I started Parlé when I was 17 years old in my first year of college. The only real print media experience I had was from starting my own high school newspaper and the summer after high school graduation I interned with a start-up magazine, working from the bottom, basically helping garner contacts in order to get the publication off the ground. That magazine would never launched.
I was studying for a degree in legal studies and never intended for a career in media, but while at John Jay I was getting a financial aid refund check every month I was in school. It was a good look! But initially I was spending the money without a care. After I’d spent the first few checks I stopped myself and told myself that I needed to invest it in something that would impact my future once I was out of college. I was sitting in English class one day in early April 2004 and it all came together in that hour and fifteen minutes. I came up with the name, the concept, the slogan (Not Your Average) and all I had to do was figure out how much it would cost.
By May 4, 2004 my first issue was out on the streets. A lot of the contacts that I found while I was interning for that other publication turned out to be the contacts for most of the features early on, and a lot of those same people are still in touch with me. Even though I had the refund check, I had to have my girlfriend at the time put the cost of the issue on her credit card. I think I gave her a couple hundred, but she paid for a majority of it.
When I first started I had no idea what I was doing. I used to cut and paste my articles onto a sheet of paper because I didn’t know what photoshop was or how to graphic design. I didn’t have a camera or photographer so the companies had to provide all the media I needed. It was just a really big learning process for me. I’m still learning.
I believe that you shouldn’t think too long or hard about things you want to do in life. If you want to do it, just do it!!! Make mistakes, learn from them but KEEP DOING. I know people who were talking about starting something around the same time I started Parlé… and they’re still talking.
I share because every one needs a little bit of motivation. Hopefully this motivates you to take the next step.
You can reach me directly at email@example.com