One&Other is a York-born magazine that is full of vibrant and diverse culture. We talk to Vicky Parry, a founding director, who talks to us about the development of the magazine, the inspiration behind it, plans for the future, and what it means to be a social enterprise.
One&Other covers just about everything to do with culture, from food and nightlife, music and art, general life stories, and coverage of some great causes. It truly is a great read with something in there for everyone. It started with the website, oneandother.com, little over a year ago, and has since grown to include oneandother.tv, as well as a bi-monthly free magazine.
When the website was launched there were no more than 20 contributors. Today, in the short space of time that has passed, there are hundreds. Vicky tells us one of the secrets of One&Other’s success, “We vowed that when it started it was going to be an ever-evolving project – we want to stay fresh for people!”
We’re going to talk more to Vicky about the success of One&Other, but first, we get a little insight in to how it all started. Vicky talks a little about her past, “I studied History at university, so I’m not from your traditional journalistic background, though I worked for local and student magazines while I was studying – and then I went over to Madrid where I was working in fashion, via that I was working in editorial rooms. It went from being a stylist, to then working on written stuff for high-end fashion publications.” Vicky adds, talking about the inspiration for the magazine with co-founder Stuart Goulden, “the two of us realised there was a huge gap in the market, there was scope to do something really different.”
We’ve already touched a little on the growth of One&Other. One of the big things that One&Other has made through development is oneandother.tv. “The idea for that was, there was all this talk of hyperlocal tv and stuff, and we know a lot of talented people working in video so we decided to just materialise that and make some of our content visual”, explains Vicky, adding “It’s something we really want to develop further.”
Vicky has promised to chat more with us about exciting future developments of One&Other, but while we’ve got our chance to ask, we wondered what an average day entails. “Part of the reason it’s so fun is because every day is so different – there is lots of work with different people, we get to leave the office and travel around.” Vicky re-enforces her hectic life-style by reflecting on her last week (at the time of writing), “This week alone, no day has been the same. One day I was doing a fashion shoot, another day I was running round going to conferences!”
Hectic but exciting is the feeling you get when you talk to Vicky. That being said, she talks fondly to us about all the help they’ve had through the whole process of One&Other’s development, in short, “We’ve had a lot of support and things from a lot of people to whom we are eternally grateful!” Vicky goes on to explain how this help has been essential to the development of the magazine from the very beginning, “It was basically a case of getting all our ideas down and then gradually building a team, gaining support, asking a lot from friends and people to pull in, and believe in the same idea as us. Originally, we got design agencies on board all working for free just to make the product happen.”
Moving on, Vicky talks to us about the core values of One&Other, “Without sounding ‘cheesy’, it’s to bring the whole community together; people [in York] didn’t realise there was all these niches, so we want to unite them and celebrate them. We also have really strong social values, which is something we’re going to explore further down the line.”
One of the social values that is reflected in One&Other’s business plan is the fact that they are a non-profit organisation. We ask Vicky what it means to her being a social enterprise. “We’re a non-profit organisation – we’re never set to gain masses on this, simply because it’s not supposed to be like that – what we really want to do is put back in to the community. What we take out of this community is all the exciting stuff but there are a lot of problems, as well to be uncovered, so if we can help them in anyway…that’s where we stand!”
Vicky is a genuinely passionate person, which is absolutely reflected by how she describes One&Other ultimately wants to achieve. “I want it to do exactly what it set out to do which is to celebrate the city, to unite a cultural scene, help the people it set out to help. York was a great place to start because it’s a city that’s compact, it’s got a lot going on, but if we eventually take it to other cities we’re never going to neglect the city we started in – it’s small but I can’t believe how many interesting people there are, and how many people are doing completely diverse stuff. It’s a really nice thing to celebrate.”
Now, we finally get to talk a little about the future of One&Other, “We have got something really big that’s happening next year; what I am allowed to say is oneandother.tv is going to change and the website is going to look very different.” Some major developments in the pipeline then!
As we finish off, Vicky leaves us with a great piece of advice, “If you really want to do something, simply persevere, absolutely persevere! There are a lot of very talented people out there that give up or lose sight of their dreams. If you just persevere, it’ll come true in the end”. We wish the very best of luck to the whole O&O crew, Vicky adds finally, with a sense of humour, “If you’re looking for coverage, Contact me, stop me in the street, pull my hair, send me an e-mail, give me a call, tweet me, Facebook me, anything and we will try to help as much as possible!”