POUT Magazine: Celebrating KC's Business Women
"The richest place anywhere is the cemetery, where there are millionaire and billionaire ideas that never came to life because people with those ideas died before they acted to make their dreams come true. I don’t want my ideas or anyone else’s to wind up in the cemetery."
Meet Ashley Aleec'e, editor-in-chief of the newly launched Pout Magazine, a quarterly publication that will showcase Kansas City business women. Since she’s new on the scene, we sat down with Ashley to see what challenges she faces when starting a new business and a new magazine.
What is Pout Magazine?
Pout is geared toward showcasing our distinguished business women, located right here in the Kansas region. Our publication has also emerged a segment for our youth entrepreneurs. Our goal is not only to be known as a publication but also to branch off as a movement to empower women, no matter their color or creed.
How and why did this idea come about?
I was working with a company and making a decent income, but I felt empty. My husband bought me a journal to write in every day. Originally, I was going to use the journal to write letters to my mother, who had passed away in 2011.
One day, while I was still feeling down about everything, I realized that I was choosing to be negative when I had a lot to be happy about. After coming to this realization, my journal, instead of being a place to write to my mother, became full of interesting ideas.
One of the ideas was starting a magazine. At that time I had no prior knowledge of what it took to start a publication. So I began researching and brainstorming about what the magazine would be about. I asked, “What is Kansas City missing? What would set us apart from other publications?” That's where I came up with female entrepreneurs for our target interest. Kansas City has many talented women entrepreneurs. Some may already be moving toward their dreams while others may still be in the thought-processing and planning stages. The name for the magazine came from an acronym (Phenomenal, Optimistic, Unique & Talented), and the lips play off the word it formed (POUT).
What challenges did you face getting it off the ground?
We received our premier issue just three days before release, and of course, that didn't give my editing team enough time to go through the editing process. With every new venture there will be hurdles, but the show must still go on.
In business you have to accept that things will not always go as planned and always have a Plan B. You will have those moments where you’re thinking, “Okay, I'm off to a good start. Why does it seem like everything I can think of going wrong is happening?”
When you are having those things occur, just take it. You’re going the right direction, and you’re bound to be successful, eventually. Every failure leads you closer to success.
What success have you had so far?
First off, I would like to say I have had success by being able to accomplish my goal. Having my dream come to reality is enough success for me. During this journey, I have met and worked with a wonderful like-minded set of women and men, and every one of them has been supportive and accepting to POUT's mission and vision. This is just the beginning of what is in store for years to come, so ladies stay tuned!
Who did you turn to for help?
With every team or company you have to have someone believe in your dream before it can come alive. I first told my husband on our one year anniversary while we were heading to celebrate and he was excited. He was on board that very day.
After that, I surrounded my team with family and friends who are supportive and are willing to work. What originally started as my dream is now my team’s dream. I have reached out to many women that are in journalism for feedback and for contribution of articles in POUT and found doing so to be very helpful. I listen and follow others who have also inspired and influenced my vision.
Why is Kansas City a great place to start and grow a business?
Kansas City is a rising city. We are almost at home base. We have so many creative beings here, and everyday there are new resources popping up. I believe, because we are rising, that's what makes it a good time to start a company here. We’re always hearing about new companies going public in the stock market and wondering when and where was their IPO (Initial Public Offering)? Well, now is the time to start a business here and for Kansas City to flourish. Why not help create new jobs and build a suitable company in Kansas City?
What advice would you give others starting a business in Kansas City?
I would tell anyone who has a dream, to make it become alive. Ask yourself, “Would you rather fail trying or go on living with not trying at all?”
One day while I was listening to a motivational speaker, I heard something that woke me up. The speaker said that the richest place anywhere is the cemetery, where there are millionaire and billionaire ideas that never came to life because people with those ideas died before they acted to make their dreams come true.
I don’t want my ideas or anyone else’s to wind up in the cemetery.