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This is the second part of the interview with the magazine Positively Smitten. Read the first part here.
The women behind the website tells us about theirs hopes for the future of Positively Smitten, challenges they faced making the website and more.
Toonari Post (TP): Why do you think that it is important for there to be websites like Positively Smitten for women to access?
Positively Smitten (PS): So often, magazines targeted for women tell us all the reasons weâ€™re not good enough while simultaneously telling us what we need to do to make ourselves acceptable. Articles are about how to get a man and then how to keep him â€“ the overall message is that women arenâ€™t good enough as they are, and even once they are, they have to keep working at it. Positively Smitten exists to tell women theyâ€™re wonderful as is. You donâ€™t need to lose those last 10 pounds to be beautiful in our eyes, although if you want to, more power to you! Positively Smitten is about acceptance and support. Itâ€™s about building a community where women can share their genuine experiences and feel appreciated. (Liz Reddinger, Managing Editor)
TP: What do you think you (and everyone involved in making the website) have personally gained from it?
PS: Weâ€™re so incredibly lucky in that right now weâ€™ve got three dedicated staff writers who are part of this â€“ and literally doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Lyndsey, Amy, and Kendra have been great additions to the magazine and I hope seeing their writing on Positively Smitten, and seeing how overwhelmingly positive the responses have been, makes them feel that their work and thoughts are valued. I know Liz, Steph, and I canâ€™t thank them enough. And our contributors! Theyâ€™ve all been completely fantastic, so I hope theyâ€™ve taken away a sense of accomplishment from their involvement with the magazine.
As for the three of us, I think weâ€™ve each taken different things away from this. Itâ€™s certainly helped strengthen our friendships. Itâ€™s challenging to work on a project, but itâ€™s even more challenging when itâ€™s a project you and three friends are collaborating on from different states, in your spare time, while you juggle full-time jobs and the rest of that thing called life. But itâ€™s so rewarding. I feel so close to these girls and I know, personally, I would not have been able to do this on my own. For me, this website has also shown our resilience and determination â€“ as a team. Our personalities complement each otherâ€™s and when one of us is feeling weighed down by responsibilities, the other two are there to carry that load for a while. Itâ€™s so nice. I feel like together, the three of us can conquer anything. (Crystal Maldonado, Co-Founder, Editor)
TP: Have you faced any challenges or difficulties in producing the website? If so, how have you overcome them?
PS: We are still very new in the grand scheme of things â€“ our site just launched March 1. We were extremely flattered and surprised by the amount of support right from the start, including bringing on writers very quickly! Because of our strong following as a fledgling website, we didnâ€™t have much time to devise a marketing strategy to keep these new followers interested. That has certainly been a challenge. Recently, weâ€™ve joined as many different social media accounts as we could to help spread the word. We divide the tasks and conquer to stay on top of it all. (Stephanie Wilcox, Co-Founder, Editor)
TP: What advice would you give other women thinking of using the internet to get their voices across?
PS: Be clear about your intention and mission, and know what makes you unique. Donâ€™t be afraid to be yourself because ultimately this is what will set you apart. Donâ€™t try and replicate something thatâ€™s already out there â€“ instead, use your voice in an authentic way. (Liz Reddinger, Managing Editor)
TP: What are your hopes for the future of your website?
PS: Iâ€™d be lying if I didnâ€™t admit we all secretly dream of someday having our own offices where we get to work next to one another and we have a full staff and weâ€™ve been interviewed by Oprah. But I think, ultimately, the three of us would be pleased just knowing that Positively Smitten has impacted some of our readers, whether itâ€™s in making them feel like theyâ€™re less alone, or providing a useful life tip, or making them stop to think about an issue they hadnâ€™t questioned before.
We really want to make a difference, and we want to change how not only other people view women, but how we view each other and ourselves. Forgot these stereotypes about women â€“ we just want to show weâ€™re all real and everyoneâ€™s life experience is different and thatâ€™s okay. And if Oprah decides to someday come knocking on our door, offering to buy us up and give us a nice little office, weâ€™d never turn it down. (Crystal Maldonado, Co-Founder, Editor)
‘Positvely Smitten’ is a wonderful reminder of how great a resource the internet is for people, women in particular, to speak up about issues that they find important. Their value for the average women is heart-warming and I think that you should check out their website www.positively-smitten.com to support and find out more about them.
Look out for the next article in the series ‘Women’s Voices in New Media’ where Toonari Post will have another interview with a woman centered website.
Image credit: Positively Smitten Magazine via Facebook