Interview with Raine Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Nova Lorraine

Raine Magazine is a print and online publication. Its goal is to bring unorthodox entrepreneurs in style, music, technology, literature, art. travel, food... to the forefront. Raine Magazine began as an underground establishment but it has surfaced as one of the city's prominent indie publications. The magazine's presence is not only evident in New York City; with its recent collaboration with Kendall Jenner (and other Kardashian clan members), Raine Magazine is also gaining popularity in the west coast. I am thrilled to have been given an opportunity to interview Nova Lorraine, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Raine Magazine (and is also a Huffington Post contributor).

Eatdressgo.com originally was supposed to be an online tour guide of NYC but ended up to be.. well, a mix of things. When Raine Magazine was just in its early stages, was it always intended to be what it is now? Actually, no. :-)  Raine began as one of the first  "online-only" flip magazines and was intended to be a magnet for attracting the brightest creative entrepreneurs to a new membership based online community. We were a little ahead of our time and the magazine quickly became our main focus and we have grown, by request of our readers, to offer both a print edition and digital edition along with exclusive events to celebrate the release of each issue. We are also coming full circle and will be launching a membership portal to accompany networking events to service our growing community.

On your premier issue, it was stated that “After seeing a need in the marketplace, Raine was created as a resource to finding the rising talents in fashion, art, culture and business.” What exactly was missing in the marketplace that made you want to concentrate on unconventional entrepreneurs?  I saw a need in the market for a platform that highlighted the journey of the entrepreneur while providing a resource for them at the same time. Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely at times and it was necessary to give them an outlet to be seen, heard and to network. Our ultimate goal is to inspire you to do what you are most passionate about and empower you to find the strategic alliances to do it right!

Start-ups aren’t taken as seriously as companies that have been in the business for sometime. I wonder if your team experienced difficulties when you approached people for the creation of the first issue? Great question! It's actually funny when I think about it. When we started, online magazines were still being referred to as "e-zines". When speaking with publicists they did not take us seriously because at the time we only existed in digital format. It's amazing actually how things have changed and how much of a strong presence digital content currently has.

How was the overall reader feedback like to Raine Magazine when it first launched? We were very underground when we started. At first, we were very underground, as this was just a side project for me in the beginning, while I ran my design company. Word of mouth spread like wildflower through the individuals covered in the magazine and those that were a part of it. It was amazing to see the feedback we received and the demand for creating more.

Raine Magazine’s slogan is “The Entrepreneur is the New Celebrity”- can you go into detail about why this is. The crave of something new and different is only growing in our quickly changing society and learning about the faces behind the companies allows consumers a great connection and loyalty to the brand. With successes of entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Tina Fey, Jason Wu and the list goes on, consumers are very interested in the face behind the next big brand.

In what ways do you feel Raine Magazine has helped rookie entrepreneurs? Raine helps entrepreneurs in many ways: providing an opportunity for their work, product or service  to be seen on an international level amongst the best and brightest. We also offer consulting services in branding and strategic development as well as collaborations on various projects.

What separates an entrepreneur from a good entrepreneur? An entrepreneur is an an entrepreneur. The separation is more  about are you running your business as a hobby or a company? Either way is fine based on your end goal. The key is to put your best foot forward and give the highest level of what you can offer - always.

What do you feel is needed to have a sticky factor as a business? Forethought, the ability to analyze the trends and to position yourself ahead of the curve in your market.

Social media is one of the elements in the cultivation of a successful modern company but do you feel that it’s required? Which industries can do without it and which industries is it essential to? Social media is necessary for all businesses, however how one uses Social Media may differ. Some industries such as music, film and fashion may require social media for fan building where industries such as manufacturing may use social media for new hires and sourcing new accounts.

Crowd-funding is quite the thing to do for newbie business owners- do you think this is for everyone? No. It's not for everyone. If you have a novel idea, for example in tech, music or fashion and can provide interesting rewards, then crowd funding is great!

Raine Magazine has featured a variety of individuals- from Genevieve Piturro (a woman who brings books, pajamas, and hugs to thousands of children in need) to newbie model Kendall Jenner. What assessments do you, as an entrepreneur pull from the individuals you’ve worked with? 1. First and foremost, believe in your dream. 2. Find the right team to help you see it to fruition. 3. Be flexible. Don't be afraid to change course.

Many have considered the publishing industry to be extremely close to, or if not, already defunct. Do you sense the doomsday clock ticking or do you feel that there is a fraction of life in it? I believe there will always be a need for print. With new technology and lower costs, print will become more of a novelty than a normalcy. However, the best printers and publishers will survive because reading a printed publication is also about the tactile experience and that human desire will never go away.

Like the music industry, media has also become a circus of sort with bloggers reaching celebrity status overnight and then vanish just as quickly. How you filter through the hundreds of them when you choose to collaborate? What do you look for? Is it important for magazines to establish a solid relationship with bloggers? We look for the undiscovered diamonds as well as those talents on a meteoric rise. If you are offering a quality product, service or voice that can rival any big brand - then we want to know about you. In terms of bloggers, I think they are an important piece in the game of social media and it is important to develop those relationships.

Is it important for you as an Editor-in-Chief to always differentiate your publication from its counterparts? Yes. By default we differ very much by the essence of what we cover and how we present the information. Most fashion forward magazines don't focus on the story and lifestyle of creative entrepreneurs and most entrepreneurial publications are not fashion forward in their presentation.

Networking is important for a brand to really take off- what advice do you have for people who are shy or are uncomfortable socializing? When you go to events, bring a friend. Let the friend work the room and help introduce you to new faces. After a few times of doing this, you will be comfortable networking on your own.

Which issue of Raine Magazine are you most proud of? Is there a special reason behind it? Each issue is always my favorite - at the moment, it's Vol. 15 and soon it will be Vol. 16. With each issue we try to do better, improve on the little things and continue to push the fold.

What do you love and really enjoy about doing what you do? I really enjoy the people I meet each and every day and hearing their journeys of inspiration and coming across the coolest innovations across the globe.

Name three of your current obsessions. No obsessions - just passions: Family, Fashion and Dancing.

Who is your dream cover feature for Raine Magazine? I use to have one...but now I don't. It really depends on the what's happening at that moment and who is making a real move in their industry.

What words of wisdom do you have for those who want to start their own business? Do your research and find someone who is exceptional in making sales - cash is key.

What can we expect from Raine Magazine this year? Look for our new networking series of events as well as the Raine Poken, in a store near you