Sisters Supporting Sisters is dedicated to women of color living out their entrepreneurial dreams. Sisters Supporting Sisters was started due to a lack of outlets to feature the immense talent and creativity of women of color. It is important for women of color to be more supportive of one another in business and life in general. A strong network of relationships amongst minority women would definitely help make the climb to the top a little bit easier—especially if they just happen to be going after the same dreams. Honestly, there is enough money for everyone to do their thing and still be supportive at the same time.
Q: Please introduce yourself.
My name is William Thomas Young Jr. I’m from Fort Worth Texas. I graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a B.A. in Advertising Art & Graphic Design in 1997. I’m a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. The ZOO Chapter! Currently I live in Dallas, Texas and I’ve been publishing and designing KRAVE Magazine for two and a half years.
Q: When and why did you decide to start KRAVE Magazine?
After September 11th I lost my advertising job so I begin freelancing as a graphic designer to pay my bills. I was doing quite well designing party flyers, business cards, brochures, etc. when the printing company I was using offered me a job as an in house designer. I took the job but I wasn’t happy. I felt like I was putting my future in someone else’s hands again just as I did before September 11th and doing so you never know if you may have job security or not. Also I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. And as faith would have it I was offered a great designer position with a major retail beauty company and I had to make a decision during the Thanksgiving holiday. I quit the job at the printer and went to the 2005 Bayou Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana to think about what I wanted to do. And to this day I still can’t explain how or why but I was standing on Canal Street with my friends and I just blurted out I want to create my own magazine. I mean literally it just came out of my mouth and I couldn’t shake it for the entire weekend. It’s all I talked about. I knew it would be about fashion but I didn’t want it to be type cast as the typical ‘mens’ magazine with big butts and boobs gracing the cover. Then I remembered two of the greatest fashion magazines for men of color, EM and CODE and realized I need to carry that torch they lit. I own every issue of both. When I returned from the Bayou Classic I met with Jimmy Porch who is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine here in Dallas Texas. I worked on Eclipse Magazine for two years so I was somewhat familiar with publishing. I told him about what I wanted to do and the job offer that was on the table and he told me to take the job to pay my bills and also learn every design program they’re willing to train me that I can apply to my magazine. So that’s what I did and I’m still doing.
Q: What is the story behind the name “KRAVE Magazine”?
The name KRAVE was easy after I figured out what type of magazine I was going to create. This magazine was for every man who ‘craved’ more out of life. The K was from my days of designing fraternity flyers and replacing the c with a K. It’s a Nupe thang!
Q: KRAVE Magazine reminds us of a Black GQ. If you had to describe your publication using other magazines which ones would you use?
I would agree with that. We’ve been compared to Jet magazine because of the size (although we’re a little bigger) and CARGO magazine because of the how-to’s we feature. I hope that KRAVE becomes as iconic as GQ, so when someone says you’re looking like a page out of KRAVE, they’ll know that they’re sharp. A rapper by the name of David Chris created a song for us titled “Are You KRAVE With It?” and it talks about having a fashion swagger for men and women. It’s hot and will be available on our new website to download soon!
Q: Besides KRAVE Magazine what are some of your favorite magazines?
GQ, Details, Cargo, UnLeashed, Uptown, King, Essence, VMan and Mens Health magazines.
Q: Who are some notables that have been featured in KRAVE?
Actors Brian White, Jensen Atwood, Henry Simmons, Terrell Carter, Mehcad Brooks, Rockmond Dunbar, Black Race Car Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Lyons, and MC Lyte to name a few.
Q: I’m sure you know print magazines targeted toward African-American women have a very hard time staying afloat. Has the publishing industry been kinder towards you being an African-American male?
It’s been up and down and we’re still trying to really get in the door with the big advertisers.
Q: Social networking sites and new media is the new trend for almost every medium. How does KRAVE plan to grow and excel online?
We want to make our online connect with our readers just as the print version does. We want to make it interactive and informative. The web will also allow us to discuss other things we may not have the space to discuss in the magazine.
Q: What has been your number one challenge in running Krave?
Getting the major advertising dollars to come in and finding that sales person who knows how to go out there and get them. Another challenge has been changing perceptions and FINALLY we have. I knew we would if we kept doing what we were doing. There was room for a few compromises while staying true to the integrity of what KRAVE is. We set out to create a magazine that shows not only black men but also Asian, Hispanic and other men of color in a fashionable light no different than what you see in GQ because we are first a fashion magazine for men of color. But with the first two issues that featured models with suits I found myself defending the sexuality of the magazine because we didn’t showcase the models in hip-hop gear as much as some of the hip-hop driven magazines. It was very disappointing and I almost gave up. But I understood the fear that our readers may have had initially because I was entering a hip-hop saturated market comprised of G-Unit, Roca Wear and Enyce clothing lines. Then hip-hop grew up a little. Rappers started cutting off cornrows, rocking blazers, sweaters, ties, tailored suits, hitting the gym and KRAVE became relevant to everyone. And surprisingly enough our biggest fans and readers are women. They said they love how we represent men.
Q: What advice would you give an up and coming print/online magazine publisher?
Just Do It! Find your passion and follow through with it. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t or you shouldn’t. Surround yourself with people who know your vision even when you don’t and you’ll be okay.
Q: What’s in the future for KRAVE?
Editorial growth and major distribution. You will find KRAVE Magazine on shelves across the country. We’re also embarking on a possible television feature, community service projects, workshops, fashion shows and events, promotional contests and a female version of KRAVE.