like, especially for a magazine.

Liz: I think, thats an interesting question. I think the magazine itself is always doing what it set out to do. I think we’re doing it in a far more polished way with a much larger group of contributors involved and much larger support networks and a lot more opportunities available to us. So I do think the products we are making now versus those first early issues are much stronger. I think it has been a very organic, natural growth, which is always how I wanted it to grow. I want it to be sort of a trackable learning process, but I think the one thing with any businesses, even if it’s skills you don’t have complete control. So many of the side projects that we’ve done working with tourism boards to create brochures, creating the book, those were opportunities that were given to us because people found the magazine and really liked what we were doing. They were not things I actually went out looking for. And I think that’s really interesting. You have this business plan and you have these ideas, but sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to be offered or what you’re going to accidentally make possible through your work. So just be open to people wanting to collaborate in reaching out and the idea that not everything is set in stone.

Karthika: That’s a very good point. Do you only work with freelancers or do you also employ people as in a full time staff? And if so what does that look like? What are your criteria for employing somebody or even for getting contributors on, especially freelancers.

Liz: That’s a challenging one. I think business wise I’m very aware we’ve got the magazine to a point where it works. It works amazingly as a beautiful product. I think I love what we put out into the world, but I think to go to the next step I will need more help. What’s very challenging when you sort of start your own business and it sort of gets away from you, like Lodestars has, you’re not entirely sure what their next step is. So I think I’m very fortunate in that a lot of people in the indie industry are reaching out to Lodestars with their expertise and sometimes that helps in a role that I didn’t know I needed. And sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gives you an idea about what else you might want to do. So I was very fortunate in that a couple of years ago, somebody with amazing web designing experience and who was amazing, the organized offered to create the online store for us. I was very lucky that we found that designer and we did for the very first issue. So yeah, you don’t entirely know what the job is that you need, but sometimes people fall into your lap and things take a different direction. But everybody who works for Lodestars as either a freelance content creator or has another job.

Karthika: Okay. Now where do you, as in Liz, where do you invest a lot of your time? Is it in marketing? Is it in sales, ideation, financials? So maybe all of the above?

Liz: It depends.If you had it down on a piece of paper, I would be on the creative side, the editing, the creating. But I think it’s a bit of everything. It is being aware of what marketing opportunities are. It is keeping the business functioning. It is networking. I do think the majority is the creation. We do 2 to 3 issues a year. So that’s quite time consuming. The marketing is actually fun cause marketing’s a chance to sort of talk about your project and realizing that other people are out there and get sort of the lay of the land. So yeah, I think marketing and creating.

Karthika: That’s a good combination. Now how important is social media where you are or is traditional forms of marketing still king? And I asked this question because I’ve asked this question to many of our guests and it’s always interesting to kind of hear different perspectives. So what works for you and how do you make it work.

Liz: That’s interesting. We did have our social media channels. I do enjoy being able to share. I think different social media challenges are used for different things. Haven’t quite figured out the purpose of Twitter yet for the magazine, but I keep tweeting. Facebook for us is very much a chance to share our online stories, which we run alongside the magazine. We have the website where we have different content and that’s just a fun way of giving our readers a little bit extra. If they’re sort of following us, then they can know side projects and side stories that we’re doing. Instagram I think is actually an amazing tool from a creative point of view. It’s wonderful in terms of making people aware of your product. But it’s particularly amazing in terms of finding contributors, especially photographers. It’s just such a brilliant, friendly, open medium. And I really adore Instagram. I don’t think any form of social media is without its problems. But Instagram I think it’s quite powerful and I think it is the one channel for me in particular that is just so beneficial.

Karthika: Definitely. I think even beyond sort of like you said sharing what you do and finding other people who do similar things. And that is primarily this chance to sort of say what’s out there and actually make connections.

Liz: Yes, it’s definitely a way to be social. I think when you add a lot of pressure to it, it’s sort of become sometimes not fun, But what social media is a chance for us to be social right now.

Karthika: Let’s perhaps start to wrap this up a little bit and just the interest of time. I have a few more questions if I may. You shared a lot of sort of your journey so far, but if you could pick one or two things that have been integral, what would they be?

Liz: I think the most important moment for me was meeting the designer. He was a friend of a friend because that’s how London creative communities work. And it was very early on in the idea generating process. And I was aware that the one skill I definitely did didn’t have was an ability to use InDesign or basically understand technology. And we went for a drink in a pub and we had a chat and he was on board to help with this idea that I had. I remember holding it together in the pub. I remember holding it together, getting on the tube to get home. I am getting out of that Tube station and just bursting into tears because suddenly this idea I had could exist because somebody was going to help me. Somebody with the skills I didn’t have and with passion was going to make it possible. So that was an amazing moment of understanding that yes, if I have an idea I’m going to need other people to help me make it a reality. And I think that’s really stuck with me. That’s really reminded me that be open to every email, every piece of content, every meeting that you have because you might be able to offer this person something and they might be able to offer you something which completely changed the direction of an idea or a business.

Karthika: I absolutely love that. A lot of times we feel like we know it all. But I think it’s very humbling to realize that not everything is my core strength.

Liz: Yes, it is very important to understand what your strengths are. What you are not so strong in and get help.

Karthika: If you could go back in time and I think we are pretty sure you would do it all over again. Are there some things you would change? And if so, what sort of would they be?

Liz: Gosh, it is really hard. I can’t actually look at the issues we make until the next magazine has come out. So I can look at the Indian magazine now. There’s always things you would’ve done differently. And there’s always that one photo that wasn’t the right choice. So I think because so much of what I do is looking back at these projects instead of, you know, a year down the line questioning those choices, I have learned not to look back in too much detail because I don’t know if that’s healthy. Nothing is going to be perfect. You just do the best you can do and be proud of it. So let go of that fear, perhaps taking a little bit more risk, which is a double edge sword because the fear is a driver to action sometimes. But I think if there was one thing, maybe a little bit less fear.

Karthika: What do you do for fun outside of sitting at your desk for nine hours a day?

Liz: I travel and I photograph as a photographer myself. I know that’s a lot of fun. And I am also aware of how lucky I am to be doing this. I do think that there is a different type of travel though when you’re not doing it for a magazine, that sort of travel, when you go somewhere and you get to absorb a place, but you don’t need to put it into words necessarily. You can just feel it. That’s what I love doing and I can do that even still in London. I think being from somewhere else means that I can go out in the city that has been my home for eight years and still feel this sense of wonder and still be aware of the beauty and the history and just feel it.

Karthika: How did you come up with the name Lodestars Anthology?

Liz: Sorry, I laugh because I’m aware of the drama. I mean, this is one of the early mistakes, you know. I was 25 and excited and I picked the magazine name and day I got the domain name and I started doing layouts and we are quite far along in the process when it occurred to me that you were meant to trademark these things. And the name that I had picked was owned by somebody else. So it was kind of a slight panic in that we had a small window to find a new name and it was weeks of angst and nothing was quite right and nothing sounded right. And then by chance I came across the word Lodestar and that is Polaris. It’s the north star and it’s what sailors with use to guide themselves when they were sort of navigating the seas. But the contemporary definition is model, guide or inspiration. And it was just astounding that this word described everything that I wanted to do. And then there were some times like down the track, I’m like, oh, it’s a bit of a math, but I wish there was something succinct. But then I think that there isn’t another word out there that quite captures what I wanted to do with this magazine.

Karthika: No, I love it. When I kind of researched the name, it makes so much sense. It’s like a travel sort of an inspiration magazine and like you said, it’s another name for Polaris. It’s like the guiding star.

Liz: I love it as well because it’s always going to be this reminder that I did something and that star that guided me to my destination – whatever that is.

Karthika: Now what, what sort of lies ahead for you? Are you fully living your dream or what comes next for you?Can you share with us?

Liz: We already have content for our next issue which comes out later in the year and then we are heading to Mexico which takes us into 2020. We are thinking of doing a couple of reprints. I just want to make the strongest product that I can, that is really the focus for the next little while. But who knows? You never quite know what opportunities come your way. So absolutely keep yourself open to all the amazing things that sort of the universe gives us, be open to it.

Karthika: I think that’s a, that’s a wonderful mindset to have. Well, thank you so much, Liz. This has been absolutely amazing.  I love learning about how you got started and, and hats off to you for picking up everything that you knew and moving to a whole new country. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your journey with us.

Liz: Thank you for having me.


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