Jackie Nwobu quit her pharmaceutical job to give brides of color a platform where they could find both inspiration and resources for their upcoming nuptials.
Nwobu, a Nigerian American from New Jersey, started her MunaLuchi Bride magazine to fill a void she saw in the wedding industry. Bridal magazines, she noticed, didn’t represent multicultural weddings,
“I want readers to open our magazine and to be inspired,” she says. “I want them to be able to think outside of the box. I want them to see themselves,” the editor-in-chief adds.
Below are five tips extracted from her experience of launching a bridal magazine.
Don’t let a recession scare you
Nwobu started MunaLuchi amid the global recession, when sales of most print magazines and newspapers were falling.
“People were telling us ‘you’re crazy! Print is dying,’” she says. “But print is not dying. I would say it’s evolving if anything, but you also have to know how to evolve and be on social media,” she adds.
In addition the print magazine, MunaLuchi is also a a glossy blog. Nwobu’s commitment to the magazine’s digital presence has paid off: the website clocks 500,000 page views each month and boasts over half a million followers across its social media platforms.
Spot the opportunity
The entrepreneur was a guest at many famously lavish Nigerian weddings, but she noticed that the kind of nuptials she attended weren’t represented in mainstream bridal publications.
“The market was very one-sided, honestly. There was very little diversity,” she says. “If you picked up a bridal magazine you probably would not see any bride of color in there. You might see her in an ad as a bridesmaid or something like that, but you wouldn’t see her wedding represented.”
This lack of visibility gave Nwobu and her husband, who is her business partner, the push to carve a corner out of the wedding industry for multicultural brides.
Get a distributor
Nwobu printed 10,000 copies of her first issue without a clear business strategy of how she was going to sell them. She stored them in her garage while trying to find outlets that would carry MunaLuchi.
“That was a huge mistake,” she says. “You are supposed to get distribution and then they place orders and then you know how many copies you have to print, so we did it backwards,” she adds.
Luckily, Nwobu and her husband managed to find a distributor and MunaLuchi now prints 50,0000 copies per issue.
Don’t limit yourself
Even though she is Nigerian American, Nwobu’s magazine doesn’t only focus on brides of her own heritage.
“It’s not just Nigerian weddings it’s not just African-American weddings,” she says. “There are so many different aspects that make up the black woman, and then you’ve got the Asian weddings too. We are really a multicultural magazine,” Nwobu says.
Study the market
The editor credits her success to her analytical approach, which she notes helped override her lack of publishing experience.
“I mean, we’ve made lots of mistakes, of course, because we didn’t’ know anything about publishing,” she says, “but in the process we’ve learned so much about our market that we know our readers inside out. That’s why we’ve been able to give them exactly what they need: because we analyze and we understand what they’re looking for,” Nwobu adds.
To see how Nwobu started her business from scratch, watch the video below.