A Little Bit About Us..by Nicole Rudisill
A Little Bit About Us..
By Nicole Rudisill | Owner and Editor of Kids Style Magazine
My husband and I live in a small town, and we both work as middle school teachers. We have one daughter and 2 large german shepherd mix rescue dogs that love her just as much as we do! We also own a local snoball shop in town that we love running during our summer months school breaks.
I started this magazine after personally experiencing and seeing first hand just how hard it is for us small shop owners out there. I used to run a vinyl shirt and other items ‘small shop’, I called it Owl Lilly Vinyl Designs, you’ve most likely never heard of it though because it fizzled out after a year of not being able to get any new customers, except for random orders on Etsy occasionally. I struggled with, ‘What did I do wrong?’, “Were my prices too high?’, ‘Maybe my designs weren’t good enough?’. The answer to those are of course I didn’t do anything wrong, my prices were too low if anything and my designs were always original and unique. The issue is that we compete with these big name brands that can afford targeted ads, faster shipping times and lower wholesale rates. I had not found the world of small shops and repping mamas until about 6 months after I completely shut my shop down, and when I landed in this world I KNEW I had to do something to keep these hard working mamas small shops going.
I started with a Rep Group on facebook, it was so big and really hard to manage, approve posts in a timely manner and mediate with a full time day job though. That’s when I had the idea of starting a magazine for JUST small shops.
Where their customers can have photos featured of the different shops and where small shop owners can run ads and be featured in our articles. We've also always made it our absolute mission to be inclusive and welcoming of everyone, and we will continue seeking collabs with shops and parents of kids to keep instilling that belief and setting that example.
The first few magazine issues were smaller, which is to be expected, and I had to deal with some different opinions being offered and bias being thrust upon me, and it was super discouraging. Luckily I kept going though, and I found some amazing mamas and shop owners that truly wanted to support me and one another! That is what the small shop world should be all about, supporting each other and raising one another up, not tearing people down.
We didn’t always offer paper copies, because the most obvious and most popular options available out there were way too expensive, and I never felt like I could ask someone to pay that much just so I didn’t have to do extra work. I researched and ordered samples, called and got hundreds of quotes before we decided on a printing company. Unfortunately that printing company didn’t work out after a few issues, but we finally found one that has been responsive, professional and good to us for the past 6 months. Now we are so happy to offer low cost paper copies, along with our digital options as always.
My amazing husband has helped me brainstorm, find more efficient ways to hold entry threads, get permissions and put the magazines together along the way. Not to mention, he does so much of the packaging, I go behind him with cute stickers of course!
We cannot WAIT to see what 2021 holds for Kids Style Magazine, and we love the growing group of small shop mamas, supporters and owners that have become a part of our vision to bring more eyes to the amazing items that otherwise wouldn’t be being advertised.