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Entrepreneur restarts magazine about young folks making an impact

A blue magazine with a Black woman on the cover. They are wearing a red shirt with a white vest. They have black hair, wear glasses, and are smiling as they pose for a picture in front of a blue background. The title of the magazine reads "Young & Ambitious Magazine. Flint Water Crisis. Tawan Slaughter. Bringing professional basketball back to the Queen City. JUUG Talk Podcast Radio."
Dallas Taylor | WBFO News
Young & Ambitious Magazine

At a time when many print publications around the country are closing their doors -- or already have -- one local woman is working to supply a magazine specifically for young readers.

WBFO’s Alex Simone sat down for a discussion the publisher of Young and Ambitious Magazine about efforts to relaunch a niche publication in Buffalo.

Alex: Like you said, your name is Courtney Anderson. You're from Buffalo, right?

Courtney: Yes.

A: Okay, and this is really, kind of, your second go at Young and Ambitious, right?

C: As the print magazine, yeah, so I did put out three issues between 2015 and 2016. And then after that, I, kind of, just went digital, just kind of operate it as like a blog. Because it's just me, I have a team of one. So, it was getting too hard between, just a work-school life to try and manage your website, manage social media, and then try and manage a magazine all the same time.”

Courtney Anderson, a Black woman sits in front of a microphone with the WBFO NPR logo. She sits in a red chair at a brown table.
Dallas Taylor | WBFO News

A: What was the catalyst that made you want to say, ‘Okay, I want to get back into this,’ and especially, ‘I want to bring it back to print?’

C: The print magazine was always, just like, something I wanted to do more. So just like for myself as like my own passion project. But just as a whole, I felt like the brand itself needed to come back. Because the whole purpose of young and ambitious is to promote and support young people doing positive things. And to just give the younger generation something to look up to.

A: And my understanding was that this is primarily a Buffalo-based project, right? You're not, like, talking to people from, you know, Cincinnati.

C: I want to spotlight Buffalo first because I'm born and raised here. So, I do want to be able to support and promote the young people in Buffalo, before I go out and venture further up the East Coast or on the West Coast.

But I do want to be able to tell those stories or you know, talk about people, young people all over. One of the main reasons why I started the brand was because, you know, you turn on the news, you see a lot of negativity about young people. And very limited press about get the positive things that young people are doing.

A: How big are these magazines going to be? Is this like we're talking, you know, an eight-page magazine? Which is I mean, I know from experience, is tough in and of its own thing. Are you talking, you know, 24 pages, how big is that going to be?

C: My goal was to have 50 pages, because when I first started doing the magazine, I was in between, like 15 and 20. And it was fairly small, but what I want to do with the brand, now I want to pack in more information. I've done it a little bit more strategically than I did the last time, so my goal is to have anywhere between like 30 to 50 pages.

This time, I've included ads into the magazine. So obviously, that helped pay for the magazine, but also, again, to promote businesses that, you know, I feel like should be spotlighted. I have some pieces that were written by other people that are going to be going into the magazine, also just some of my own advertisements for my merchandise. It's a mix of articles, photos, but also advertisements, so it's going to be a little bit bigger than what I'm used to putting out.

A: Given this first experience, any idea how many you're hoping to run like a year? Or, you know, how often are you hoping to publish?

C: I already have my next issue, which I plan to put out in January, or February, pretty much preplanned. So, I know pretty much you know, who is going to be in it, what the topic of the magazine is going to be. But the goal is to put these out quarterly, because ultimately, I want Young and Ambitious -- the brand -- to be my full-time job.

A computer shows the layout of a magazine with images and titling over the top of the images.
Dallas Taylor | WBFO News

A: Do you have any idea, like, how many copies?

C: I would like to sell, I'm going to say 75 to 100, within like the first month or so. I think, you know, with just the response that I've gotten and just kind of my immediate circle, I think that's possible. But I don't -- I want to make sure that's not just my people, but I'm bringing in people into the brand, introducing new people to the brand.

The first edition Courtney Anderson’s magazine is available for purchase as an e-version or physical copy on the Young and Ambitious Magazine website, or at the Trend Up Store on Allen Street in Buffalo.