8 min 32 sec

Marketing Coordinator Realizes Lifelong Dream of Starting Own Magazine

A new mother starts a magazine about bravery and vulnerability.
Blog Product Unique Ideas Writing

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What It's About

A side hustle featuring a magazine that tells personal stories and empowers everyday women.

Business Model
Skills Required
Writing & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

During her pregnancy, Sarah wrote about her own struggles on a personal blog in a very real, vulnerable way. The grateful responses that she got from her readers encouraged her to keep writing and engage in conversations, and it was this experience that shaped what kind of magazine Sarah decided to start.

Really ask yourself what is missing in the things you love. If you're noticing it, you're likely not alone!

Fun Fact

Recently the magazine helped reconnect two friends. A woman found a copy at her local library and in reading through it became intrigued by a particular advertisement. As she checked it out and learned more about the brand, she discovered the owner of the brand was her long lost friend.

Notes from Chris

Episode 231

Sarah Hartley had three lifelong goals: create a magazine, write a novel, and own a clothing boutique. As a marketing coordinator for an architectural firm, she wasn’t making any progress on any of these goals. So when her son was born in 2014, she decided that she needed to get going on at least one of these goals.

She picked the magazine, thinking that it would be the easiest goal to check off the life list.

The first issue of Holl and Lane came out in June 2015. Initially, the magazine was published every other month and the first four magazines in 2015 were totally free for readers. But at the end of 2015, Sarah took stock and realized that she needed to start charging something for the magazines, or otherwise, this passion project would never become self-sustaining.

Around this time, Sarah also got some much-needed help. Three women joined the team, which helped spread out the responsibilities. All these women help for free and as Sarah said, “And the fact that they do this for free is absolutely incredible. They believe in this magazine and its mission as much as I do and it is no longer just my magazine, it's all of ours.”

The print issue was popular enough that Sarah decided to keep doing it. But starting in 2017 she made a strategic decision to move to quarterly issues, instead of every other month. All of these factors combined to increase both revenue and costs while reducing the total number of hours she poured into the magazine. Monthly costs went up from around $250/month to well over $1,000/month, while revenues average around $2,000/month.


  • Holl and Lane: Interested in reading Sarah's magazine? Check it out!
  • Pixartprinting: The digital printing service that Sarah used to print her magazine
  • MoonClerk, Cognito, & G Suite: The trifecta that Sarah utilized to manage and run her new magazine

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Season 2 (2018): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

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Quote of the Day
"The magazine is mostly unrecognizable from the first issue to our current issue. It's both embarrassing and also a true testament to the honest journey of an entrepreneur. "
—Sarah Hartley #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau