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December 12, 2017
Commerce

Life after CLIQUE: Charlotte Chambers launches her own publication

How having children made this entrepreneur more ambitious than ever.

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  • Words: Josh Fanning
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

“This is my demo now,” says Charlotte Chambers pointing at the cover of her newly launched magazine: KIDDO.

On the cover is a young child, perhaps three or four years old – with a paintbrush in hand, daubing a piece of paper hung with stylish care.

Remarks

Visit Kiddo magazine at its website. And then be sure to find it in print too.

KIDDO is a 48-page, bi-monthly, beautifully art-directed and photographed addition to the print media landscape in South Australia, which finally fills the market gap occupied by parents screaming out for a guide to fun and, as Charlotte emphasises, cool things to do with their young families.

Charlotte used to make a similarly stylish magazine for adults (without children) – Adelaide’s preeminent fashion title – CLIQUE.

For close to 14 years Charlotte worked for Rip It Up Publishing and then its successor Opinion Media. She started out in advertising sales for the music and culture street press Rip It Up before sweet talking then publisher Margie Budich into allowing her to move across to working on CLIQUE’s predecessor Attitude Magazine.

Charlotte is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned in South Australia’s print media landscape. Her influence has been heavily felt in Adelaide’s fashion scene, and when news broke of CLIQUE retiring its print edition and Charlotte leaving Opinion Media, CityMag was left aghast.

“I still think there’s space and room for CLIQUE to grow and evolve online,” says Charlotte.

“Because the traffic was there and the need and the want was there, but I had to step away for me and for my family. It was a really hard decision for me. It’s been a huge part of my life, so it was really difficult to leave but it was something I wanted to do to change my lifestyle.”

The lifestyle change was children. And while anyone working in the media might wonder how on earth someone might find time and energy to conceive let alone have kids, Charlotte made sure her timeline for a family synced up with her major responsibilities at work.

“I was lucky enough and planned both my pregnancies with A Night of Fashion (ANOF) just before giving birth so for two ANOF events, I was seven-to-eight months pregnant and then I was able to give birth and do the next year,” she says.

“That was my dedication to my job and my passion – A Night of Fashion was my baby as well, so I didn’t really want to hand it over to anyone else.”

The idea for KIDDO was conceived while Charlotte was on maternity leave with her second child.

Charlotte tells us how she delayed starting a family because of a fear she’d instantly become uncool, unprofessional, and unmotivated in a career sense. But she very quickly learnt with her first baby that nothing changes at all – except perhaps that her kids have made her a better and more rounded individual.

Charlotte originally took the idea for KIDDO into her employers at Opinion Media whom, “affectionately said I should to go back on maternity leave,” says Charlotte.

However the pull to create this new publication was overwhelming.

“I wanted to do something that was me and have that entire responsibility for it, have all the autonomy in decisions within the business – good and bad – that are ahead of me,” says Charlotte.

It’s a familiar saying in media that making a magazine is like having a baby and while her former child goes digital only, Charlotte is adamant this new baby has a future in print.

“I’m sticking with print because it’s what I want,” says Charlotte.

“I believe that there is a time and a place for print. And I believe that with specific free, niche publications that there is life for street press forever and ever. People are always going to want to get that information, it’s the tangibility of it and the share-ability of it. I mean you can share a story online but to be able to pass a physical product, a publication to someone I think has a lot more meaning.”

It’s impossible to suggest print’s dead when someone as committed, passionate and powerful as Charlotte Chambers has just given birth to a brand new and brilliant publication.

 

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